This week we meet Jennifer Brown, Head of Library Services HR and Chair of the department’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee. Here, Jennifer chats to us about her work on the Library HR Business Contingency plan and a new Library Career Pathways project.
What is your role and what does it involve?
I am the Head of Library Services HR, which entails managing a team of HR and Learning and Development Professionals. The team is responsible for recruitment, onboarding, employee life cycle, off boarding, designing and delivering training and so much more. My role involves being the Chair of the department’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee.
I am a part of the department’s Senior Leadership Team so I am responsible for lots of strategic work in terms of delivering the Library Strategy, as well as operational aspects.
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
I have been at UCL for almost four years. Previously I was doing various interim senior management roles, some of which were under my own company.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
Producing the Library HR Business Contingency plan, which meant that there was no detrimental impact during the pandemic. We have worked really well as a team to deliver a high level of service to our department during this turbulent time.
I am generally proud of myself in terms of keeping up with all the government changes regarding the job retention scheme, which has enabled me to keep my colleagues abreast and provide timely advice, guidance and planning.
Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list
I am currently working on a Library Career Pathways project which is one of my department’s KPA. I am really excited about this project having worked previously as a Co-Project lead for the UCL’s HR Career Pathways Project under the HR Community of Practice remit.
What is your favourite album, film and novel?
I have quite a few favourite albums and artists. I love Luther Vandross. It was a tragedy when he passed away, I love all his albums.
I also love gospel/Christian music which is an integral part of my life, so I’d include Grace by Tasha Cobbs and Shout it Loud by Sinach, and Bethal Music and Kari Jobe.
Film wise I would say Liar Liar and Seven.
Novel - The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis.
What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?
Question: What do you call a woman with tiles on her head?
Answer: Roof (Ruth)
Ha ha ha.
Who would be your dream dinner guests?
Let me see.....
Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Michelle and Barak Obama, Simon Sinek, John Amaechi OBE, Lord Sugar, Tej Lalvani, Norma Wisdom (watching him always puts a smile on my face) and Laurel and Hardy - these two were classic comedians, if they were alive there would be lots of laughter around the table.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Always believe in yourself and ignore the self-doubt.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I am an entrepreneur, so always buzzing with ideas and I am also a creative person. Part of my creativity includes cardmaking, writing poetry, writing songs and venue styling.
Oh and I follow a plant-based diet.
There’s much more to me than meets the eye :)
What is your favourite place
I love travelling but my favourite place has to be Jamaica where my parents are from. It is such a beautiful island, lots of sun, good food, good entertainment, great vibes.