This week we talk to Ali Hart, Communications Officer in the Office of the Vice Provost (Advancement). Ali tells us why she’s so excited about the forthcoming It’s All Academic Festival, and shares her love of baking... and quokkas!
What is your role and what does it involve?
I work within the Office of the Vice-Provost (Advancement) as their Communications Officer. This role sees me involved in delivering key communications projects related to the university’s alumni and UCL’s largest philanthropic campaign - It’s All Academic. At the moment we’re all hands on deck for the It’s All Academic Festival this Saturday, October 5. It’s a free, one-day festival with events ranging from hands on activities, talks, tours and more.
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
I’ve been at UCL just over a year now and it’s flown! Before making the move from Australia, I had been working in the digital marketing and communications industry for 5 years across charity and professional services sectors.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
I’ve had the privilege to work on some amazing projects. One of my favourites was collaborating on the unveiling of the Donor Wall earlier this year to celebrate the university’s most prolific donors. I have also loved working on the UCL in 60 second video series which showcases a few of the areas where philanthropic support have allowed UCL’s academics and researchers to do incredible things.
Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list
I am thrilled to be part of the team delivering the It’s All Academic Festival. It’s our biggest event of the year with over 100 free and family-friendly events. I am working on getting our alumni and the wider public to engage with the Festival and the events showcasing UCL’s incredible research -whether that’s through social media, direct marketing, advertising and other initiatives.
Unashamedly, I am really excited for this year’s festival. We say it’s bigger and better than last year... but it really is! There are activities for all ages and interests so bring your kids, your friends, your housemates - whoever. There’s something for everyone.
What is your favourite album, film and novel?
Album: About Time by Sabrina Claudio
Film: There are too many! And maybe my favourite would be too embarrassing to share here...
Novel: The Dry by Jane Harper - I read this while here in London and her depiction of outback Australia was beautiful.
What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?
Why couldn’t the skeleton go to the It’s All Academic Festival? He had no body to go with.
Who would be your dream dinner guests?
My great-grandparents. They did really incredible things and were really interesting people according to my parents. I’d love to have met them and maybe I’d get them to dish the dirt on my parents and grandparents!
What advice would you give your younger self?
To not worry so much about what others think.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I am a ’gun’ baker - I used to make friend’s 21st cakes while I was at university. My pride and joy was a three layered Pac Man inspired creation.
What is your favourite place?
Rottnest Island off the coast of Western Australia. I have never seen clearer waters or whiter beaches. It’s also home to the quokka. If you aren’t sure what it is Google it - trust me, it will make your day!