Executive Assistant - Executive Support Division - Grade 6

University of Birmingham
United Kingdom
£27,924 to £34,304
Closing date
Jul 1, 2022

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Position Details

Executive Support Division

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £27,924 to £30,497, with potential progression once in post to £34,304.

Grade 6

Full Time, Permanent

Closing date: 10th July 2022

Interviews to be held on 19th July 2022

Our offer to you

People are at the heart of what we are and do.

The University of Birmingham is proud to have been a part of the City of Birmingham and the wider region for over 100 years, and we are equally proud to be recognised as a leading global university.  We want to attract talented people from across the city and beyond, support them to succeed, and celebrate their success.

We are committed to helping the people who work here to develop through our sector-leading Birmingham Professional programme which provides all professional services staff with development opportunities and the encouragement to reach their full potential.  With almost 5,000 professional services jobs in a wide-range of functions in Edgbaston and in our campus in Dubai, there are plenty of opportunities for you to be able to develop your career at the University.

We believe there is no such thing as a typical member of staff and that diversity is a source of strength that underpins the exchange of ideas, innovation, and debate.  We warmly welcome people from all backgrounds and are committed to fostering an inclusive environment where diversity is at the heart of who and what we are, and how we work.

Supporting our people to achieve a healthy work/life balance is important both to our employees and to the success of the University and, depending on the role, we offer a variety of flexible working arrangements. We therefore welcome discussions on all forms of flexible working.  In addition, you will receive a generous package of benefits including 40 days paid holiday a year, one paid day a year for volunteering, occupational sick pay, and a pension scheme. We also have three high quality subsidised day nurseries.

The University is situated in leafy Edgbaston and there are excellent transport links to our beautiful campus, including main bus routes and a train station on site.  On campus we have a state-of-the-art sports centre with pool, shops, places to eat and drink, our own art gallery, museum and botanical gardens.

Find out more about the benefits of working for the University of Birmingham .


Following a recent restructure, we are currently offering a number of posts in the Executive Office. This includes an opportunity to join our friendly team of EAs and PAs as an Executive Assistant, supporting the Provost (or Deputy Vice-Chancellor) of the University.

The team works together, along with a small number of people who lead on projects, to provide outstanding support for the senior management of the University. We pride ourselves on our collaborative approach and customer focus, and are looking to recruit an individual who has values in line with ours: Ambitious, Open, Responsible, Collaborative and Innovative. We are open and welcoming to people from all walks of life and believe that a diverse team with a mix of perspectives and experiences will provide the best environment for success.

The Executive Office is part of a wider Executive Support Division that includes Strategic Planning, Strategic Change, Legal Services, and Governance Support, and we meet regularly to share our work and successes, and to learn together. The Executive Office also established and leads the University-wide PA Network, which brings together all PAs and EAs across the institution. We're really proud that our network was recognised with a West Midlands PA Forum award.

We are looking for a highly motivated individual with a can-do attitude and outstanding interpersonal and organisational skills. In exchange, the right candidate will join over 8,000 staff at the University, with opportunities to join staff networks such as the Rainbow network, Parents and Carers' network, Women's network, Race Equality network, and Enabling Staff network. They will benefit from good holidays and a pension scheme, flexibility (we are currently working to a pattern of 3 or 4 days from campus), and lots of opportunities for learning and development.

Role Summary

This is a busy, dynamic, and challenging post working at the heart of the University supporting the Provost, Professor Tim Jones.

The post holder will maintain an understanding of the Provost's work, using this knowledge to make effective decisions on his behalf. You will be able to work without direct supervision and exercise a high level of discretion and self-motivation, working simultaneously on multiple tasks whilst maintaining a clear focus on the key issues that need to be addressed. You will act as a conduit between the Provost and other internal and external stakeholders, and your approach will be collaborative and founded on real empathy with the academic endeavour of the University.

Administrative and Diary Support

You will provide high-quality and timely administrative and organisational support through a broad range of duties including: complex email and diary management, organising meetings and events, undertaking complex travel arrangements, liaising with a range of internal and external stakeholders on behalf of the Provost, and leading and supporting projects. You may occasionally be required to compile reports, papers, briefings, and analyse management information for a range of internal and external audiences.

You will use your excellent organisational skills and attention to detail to ensure the Provost is well prepared; your outstanding communication skills to represent the senior team; and you will enjoy navigating a large complex organisation in order to get things done.


You will arrange and manage high profile events (visits, conferences etc.) when needed, liaising effectively with a range of departments within the University and externally. You will use your excellent communication skills to build a network of contacts to support this work.

Main Duties
  • Effective management of the inbox and a complex and challenging diary for University business and business related to the Provost's roles in other external organisations, prioritising and planning the diary at least 12 months' in advance.
  • Dealing with a wide range of enquiries independently, exercising good judgement when acting as the interface between the senior team and senior figures within the University and externally.
  • Proactive preparation and collation of meeting-related papers.
  • Production of documents, presentations, and briefings in relation to the work undertaken by the senior team, including undertaking desk research and sourcing information from internal and external stakeholders.
  • Planning and arranging complex UK and overseas travel, ensuring the best use of time and taking into account budgetary constraints.
  • Planning and arranging events, and organising high profile visits by senior external stakeholders, requiring close liaison with a range of departments.
  • Provision of high-quality committee support where necessary, taking minutes and ensuring that any action points are followed up in a timely manner.
  • Leading initiatives where this is delegated from the senior team.
  • Monitoring and processing financial information in accordance with the University's policies.
  • Providing cover for other colleagues in the Executive Office, and as a team making sure visitors to the office are welcomed.
  • The post holder is required to be flexible in developing their role and will from time to time be required to undertake any other duties commensurate with the grading of the post.

Person Specification
  • A good first degree or significant and proven experience of working as a Personal/Executive Assistant at Board level in a complex organisation.
  • Outstanding organisational and administrative skills.
  • A high degree of personal judgement, resourcefulness, flexibility, and a self-motivating approach.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to inspire confidence and command authority with a range of colleagues and external contacts.
  • Ability to build networks to facilitate cross-institution collaboration, promote knowledge sharing, provide constructive challenge as appropriate, and gain commitment to action or change.
  • A high degree of professionalism, tact, and diplomacy, and the ability to exercise discretion regarding the handling and management of sensitive information/issues.
  • Outstanding written communication skills, including the ability to write on behalf of the senior team for different audiences and to required deadlines.
  • Highly proficient IT skills, in particular the ability to handle complex electronic diaries and emails and the MS Office suite of programmes. The post holder should also be confident and able to quickly learn new IT skills and software packages as required.
  • Ability to produce and analyse complex source material, information and data.
  • A high degree of initiative and an ability to bring personal ideas and creativity to projects and tasks and work with others to ensure projects are successfully completed.
  • Enthusiasm and willingness to meet challenging demands, working to different people and deadlines, and the resilience to manage changing priorities.
  • Demonstrable confident and welcoming style and outstanding customer service at all times
  • An interest in, and knowledge of, the higher education sector, and an understanding of how sector or institutional changes may impact on their work or the work of the senior team.
  • A commitment to promote and adhere to the agreed values of the University and the Executive Support Division.

When completing the application form, please use the person specification above to inform your answer to the section that says: This section should set out your reasons for applying, skills and experience, and other interests and activities as appropriate to the person specification. As a rough guide, we would expect you to write in the region of 600-1000 words and cover how your skills and experience apply to the role, with clear examples. You may also attach a CV if you wish, however, shortlisting will be predominantly based on the information in the application form.

For informal enquiries please contact Becky Lewis, Head of the Executive Office email: r.lewis.2@bham.ac.uk

If you are new to the University of Birmingham, we can also put you in touch with colleagues from the staff networks, or others across the University, to help you get a sense of what it is like to work here.

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