Executive Project Officer
There has never been a better time to join Birmingham Business School – a triple accredited Business School at the heart of an institution with one of the most compelling and ambitious agendas in Higher Education. Established as the UK’s first School of Commerce in 1902, we have been delivering excellent business education for over 100 years.
This is an important time in our development. Over the past five years, the School has experienced significant growth in terms of both student and staff numbers and is increasingly well placed in the global rankings. Benefitting from a significant multi-million pound investment and a new senior management team, we are about to embark on a major strategic review to support the delivery of the University’s Birmingham 2026 vision.
We are looking for a highly motivated individual, with outstanding interpersonal skills and the ability to combine strategic thinking with successful implementation. You will thrive on challenge, have excellent planning and project management skills and a track record of supporting successful delivery. The successful candidate will work closely with the Dean, the Director of Business School Operations and other Senior Academic and Professional Services leads across the School to support the development and delivery of the School strategy refresh.
You will be expected to support a range of initiatives that will be defined on a continuing basis. Initially this may involve developing a business case for an Advanced Management Centre, supporting the establishment of the School’s Education Academy, the introduction of a School based Student Hub, reviewing and streamlining of administrative processes. Typically this will involve working with senior colleagues in the School to develop the internal business case, before working collaboratively with relevant College Partners and colleagues across the University to establish institutional support and approval, and then supporting operational staff in the School to introduce and embed the change in business as usual.
- To provide planning and project management capacity that can operate flexibly across the Business School supporting the development and delivery of the School’s strategy refresh.
- To undertake analysis work, both quantitative and qualitative, to support the development of internal business cases and project proposals.
- Working with Academic and Professional Services leads and colleagues across the College and wider University, to actively manage a range of projects which support the delivery of the School’s refreshed strategy ensuring that initiatives become embedded in ‘business as usual’ and achieve the expected benefits.
- To collect, understand and communicate the strategic requirements for new initiatives within the Business School.
- Working closely with the College Partners and colleagues in central professional services, compile research summaries, competitor review and analysis, and presentations of data which contribute to the definition and evaluation of initiatives within the Business School.
- To establish collaborative, professional, and successful relationships with colleagues in the School, College and appropriate teams across the wider University, notably the College Planning Partner and the College Finance Partner, to ensure that Business School initiatives are integrated with wider strategic priorities and activities taking place within the College and across the University.
- To proactively communicate and collaborate with a range of stakeholders both internal and external to the Business School ensuring that the scope and impacts of change are understood by all affected parties.
- An undergraduate degree is essential, with postgraduate qualification desirable, including evidence of self-directed research.
- A qualification in a relevant field (change management, process improvement, project management) is desirable
Personal Characteristics and Knowledge
- Strong intellectual ability and the ability to apply this to management tasks.
- A high degree of initiative, personal judgement, resourcefulness, flexibility and a self-motivating approach. The ability to complete tasks based on only broad direction and with minimum supervision.
- Enthusiasm and willingness to meet challenging demands, working to different people, deadlines and within budget.
- Excellent interpersonal skills, including tact and diplomacy, and an ability to work at all levels of the organisation.
- Ability to work effectively as part of a team.
- A flexible approach and attitude and a willingness to respond to changing requirements of the team.
- Demonstrates collaborative working, builds open, trusting and effective partnerships.
Skills and Experience:
- Demonstrable experience of managing projects in a complex organisation.
- Experience of developing effective networks and strong relationships with academics, Professional Services and other partners.
- Excellent analytical skills. The post holder must be a clear thinker, with the ability to assimilate, manipulate, and interpret data from different sources; have a good eye for detail; and have a sound understanding of how to use data to support development of policy and decision making
- Excellent oral communication and presentation skills, with an ability to use a range of communication skills and strategies to gain commitment to action or change.
- Outstanding writing skills, with the ability to write/prepare high quality papers, presentations, reports and briefings to Project Board and School Committee level. This includes a clear style of communication and the ability to write for different audiences.
- The ability to express complex problems clearly both verbally and in writing, and to communicate effectively with colleagues at various levels, both expert and non-expert, in the resolution of such problems.
- Well-developed organisational abilities including the ability to initiate, specify and manage projects, keep accurate records and produce status or progress reports.
- Ability to work on own initiative, manage time effectively, work to deadlines; and to maintain high standards including when under pressure.
- A firm but diplomatic attitude with the ability to prioritise, negotiate and use one’s own judgement.
- Problem-solving skills including the ability to act with autonomy, with limited supervision.