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Stephanie Williamson (MSc Project Management 2012)

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Where are you from originally and where do you live now?

I am from Vienna, Austria, but I moved to the UK 17 years ago to study. Since then I have been fortunate to live in the Netherlands, China and Ireland, and various places in the UK, having recently relocated from Liverpool to London.

What do you do?

I am a police officer for the Metropolitan Police Service in London, currently completing my probationary period – working in a local neighbourhood team in Camden Town and with a 999 (emergency number) response team. Working in London is challenging and provides a steep learning curve as I’m exposed to such a wide variety of incidents. I like the diversity of the city with its different cultures. I enjoy providing a service to the community, bringing offenders to justice and keeping members of the public safe. I’m also motivated to help improve the service at such a challenging time of economic downturn. 

In policing, there’s no such thing as an average day as each day unfolds differently than expected or planned! My day-to-day role includes attending crime scenes, taking and investigating crime reports, and working with a number of partner agencies to prevent crime and keep the public safe. 

In addition, I’ve taken on an extra challenge: I am currently leading a community initiative in Camden Town as part of a wider cooperation between the Housing Services Commissioner and the police. My project involves informal drop-in sessions for residents in supported housing accommodation at which we aim to get to know the residents, help them to integrate into the community, and provide crime prevention advice. Delivering a project together with partners and in line with operational objectives while working rotational shifts is quite a challenge – but a very rewarding one! Clearly, I benefit enormously from the project management and communication skills acquired through my degree and previous roles, both in the public and private sector. 

Why did you choose to study an MSc in Project Management online?

My first degree was in Business Administration, and I decided to complete an MSc in Project Management to specialise in project and process management, while gaining skills transferable across any sector and area of business. I decided to do an online degree to fit around my very busy and demanding professional and private life. Given the excellent reputation of the University of Liverpool nationally and internationally, as well as being based in Liverpool at the time, it was my first choice! 

Has your online master’s degree helped you move ahead?

The degree has certainly been worthwhile. It has made an exceptional difference to me in terms of personal growth and professional gain. I have learnt a lot about personal discipline and managing my time. I have also run a number of successful projects since completing my degree such as setting up a company-wide intranet platform for the international manufacturing company that I worked for after graduating. Having completed a high-quality degree from an excellent university also prepared me for the tough assessment I had to go through to be selected for the Metropolitan Police. 

What are your plans for the future?

Once I get to know the service better, I would most definitely love to contribute to process improvement projects to make the police service sustainable and to deliver excellence in policing. Longer-term ambitions of mine include developing into a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) role which, I believe, fits well with my skills in planning and taking a structured approach to resolving matters. 

What three words sum-up your experience with the University of Liverpool?

Challenging, fun and most of all – valuable!

This interview was originally published as a University of Liverpool alumni profile in April 2015.

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