Meet the new Midlands & East Rep - Natalie Allen
Introducing the new ASRA Midlands & East Representative, Natalie Allen!
Natalie works as Customer Operations Team Leader at The University of Birmingham and joined us to share her thoughts on all things ASRA and student accommodation!
What do you enjoy most about working in student accommodation?
I love the build up to key events like arrivals/departures. With so many departments involved there’s lots of planning and prep that goes into any event. I thrive on finding solutions to the inevitable last minute issues that crop up and supporting the team through difficult periods. I welcome the buzz and the team pulling together to deliver a seamless customer experience. I also think it’s great having students work with us over the summer as they get a back stage pass to all the hard work that goes into prepping for arrivals.
Can you provide details about a specific student accommodation project that you’ve been involved in, that you’re really proud of?
I am leading a project implementing a system called On location. It involves setting up interactive screens around our student accommodation to capture which staff, contractors or visitors are on site or working from home. This is to improve our fire safety procedure and streamline our current processes. I have set up the system, created how to documents and personalised inductions that our contractors will have to do before they enter site.
What does ASRA mean to you?
ASRA is a safe space to share your experiences and learn from others. I attended my first conference this year and can already see the importance and impact ASRA has had. Weather it’s finding like minded people to share best practise to support a decision within your accommodation or finding a new supplier the conference had so many interesting and engaging aspects. I look forward to my future with ASRA.
What is your best ASRA memory?
I came to the event this year and loved hearing other universities talk about their successes and learns. I also really enjoyed the SUMO guy and have his postcard up in my bedroom!
Thoughts on the future
I think the future for accommodation is seeing the use of green energy more to power our buildings. I think there will be a request for better communal areas and higher expectations for services like a on-site Gyms. With rising living costs, accommodation will be under pressure to deliver more for less especially with so much competition in the market. I am very proud of Birmingham as there is lots of emphasis on the importance of affordable accommodation and how we actually deliver it. We believe in making accommodation accessible to all which is fantastic!
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