One of the School of Population and Public Health’s greatest assets is the people that support important research and facilitate the education of health leaders. In this new series, we will be featuring some of our incredible staff so you can get to know them better and learn about their impressive backgrounds.
Michaela Butler, SPPH’s Executive Assistant to the Director, Admin & Ops, has a background in science and is very interested in the public health sector. It has been a challenging but rewarding year for Michaela, we talked to her about her interests, hobbies and her experience since recently becoming an SPPH staff member.
What attracted you to work for SPPH?
I was working for a private company when I came across a job ad for an Admin Assistant with SPPH. I wasn’t necessarily looking for a career change, but working in the public health community really intrigued me. I have a background education in Biology and Microbiology that was not being used in that job, so I thought making the switch to SPPH would be a good fit as it would enable me to be around like-minded people. While we were still on site, it was one of my favourite things to be able to stop in the hallways and have small chats with different faculty members.
How would you describe your role? What is your favourite part? What is the most challenging part or something new you have had to learn?
I think that the best way to describe my role is support; I provide administrative support to the Senior Leadership Team, as well as to our HR Manager and HR Coordinator. In addition to administrative support, I lead the appointment and reappointment process for honorary faculty and coordinate different projects within SPPH. I’ve recently been undergoing lots of training for the Workday go-live in November as I will be the Subject Matter Expert for HR related matters within SPPH.
The most challenging part for me thus far has been learning about the University from a staff member’s perspective. Switching from my last job to UBC was a big change. I had to learn about different types of faculty positions, HR and finance processes, new software, and not to mention learning all of the acronyms! It has definitely been a year filled with learning, but I love the challenge and am very thankful for all my colleagues that have been supportive in my learning.
Who or what inspires you?
Community inspires me. Seeing how our community how our SPPH community is working together to educate and fight against Covid-19. It makes me proud to be a part of this community!
What’s one thing on your bucket list?
I would love to be able to travel more. Traveling through Europe has been high on my bucket list for many years!
What do you like to do for fun?
I’m happiest exploring the outdoors. I can usually be found exploring our local mountains with my dog in my free time.
Do you have any advice for incoming students?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Try your best to come up with the answer on your own, but if you’re stuck, there is no shame is asking for a little help.
What has been your favourite project at SPPH?
I’m really excited about IRP and the launch of Workday on November 2nd. I’ve enjoyed learning how the new program works and am excited to share that knowledge with the rest of the SPPH Community.