28 Nov 2011

Now that the Regional Studies Association's Winter Conference is out of the way we thought it would be a good idea to tell everyone a little more about another member of the RSA staff team. Following the post about Auréliane, up next is Elizabeth Mitchell, our Conference and Membership Officer, who graciously responded to the RSA blog squad's probing questions. At this point, we should tell you that Elizabeth's employment at the RSA has coincided with our highest ever membership figure. Coincidence? We think not (though we're sure it's a team effort!).

What is your role at the RSA?
My role in the RSA is concerned with the project management of conferences, and the membership base.  I also have a PA role to Sally (our Chief Executive) when needed, and much else besides! I am certainly never bored at the RSA!

How long have you worked for the RSA?
15 months.

Where do you come from?
I have lived in East Sussex the majority of my life, between my home town of Hailsham, Brighton and Eastbourne, where I currently live. I have lived in London, but could not bear being away from the sea and wide open spaces of the Sussex Downs. 

What did you do before you worked for the RSA?
I worked as a Catering Manager for firstly Compass Group UK & Ireland, and then Brighton University.

What is the best thing about your job at the RSA?
The variety of my work often means that no two days are ever the same.  I can genuinely say that I vastly enjoy coming to work, and the team I work with are great – very hard working and always willing to share information and help where necessary.

What is the most challenging part of your job?
Managing the different projects currently in progress, and keeping up with developments and growth within the Association.

Tell us something about you that we don't know...
Well, nothing really out of the ordinary for me, but my husband’s Great Great (I think) Grandfather was the founder of the Salvation Army!

What do you do for fun when you're not working?
I try and go to the gym at least 2 times a week, I read a great deal – I particularly enjoy historical fact and fiction, I play poker on line and with friends, and spend time with my family and friends – often down the pub! [N.B. The RSA blog squad have since learned that Elizabeth is an expert Scrabble player!]

Is there such a thing as a 'typical' day in your job?
My day varies a great deal, depending on which event I am working on, whether I am concentrating on membership, or completing a task for Sally, the variety of my work load ensures that there never really is a ‘typical’ day.

If you could have an RSA conference anywhere, where would it be?
Australia, as I have never been there!

If you could invite up to four famous individuals (from the past or present, e.g. Elvis, Marx, Gandhi) to a dinner party, who would you choose (you'd have to make them join the RSA first of course)?
Anya Seyton (one of my favourite authors), Kurt Cobain & Shannon Hoon (two of my favourite singers, and most talented song writers ever) and just to keep the party ‘alive’, my best friend to help share the wine!

Finally, since the RSA is an international organisation, would you mind telling us which languages you speak?
English only I am afraid.  I used to speak perfect German (my only A grade at G.C.S.E) when at school, but unfortunately never carried it on after I left. I have always wanted to learn Spanish, so maybe one day I will!

That's all from Elizabeth today. Be sure to say hello (or Guten Tag / ¿qué tal?) next time you see Elizabeth at an RSA event. There will be more from the RSA staff team in future...