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Talis are recruiting, hear from Laura Unwin on her experience of moving to Talis

Laura Unwin

If somebody had told me 4 years ago I would be waking up every day to do a job that I love and am passionate about I’m not sure I would have fully believed you. I have always worked in the library world, starting in a law library in London, then at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) before moving to an academic library setting.

All of my roles to this point had taught me skills that have evolved and progressed, I have had exposure to cataloguing, loose-leafing, acquisitions of (e)books, (e)journal, enquiries, training and many other library skills.

Of everything I did in my roles, what I enjoyed the most was working with students, ensuring that as a library we were providing them with the resources that they needed to complete their study. While at the university library, we purchased Talis Aspire and I worked with the team to implement and begin the training of academic staff.

A short time later as a university we attended a Talis Aspire User Group meeting and met some of the Talis team for the first time. I was struck at that point how friendly and approachable everybody was, they took the time to get to know me, not just as a customer but as an individual, and you could see that clearly from longer established customers that were present.

I attended the webinars that Talis ran, I contributed feedback on new improvements to Talis Aspire, and we as a university agreed to host the Talis Aspire User Group 2013. It was while this was in planning that Talis advertised the role for a new Support Consultant and, to begin with, I had the normal fears around change: “would I lose my librarian skills, moving from a massive organisation to a very small one in terms of numbers of staff?”; “did I want to commute?”, and lots of other questions. But the whole time I kept coming back to the fact that I liked the ethos of Talis, I liked their relationship with their customers and the relationships that were evident among Talis staff. There was no falseness about any of what I saw.

The recruitment process at Talis is thorough, we want to ensure that — not only do we have the right people employed — but that we are the right place for them. The process followed four steps:

  1. Phone interview with Alison Spencer. This was an opportunity for Alison as Head of Services to understand more about me and what my interests were.  Alison took me through what the role would involve and I was able to ask questions and share my thoughts.
  2. I then prepared a presentation related to an area of Talis Aspire that I felt could be improved and how I would go about doing that. That presentation was delivered in front of 2 members of the Services Team, Head of Sales and the Chief Finance Officer.
  3. The presentation was followed by a more formal interview, and again it wasn’t just about them asking me questions but also an opportunity for me to to get the information I needed to make my decision.
  4. I then spent a morning in the office with the Services Team. I got to see the setup of Talis, to meet some more people and to see what a ‘normal’ day looked like.

Four years later I am now doing a role that I love and Talis have taken the time to give me the confidence to grow and develop as a person, as well as an employee.

Working for Talis means no two days are the same, I may start with my to-do list for the day, and a perfect plan in my head and by 9:30 that may have all changed, but that’s what I love about the role. I have not lost any of my library skills and still consider myself a librarian.

I love talking to universities, training and seeing them engage and use Talis Aspire to the benefit of the students. Although based in the UK we are not just the UK Services Team. We support all our universities globally and it’s great being able to visit universities around the UK and abroad. I even enjoy my early morning calls to our universities in Australia and New Zealand and hearing the challenges they face and how warm it is!

Talis has given me the confidence to have a voice, to be able to input and share my thoughts and experience and see those come to fruition. We have an internal saying that, as when you visit Narnia you become a ‘Narnian’, when you join Talis you become a ‘Talisan’, and I know I wouldn’t be anywhere else.

So if you are interested in working for a great company, you don’t mind that each day is different and you are looking for new challenges then please do consider joining us a Support Consultant. For more details click here.

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