Katharine Mieras has worked at RGU for over three and half years. She is currently PA/Project Assistant to the Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Care, having joined that team in June 2014, and previously she had been PA to the Head of Nursing and Midwifery. As well as her day job, Katharine is a keen horsewoman, competing regularly in dressage, showjumping and, especially, eventing across Scotland. Unfortunately, her Arab gelding, “Gus” is currently out of action as a result of an injury, but that didn’t prevent her telling us a bit more about her career at RGU and how it allows her to participate in her chosen sport.
“I’ve been riding since I was two,” Katharine told me “and I got a pony when I was 7. My mum used to ride so she encouraged me and now, injuries to the horse permitting, I compete at BE90 (90 cms being the height of the fences) level and we’ve had a bit of success, winning an event and qualifying for a couple of championships. Not many riders use Arab horses for eventing, so I really pleased when I was awarded a bursary from the Arab Horse Society to help me – and help promote the breed.”
If you’re a keen horseman or woman from outside the North-East of Scotland and contemplating a career with RGU, then Katharine can reassure you that your sport is very well catered for in this part of the country. She tells us “There are three big centres around Aberdeen, Tillyoch at Milltimber, Fountain Equestrian at Dyce and Cabin Equestrian at Inverurie, as well as a number of smaller ones. Reportedly, there are more horses per head of population in the North-East than in any place outside Newmarket! In addition, there seems to be quite a lot of people who work at RGU who I meet at horse competitions so you’ll not be short of people to chat to about horses and horse-related things.”
Owning – and looking after – a horse is time consuming, so I asked Katharine how she manages to juggle work commitments with riding.
“I find the working environment here very accommodating,” she said, “and my horse is fairly near to the university campus at Garthdee which makes things easier. Flexible working also helps and of course there is my annual leave, when I can spend a lot of time with him.
“As PA to a Dean of Faculty I’m busy; there is a lot of organisation, meetings to attend, minutes to take and general ad hoc admin work. I’m also Project Assistant to the RGU fit for the future initiative (which we’ve written about in a previous blog here). This involves, amongst other things, monitoring how the staff are managing their fitness levels, trying to come up with initiatives to keep people fit and challenges to try to help everyone to think about their physical and mental wellbeing and (especially!) to get them away from desks at lunchtime. We try to hold an event each year to showcase what we do. The uni is keen that people work hard but are rewarded with free time and it’s this that underpins the fit for the future initiative. It’s very worthwhile and I’m really pleased to be involved. And of course I can also claim – quite honestly and correctly – that all the work and time spent with my horse helps immensely in this respect!”
Katharine Mieras was interviewed by Julie Skinner, Resourcing & Benefit Specialist at RGU. Link in with me at: Julie Skinner