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A day in the life: Finance director

Trevor Gabriele is confidently steering Bucks New University through the Covid-19 storm

How long have you been in your job?
Three months.

What is it about your job that gets you out of bed in the morning?
Being part of a newly formed executive team at the university and the regular positive working relationships I enjoy with colleagues. The university has launched its strategy, Impact 2022, and I am enjoying being part of a collegiate approach to delivering it. It’s great to feel part of a team at the university.

What’s the first thing you do when you get into work?
In the new normal home office world, I make a cup of coffee, turn on the laptop in my lounge, and get myself ready for eight hours of meetings on Microsoft Teams.

Who are the two or three people you talk to on a daily basis?
Because of my role this varies on a day-to-day basis but it will usually be my executive colleagues, such as our vice-chancellor, or the people I work with in finance. I also regularly speak to the university’s commercial and estates teams, which I am responsible for.

What’s the best thing about your job?
The good team spirit at Bucks and the feeling that we are all pulling in the same direction. The university has a collegiate feel to it and I am enjoying the supportive relationships developed in a short time with colleagues. I am also pleased to say that Bucks New University has the financial resilience to weather the Covid-19 storm.

“Was there a master plan for my career? Absolutely not”

And the worst?
I have relocated to High Wycombe from Paisley in Scotland for my job so it has been hard not being able to meet my colleagues on campus.

I am looking forward to actually meeting them all face-to-face, at a socially safe distance of course.

Your number one most vital prop/tool/piece of equipment?
My most important piece of equipment right now is my laptop. I don’t know where I would be without it in the current world of working from home.

How did you get into your job?
That’s an interesting question. Was there a master plan for my career? Absolutely not.
But some key critical success factors for me were access to education, hard work and determination. In addition, being able to seize opportunities when they arose.

What is it about your personality that makes you suitable for the role?
I’m suitable for this role because I enjoy problem-solving, I like to base my decision-making on the facts (essential for an accountant) and I’m blessed with common sense.

Which five words sum up your typical day?
Enjoyable, problem-solving, interactive, supportive, quick.

If you weren’t in this role, what would you be?
Hopefully, when I’m not in this role, I’ll be retired and living in the Campsies in Scotland.


Trevor Gabriele is director of finance at Buckinghamshire New University.

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