Meet the MCRC: Caroline Stone
Meet the MCRC Strategic Operations Team. We sat down with Caroline Stone, Executive Assistant to the MCRC Director to find out more about her and her role at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre.
Can you tell us about your role and what you do at the MCRC?
My primary role is to provide professional executive administrative support to the MCRC Director, Prof. Rob Bristow. I also provide support to the Director of Strategic Initiatives Prof. Nic Jones and Director of Research Operations and Strategy, Dr Claire Trinder.
Working with the MCRC Operations Team, I also strive to ensure maximum office efficiency wherever possible and to provide support for projects on an ad hoc basis.
What is your day-to-day work like?
Working across all three partnerships, my work day is very varied. My work is predominantly diary management driven and I ensure that time is utilised in the best ways possible. It is necessary for me to be proactive as well as reactive in adapting to last minute changes. My role certainly keeps me on my toes!
What is the biggest challenge in your role?
Because I am still relatively new both to the university and the world of science, (neither of which are my background), I can find the science aspect of my role a challenge. I am from a business background so understanding about how grants work and how they all piece together is something that I am continually learning.
In general, the role is extremely busy and trying to achieve everything in a timely manner can often be the greatest challenge.
What do you miss from office life?
As I started this role in late 2019 and due to the various lockdowns over the past year, I haven’t had much office time. However, I do miss social interactions, the fluidity of the office, the ease in communication and office chat. Being in the office and being able to just walk down the corridor and bob into an office to ask a question is so much easier and more efficient than sending an email. So, I miss that ease as well as the set office hours. Saying that, I don’t miss the commute which some days could take an hour each way for what is relatively a short distance!
How does it feel being part of a cancer research organisation?
Rewarding is how I would sum it up. I’m not a scientist and I am permanently in awe of what the researchers do but the way I see it is that my little pieces of input into helping organise Rob’s life around his diary is my contribution into cancer research.
What do you do outside of work to keep you busy?
Kids. I have two children who drive me to distraction and have a better social life than me. It’s permanently mum’s taxi and everything around them whether it be going to football or cheerleading. I don’t get an awful lot of time to myself but once lockdown is lifted, I will be endeavouring to improve that and getting back out with the girls. I would also like to get back into crafting and card-making now the kids are getting older and I have a bit more time.