- Programme studied: MSc International Employment Relations and Personnel Management
- Year of Graduation: 2003
Miranda Grell is our Alum of the Month for December. She completed her MSc in International Employment Relations and Personnel Management in 2003. Miranda is a barrister who currently works for two London Law Centres.
What’s your current job?
I work as the Business Development Manager (BDM) and a Tribunal Advocate at Hackney Community Law Centre and Haringey Law. Law Centres are charities that provide free and independent legal advice and representation to people on low or no income.
In my BDM role, I am responsible for ensuring that the ‘business’ side of the charities run smoothly and efficiently. I fundraise, develop new projects, oversee marketing, act as secretary to the Board of Directors and I am the first point of contact for our local Members of Parliament and local councillors.
In my ‘tribunal advocate’ role, I represent clients in the social security tribunal. My role there is to advocate for predominantly disabled clients who have had their applications for a disability benefit refused. I was awarded the Law Centres Network Reita Clarke Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2014.
Where have you worked previously?
Before my Master’s at the LSE, I worked in Brussels at the European Commission as a trainee speechwriter to Anna Diamantopoulou, then the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. Watching the EU fonctionaires and parliamentarians in the European Parliament discuss new EU legislation on temporary agency workers and rights for part-time and fixed-term workers, cemented my decision to undertake the Employment Relations MSc at LSE.
After my Master’s, I became a Senior Policy Advisor at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas). I advised the Acas Chair, and Chief Executive on employment relations and employment strategy. I also briefed Government Ministers and civil servants in Whitehall on employment relations issues.
Following Acas, I worked at London City Hall for Nicky Gavron AM, current Member of the London Assembly, then the Deputy Mayor of London, as her political advisor.
How has studying at the Department of Management allowed you to make an impact?
In a big way. Acas is a national institution that advises thousands of people and organisations – a recent example was the junior doctors’ industrial dispute where the Government over proposed changes to their working hours. At Acas, I was advising at a senior level on these kinds of issues that affect the whole nation. On a more micro level, I now help to run two charities and the employment relations and personnel knowledge I gained on the course has been invaluable in giving me the confidence to do that job to the best of my ability.
On a practical level, the excellent academic training I received on the course greatly assisted me in writing academically rigorous and credible papers on this very complex area of policy. I believe that I am a better Business Development Manager for having received a thorough grounding in workplace relations and personnel management on the LSE course.
What's the best piece of career advice you've received?
The first is to treat all your colleagues equally - it’s not title or status that makes a colleague important. At the law centres, I would say that the most important members of the team are our receptionists and administrators who make our whole operation run smoothly.
The second good piece of advice I have received is that it’s the quality of one’s work that counts, not how long or how often you are in the office. My old boss at Acas would say that he didn’t care where or when I did a piece of work as long as the end result was good.