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Profile: Eleanor Chownsmith, Partnerships Administrator

Profile: Eleanor Chownsmith, Partnerships Administrator

The Press Office was fortunate to catch up virtually with Miss Chownsmith, Eton’s Partnership Administrator, to hear more about her role in Eton’s new social vision. With partnerships and access at its heart, Miss Chownsmith has been engaging with students and teachers across the country to make this possible, especially in this time of lockdown and virtual learning.

Can you tell us about your work at Eton, and how long you have worked here?

I joined Eton as the Partnerships Administrator in September 2019. In my role, I manage the day to day running of the Partnerships Office, from organising meetings and events to managing expenses and partnership communications. We have a growing team dedicated to Eton’s partnerships, so it is my job to be a link person for both our internal staff and external partners. 

What is it about your job that you love most?

As Eton’s Partnerships Administrator, I most enjoy organising our events and meeting all our guests. Hosting visits from students of all ages, teachers, parents and professionals means I get to see Eton with new eyes each week and learn more about how we can continue to develop our networks. A highlight has been our Mock Oxbridge event for state school students last year. Oxbridge offers were made to 40% of the students who attended. 

What are some of your hobbies outside of work?

Outside of work, I co-run a digital art platform called Compiler. We create artwork and events investigating digital culture and I am usually in the middle of a funding application or planning an event. Besides that, I will most likely be found walking or cycling and listening to very long audiobooks. 

How has COVID-19 affected your job? Has anything changed?

As the Partnerships office can no longer welcome people on-site, we are focusing on providing support digitally. I am sending a lot more emails but I am proud that we have reached many new contacts across the country with our partnership initiatives during this time. In particular, the launch of the new social vision Eton2020, the collaborative Schools Together publication The Missing Two Thousand  and the free self-study courses for state school students from the EtonX Future Skills Programme. For the latter, we have had nearly 1,000 schools sign up for these online courses which range from Resilience to Research Skills. This is important as we are now building relationships with schools that have geographically been unable to attend Eton Partnerships events in the past. 

What are you currently working on?

During the current lockdown, I have been sending communications all over the country regarding Eton’s partnership projects and arranging many Zoom meetings for Mr Arbuthnott (Deputy Head, Partnerships). Working alongside Mrs Gosnell (Head of Access), I have been coordinating online support for the Orwell Award students joining in September 2020 and working with the Admissions Team to guide state schools students and their parents accessing EtonX. During this term, I am also working closely with the Community Engagement team, creating weekly videos highlighting Etonians continued care and creativity within their ECCE projects. I have been inspired by their efforts!

Working across departments has allowed me to see how both staff and students at Eton are committed to the social vision of the College, which I am proud to be a part of. 

Interview conducted by Phelps Tin AMM

DATE POSTED: 08 June 2020
2020Parents & Pupils

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