A Day in the Life of ... Michael Burgess

Michael Burgess, Chief Student Experience Officer
Michael Burgess is the Chief Student Experience Officer (CSEO) within the People and Advancement portfolio and has been with the University for six months. While Michael's office is at Kingswood campus, his role sees him spending time at all of the University's campuses.

Spend a Day in the Life of Michael by reading his profile below…


Before Work

What do you have for breakfast and is there anything you do before you come to work?
Usually muesli with fresh fruit.  Sometimes a (very) early run or at least throw a ball for my Border Collie.

What do you usually do when you first arrive to your office?
Prioritise the day ahead. With many spinning plates it's important to ensure none of them fall!

At Work

Who do you work with?
I head the Student Experience Office (SEO) which has six divisions: Student Admissions and Enrolments, Student Progression, Student Systems and Records, Participation and Success, Campus Safety and Security and the CSEO office.  I also work across the University with all the Schools and professional divisions, given the broad and diverse nature of the role.

What are the two or three things you are currently working on?
There is some very important and valuable work underway between the SEO and marketing teams, developing a deep understanding of our student behaviour with a particular focus on the enrolment process. We are redesigning our approach to engaging and assisting prospective students through what us marketers refer to as the 'conversion funnel'. This includes introducing a more consistent and valued engagement with our service staff (online, call centre and through Student Central) and will lead to more, better prepared and settled new enrolees. 

Another big project now well underway is the implementation of the Adobe Marketing Cloud, an extremely powerful suite of technology solutions that will deliver the future digital experience for our students.  The first stage will deliver a better informed and simplified enrolment and on-boarding experience for future students and will be launched in December.  Future phases will provide a better digital experience for prospective students in the market who are thinking of which university to attend, as well as delivering a more personalised and engaging digital experience for our current students.  This platform is an exciting and critical enabler for transforming what it means to be a Western Sydney University student.

A third major project is the new Student Management System which is now gathering steam.  This will be a very large, complex and incredibly important project which will provide a solid foundation for the future.

In addition to these initiatives there is a lot of work underway to better understand our students, their needs and how we can provide better services that make their Western Sydney University experience even better than it already is.

What regular meetings do you attend?
Many. From fortnightly Executive Committee meetings, monthly one-on-ones and team meetings with my direct reports, a multitude of regular and ad hoc meetings relating to the Adobe and other projects, as well as individual catch-ups with Schools and other divisions.  Importantly, I also meet with the Student Representative Council (SRC) on a monthly basis and the SRC President prior to these. When time permits I also try to engage students to get their perspectives and feedback – something we should all do. 

What is something that can make a positive difference to your day?
Working with great people who are positively helping change what we offer our students.

After Work

What might we find you doing outside of work?
We are fortunate to own a farm at Dungog in the upper Hunter that we migrate to every weekend. And for the fun of it we breed miniature donkeys, and have some cattle and chooks. The locals think we're mad!