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I was very lucky to find the Open University, as they allowed me to gain a second undergraduate...

More than an employer

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Brian Richardson
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I have worked at the OU for over 14 years and although it is a great place to work and create this place is more than just a job to me.

The Open University is the reason I was born in Milton Keynes (and subsequently grew up, live and still work here). My Dad Ken Richardson came to work here in 1972 in the early years of the institutions ‘foundation’ years and he went on to spend his entire academic career working here. I have fond memories of, at about the age of two and three, wandering around his office and lab when he had to come in at weekends to check on his research.

You could also say I learned to drive here as well, as to make up for coming in at weekends I was allowed to steer his VW Beetle around the empty weekend car parks of the OU whilst sat on his lap (all of which of course would never be allowed in our health and safety conscious society today!). I’m reminded of this period every time I visit my Dad, as in his study he has a big blown up poster of a six year old me sat at an early computer, that was used in an OU advertising campaign at the time.

 After graduating in Environmental Biology from the University of Greenwich I headed ‘home’ to Milton Keynes to start the process of trying to find paid employment. After a few ‘temp’ job’s in other areas that first summer (1996) after graduating I came to work at the OU on the temporary register and spent almost 18 months in the course reservations office in student services, advising and helping students with their course choices. It was here that I met my future wife Elaine (who works in Social Sciences these days) and we now have two lovely little boys.

 In 1998 I applied for and got a post in the Biological Sciences department (which was always my ultimate goal being a Biology graduate) as a Multimedia Assistant, a year later becoming a Multimedia Producer, a job that is extremely varied and creative and where I still work today.

 So I tend not to think of the OU just as my employer. For me it has been much more than that throughout my entire life, giving me a community, a wife and family and a career and I hold this institution very dear in my heart because of all these things!