05 February 2019
5 mins with…Aris Magkoutis
Aris Magkoutis is the Senior Operations Officer (HR & Finance) within our School and joined King's in January 2018 from Birkbeck College, where he was working as HR Officer for 3.5 years and studied his MSc in HR Management. His role is to act as the first point of contact within the School for any staff-related policies (HR) and to provide support with any non-grant related enquiries (i.e. external income, donations, non-pay accounts etc.), to liaise with the core HR and Finance teams and to look after the School’s side of operations owned by these teams.
Briefly, tell me about your background and career up to this point at King’s?
I joined King’s last year from Birkbeck College, where I was employed within the Core HR team as a HR Officer. While working full time, I also completed an MSc in HR management back in 2017. I am a massive history geek; I have worked in the museum sector and have studied Medieval History in the past.
What is a typical day like for you?
There are some challenging days and some less so, but usually my days do vary from one another. I often travel a lot between different campuses to meet colleagues around King's and to be part of something bigger, like the launching of the new HR system, which will be going live this year. Other days I am at my desk making sure the right paperwork has been completed and has been sent out to the right people. I enjoy both aspects of the role for bringing a much-needed variety, which is great.
What would you like members of our School to most know about you?
That’s a difficult one. On a funny note, my commute is better than yours, as it takes me about 15 minutes to come in. On a more serious note, I want staff around the School to know that I am here to support and to make the School run as efficiently as possible and I am not a big fan of paper forms, unless there’s no other alternative.
What is your favourite part about your current role?
Meeting new people; this is what attracted me to HR in the first place. Also simplifying processes. I think at King’s we like complicating processes; it has become part of our brand.
What do you do with your time outside of work?
Enjoying life! I am a big advocate of work-life balance, as we all need a life outside of work. On the weekends you might see me cycling along the Thames, running around Peckham Rye or having a coffee with my friends, especially when the sun is out. In the past few months I’ve also discovered how interested I am in growing plants and learning more about permaculture.
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
Drop law school and apply for an archaeology course. Yes, I have studied and have been qualified as a lawyer in Greece, but I was never really interested in having a legal career.
Who do you look up to?
One of the people I’ve always admired, is a Greek Byzantinist called Helene Ahrweiler. I have always been a big fan because of her challenging and interesting writing; I like that in people and especially historians.
Any leaving remarks that you would like other members of our school to know about you?
My office door is always open for anyone who wants to have a chat and I am looking forward to working with you all in the year ahead!
Favourite Movie: The Hours, The Lord of the Rings, anything Almodóvar.
Favourite Book: Baudolino (from Umberto Eco), anything related to Byzantium and/or history.
Favourite TV Show: Game of Thrones, Friends, various Greek series I can watch for hours.