Connected Conversations | Francess Cricelli
After starting her career in customer service, Francess Cricelli just couldn’t step away from helping others. Now a Program Advisor in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, you might recognise her familiar face manning the desks in the Student Centre in Helen Mayo building. When she’s not helping students with timetabling, enrolments, and program advice, Francess is busy getting lost in the world of virtual tours of New York City.
Please tell us your name and a little bit about yourself.
Hi, I am Francess Cricelli. I work in the Student Learning Services Office in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences as a Program Advisor. I have a Master in Marketing Management and have worked at the University of Adelaide for 11 years now.
I began my career in the head office of AMP Insurance, dealing with life insurance, superannuation, and large investment portfolios. I worked in customer service roles across the various departments, including managing major projects for the implementation of new systems and promotion of new products and services. I then moved on to work at JBI (formerly the Joanna Briggs Institute), a research centre in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Adelaide.
At JBI, I worked as a Membership Officer and was responsible for organising subscriptions to evidence-based best practice research and innovative resources for universities, hospitals, and health care settings around the world. I left the University for three years to take on a management opportunity at Riding for the Disabled, a not-for-profit, philanthropic organisation that enriches lives for children and adults living with disabilities. In this role, I managed the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) across 13 centres in South Australia.
I later returned to the University of Adelaide to work within the Student Learning Services in the Faculty of Arts and recently moved to my current role in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.
Tell us a bit about your time at the University.
I’ve had amazing opportunities to work with a very large international stakeholder base of health professionals while I was with JBI. I was fortunate enough to be part of a research centre that collaborates with many people from international universities and health care organisations, who are passionate for evidence-based health care and achieving better health care outcomes.
It has also been an such a wonderful opportunity over the last four years to work in the Student Learning Services within both the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and the Faculty of Arts. I get to work with amazing individuals, both professional and academic staff, and also interact with a wide range of students from diverse backgrounds. I enjoy preparing study plans, helping students understand their program rules, informing them of University policies and processes, and making sure they are aware of University support services that will assist them throughout their studies. It is great to work with students from when they commence their university experience, and then see their journey through to graduation, where they finish with a professional set of skills.
What do you love most about working at the University of Adelaide?
There are so many reasons why I love my job! I work with an energetic, engaged, and supportive team. We work hard every day to create a great student experience for our students, and we always take the opportunity to celebrate our wins and achievements. I also love that I can meet so many interesting students who all have different stories and aspirations. It’s fulfilling to have a job where you can encourage people to achieve their goals and connect with individuals who appreciate the care.
Where’s your favourite spot on campus?
I love going to the UniBar to catch up with colleagues! The food is good and there is such a great, energetic university campus vibe.
Have you ever had a life-changing experience?
I have worked with such brilliant people at the University that my life has been changed every day since being here. There is so much you can learn from others, especially in an environment where people are passionate for knowledge. I like to listen to different perspectives, ask lots of questions, and enjoy the ever-learning journey.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
Well, the only secret I would want to reveal is that I’ve recently discovered virtual guided walking tours through places around the world on YouTube and now I’m hooked. You can explore the whole world; however, I just can’t seem to get out of New York! There is so much to see and do, such as walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, visiting Chinatown, Times Square, Greenwich Village, Soho, exploring Broadway, Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and the list goes on… It’s an interesting way to see the world without having to travel! My favourite virtual tour guides are ActionKid and tomdnyc.
What are your top café/restaurant recommendations around Adelaide?
I’ve recently discovered Kafi:n on Rundle Street after passing by and taking in the beautiful coffee aroma that lingers out into the street. It’s a great place for brunch, the specials menu keeps changing, and there is always something interesting to try. You can’t walk away from the delicious pastries and desserts that go so well with the locally-roasted South Australian coffee. Some of my must-trys are the Sarawakian Crab Laksa, Shrimp Croissant, Pulled Pork Baguette, and the French Toast with crushed roasted hazelnut, seasonal fruits, maple syrup, and a scoop of peanut butter gelato! They also recently opened a cocktail bar in the upstairs area, and it’s perfect for socialising with friends or just relaxing on a comfy sofa with a cocktail or a warm coffee, enjoying the ambience of the fireplace.
What kind of difference would you like to make in the world?
I’d like to continue being myself, as there is no one like me. I will be kind to others, because we live in an imperfect world.