02 September, 2009

Festival Staff profile - Kirsten Stewart

We spoke to our HR and Payroll Manager, Kirsten Stewart, about her job and her Festival highlights.

How did you come to work for the Edinburgh International Festival? I studied Geography at St Andrews University and then took a year off travelling in the southern hemisphere before studying Human Resource Management at Napier University. I worked in a busy HR department in a NHS Health Board for 5 years before looking for a change and I certainly found that at the Festival.

What does your position involve? I process all wages and salaries for employees of the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Centre. I also provide HR advice to managers and staff, revise and write policies and manage recruitment and selection of staff.

What is the best part of your job? The best part of my job is the variety of my role. I can never expect what each new day will bring!

What is the most challenging part of your job? Ensuring that all the temporary staff for the festival period are recruited, inducted and paid! This can mean dealing with an extra 100 people starting pretty much at the same time.

What has been your most memorable Festival experience so far? There have been a few but I really loved Matthew Bourne's Picture of Dorian Gray. I had read the original play and was not a big fan of modern dance but this totally converted me.

Which event have you most enjoyed at Festival 09 and why? I loved Faust. It was spectacular and I had never seen anything like it.

What are your words of advice to those still at Festival 09? Have fun, keep calm and smile.

Describe the Edinburgh International Festival in three words? Inspiring, spectacular and engaging.

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