Sally Hague

Head of Conference & Accommodation

Sally Hague joined Merton College as Accommodation Manager at the beginning of 2009.

Before Merton, Sally’s career was mainly in hotel and hospitality management both in New Zealand, her home country, and in the UK. She has also held positions at the New Zealand Justice Department and in recruitment, where she managed a branch of an organisation which assisted people with disabilities into employment.

Moving between New Zealand and the UK, Sally has had to start again more than once in her working life, which she feels allows you to gain a measure of confidence in your ability to cope with new challenges.

Throughout all of Sally’s roles, though, it is the contact with people and the focus on improving services to them which she has always enjoyed the most, and why she appreciates her job at Merton.

During Sally’s time at Merton, she has overseen the College's considerable expansion of its conference facilities and business, her title changing to Head of Conference & Accommodation in 2017 to reflect her wide range of duties. Quietly working away behind the scenes, she is an asset to Merton in all regards and is well-respected within the College community.

“Sally is a highly valued colleague and senior member of the management team. Her professional expertise and oversight has led to the transformation of the accommodation and conferencing functions. In a role of great breadth and responsibility, Sally is responsible for the allocation, presentation and servicing of every room in College. Outside of term, Sally has led the growth of a high quality conference and event business that encompasses many departments in welcoming international guests to the College. Without doubt, Sally is a great role model and an ambassador for her team and the College.”
Tim Lightfoot, Domestic Bursar

Merton & Me

Thinking of the first day you walked through the Merton Lodge arch, what was your first impression?

I was hoping I was at the right College at the same time as thinking about my upcoming interview and wondering how many other people over the years had passed through the Lodge on the way to their futures. The buildings and the atmosphere made a real impact on me and I loved the sense of history being made, which struck me as people came and went.

Do you have a particular ‘Merton memory’ that stands out?

I think it would be my first Ascension Day service at the top of the Chapel Tower. The climb was exciting in itself, especially coming up through the trapdoor in the roof, and then once you were up there, the views are just spectacular over Oxford and the surrounding areas. Once the Choir started singing you really felt you were in another world.

Tell us something about yourself that we would not know.

I am walking the National Trails. We have completed the Thames Path, started the Coast-to-Coast and are planning The Ridgeway.

What tips would you give your younger self to prepare for the career you’ve achieved?

Study people, learn from your mistakes, take chances and have the confidence to try for jobs or opportunities even if you think you may not be good enough or have the appropriate skills.

Describe Merton in three words.

People, Continuity, History.

Sally Hague & Malgorzata Skalik in Conversation

Sally and Malgorzata Skalik, Merton's Head Steward, who is also being profiled this week, had a chat about their time at Merton. Please do have a look at the wonderful video below.