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Zoe Ferguson

7.00 AM

My alarm goes off I take about 45 minutes to get ready and arrive at the train station ten minutes later to see that my train’s been cancelled. When I finally arrive in the city, I transfer to a tram heading north to Parkville campus, relieved that my commute is nearly over.

Zoe Ferguson 1

8.50 AM

The office is fairly quiet on a Monday – the University offers flexible working conditions so a lot of the people on my floor work Tuesday through Thursday. As soon as I arrive, I check my voicemail and start up my computer. While I wait for everything to load, I head to the kitchen to make a cup of Milo and grab a banana from our team fruit bowl (these are highly sought after!)

Zoe Ferguson 2

Back at my desk, I check my email and see that we’ve got 30 new student registrations for the orientation program I’m managing. The registrants come from all over the world -Taiwan, France, the USA… I review each registration and add it to our master spreadsheet, noting that some of our registrants have severe allergies. I make a note to contact Disability Services to discuss the best way to accommodate this.

10.00 AM

I finish processing the registrations and start going through the emails that have built up in our shared inbox over the weekend. An urgent one comes from an education provider in the USA who has experienced an issue with our orientation payment system. I reply immediately to reassure them that we’ll rectify the situation as soon as possible and set to work issuing the necessary refunds. After completing the paperwork and getting managerial approval, I send the paperwork to our Finance team for fulfilment. Soon after, I’m relieved to receive a reply from our Finance team indicating that the process is complete. Talk about turnaround time! I’m sure our partners across the Pacific are pleased.

10.45 AM

I’ve got about 15 minutes for coffee before my casual staff member arrives for the day, so I duck out to one of the coffee stands on campus. Our morning coffee trip is a great bonding activity for the team, and I feel more awake as I head back to the office to meet with my staff member. We need to discuss the budget for the orientation event. Everything is balancing fine at the moment, but we start drawing up an alternative ‘leaner’ version just in case. I run this past our Director, who approves it immediately.

Zoe Ferguson 3

12.00 PM

Time for lunch. Parkville campus is close to a vast range of lunch options, including the famous Lygon Street. Today I head to my ‘go to’ lunch place on Lygon and take my food back to the campus Community Garden where I can sit in the shade. Not many people know about the Garden, so it’s a great spot to escape for a few minutes and recharge ready for the afternoon.

Zoe Ferguson 4

12.45 PM

I’m back at my desk, ready to focus on risk management for the orientation event. The University has precise policies and requirements, and it’s vital that these are adhered to. We’ve arranged surfing lessons on the Great Ocean Road for our orientation students, but our provider needs to amend the schedule, leaving our participants with hours of free time on the beach. I contact Life Saving Victoria to see if the beach will be patrolled, but unfortunately they let us know it won’t be. This poses an interesting challenge – the beach we’ll be going to is listed as ‘Moderately Risky’. I consult my manager who calls a meeting with our Directors. We don’t have an official policy on what to do in this situation, but we all agree that the risk is unacceptable. My colleague suggests we relocate the students to a nearby nature reserve instead when the surfing lessons aren’t in progress. It’s workable, but we’ll need to run it by the local Council to make sure the reserve is available. I put this on my list for tomorrow, as my next meeting for the day is calling…

2.45 PM

Next, it’s day one of my HR training. Although my background is in health, I’ve always been interested in this area, so I’m thrilled to be getting trained. A lot of our time today is taken up trying to arrange the correct system access for me.  The University is large complex, so in the end, we call IT who have it resolved within 30 minutes. My colleague steps me through the process of placing a job advertisement, and I’m able to place my first job advert today. I’ll get to follow the process and hopefully make an appointment by the end of the week, so I’m keen to see what happens next.

4.15 PM

Time for my final meeting of the day - a discussion with my manager to get some tips about supervising my employees. My manager reassures me I’m doing an excellent job so far and gives me a template to share with my staff members that will help them track their progress through their workload. I’m reminded that while supervising staff isn’t always comfortable, it’s all part of the learning experience, and will be beneficial for my future development.

Zoe Ferguson 5

5.00 PM

With the rest of my office, I’m down the stairs and onto a tram back through the city within a few minutes. My commute begins anew, and I vow to use the time to practice for my upcoming gymnastics judging exam. I volunteer as a gymnastics judge in my free time, and I’ve been offered a scholarship to complete studies at the advanced level. I set to work trying to decipher the hundreds of shorthand symbols I’m meant to learn. They still look like ancient hieroglyphics to me, but I’m understanding a little more each day.

6.00 PM

I get off the tram a few stops later than usual because tonight, I’m off to the pool. There’s about an hour before sunset which is plenty of time for a swim. I find it’s a great way to destress and make sure I don’t get too stiff from sitting at my desk all day.

7.30 PM

Once I’m home, I’ve got just enough time to make dinner before my Facetime catchup with my best friend in South Korea. We were roommates and coworkers at Walt Disney World last year, and it’s a refreshing change of pace to just talk about our lives instead of KPIs and careers. We start planning for me to visit Korea and for both of us to go to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. I’ll have to check my annual leave, but it’s liberating to know my job gives me the financial resources to make it happen. 

11.30 PM

I’m ready for bed. I double check everything’s in my handbag and lay out my outfit for the next day. Tomorrow it all begins again.