Halfway down the term, an important checkpoint

“Five hundred fifty five thousand six hundred minutes, How do you measure, measure a year?” – Rent the musical

“We’re halfway done! After only six more months, your gig here is up!” My supervisor had brought this up many times this month, both in subtle ways and a very explicit way when we had our meeting to plan for the next six months. Whenever she does, I give her a face of both amazement and mock horror with eyebrows raised, eyes wide and my mouth forming an O, and we laugh it off for a minute. I can’t believe that I have been in this placement for six months! It’s incredible. I feel like it’s a lot of time yet so little as well. I can’t help but wonder, if this is how it feels with a year-long work term with the Students’ Union, how much faster would it feel for the other placements that are just eight or even four months long?

My fall school break was unfortunately cut short because I had to come to work here on Thursday. Bummer! But that’s ok since I did manage to get caught up on work. I was greeted by a playlist of Rent, the Musical and it did cheer met up a little. Our office is the only one open in our section and I have to admit, it was actually a little creepy looking down the hallway, where the lights don’t even work. I know it’s past Halloween, but I can’t help but remember Amanda’s recent stories on how SUB (and other buildings on campus) is haunted in one way or another.

“Five hundred fifty five thousand six hundred minutes, How do you measure a year in the life?” – Rent the musical

How indeed? I think I prefer using the word “evaluate” rather than “measure” and I believe that having a longer time than most in a work placement is a good opportunity to have really meticulous self-evaluations and watch progress that gradually come out. Below are some of the things that came out of this mid-year evaluation for myself as a young professional, taken from both formal evaluation means and some self-reflection:

  • I need to work a bit on assertiveness, particularly on the follow-up that I need to receive before I can continue a project. It might be a bit challenging to find a balance between being accommodating and assertive, but it will definitely be very important especially in working at the entry level which will definitely happen at the start of my career. Well, I do want my boss to look into my projects and concerns at a timely manner.
  • It turns out that I am a team player, even with the small team that we actually have. I’m interested to see in the future how I would be able to deal with a team with more people and more dynamics.
  • In my position, both my supervisor and I discovered that I’m interested more with outreach projects than research. Something for me to keep in mind in my actual career search when I read job responsibilities.

If I were to add something in my job responsibilities right now, I wanted to add “to make a difference by encouraging the students we serve to be more actively involved so that they can make a powerful difference within their capacity” or something to that extent. It’s what I have observed as the overarching theme of everything I do from organizing the meetings for these student reps to get together, to making resources for them to gain important skills, to planning for recruitment and outreach. Will I be able to actually add this or maybe just tell it to the new person it I have the chance to train him or her? We’ll just have to see I guess.

Hopefully you take time in your placements to ask how much you have improved as a young professional and become able and ready before even graduating.

I’m off to hand in my work term report. Make sure you pass it before the deadline too.


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