If there is one thing that I have observed about here, it is that CHANGE is a big mantra here. It is quite timely that I am working here while renovations are going on. As a result, my workstation is like a progressive transformation- pieces are added and then taken out before I even got used to it.
This week, I attended the first Department Meeting that I was able to join in. Also in that meeting, our department manager, who is my co-op supervisor, announced a few significant changes in the organization in the form of building acquisitions. Since our department deals with managing these building to make sure they work well, it is kind of a big deal for us.
I discovered another thing that really fascinated me. I think that’s the beauty of not for profit organizations. Longevity of employees is prided at by GEF. During that meeting we just acknowledged a co-worker who turned 65 and another one who worked with GEF for 20 years. Age and time passing by is something I constantly observe here. Well, that’s beside the fact I always see the announcement of a resident reaching any 60 plus age.
Also, now that almost the entire department knows that I blog about this placement, they tease me about it whenever they get the chance.
Since I’m a student intern, obviously I’m the youngest one in the group. It is such a huge contrast to my co-workers at the SU that’s for sure. GEF prides itself on solid employment although wages may sometimes be an issue for trade groups. My boyfriend is an industrial electrician and I know that for his peers, the wages offered here may be a bit of a concern. However, there is always more than the wages that encourages an employee to stay. I have seen it here in many occasions and I’ve been participating in projects to further improve employee retention.
Early Wednesday morning I attended a K-Day Pancake Breakfast at the Meadowlark Lodge, one of the locations of GEF. It’s been a long time since I have actually been in a site for an occasion since my volunteer stint was about two years ago. It was really cool how this site in particular makes a special invite for our department, Facility Management, to show appreciation of all their efforts to make the sites clean safe and functional. Doug introduces all of us in a storyline manner, saving me for last and indicated how he is working on getting to keep me as a permanent employee. I found that both flattering and inspiring. There was live entertainment, the seniors seem happy and the staff very enthusiastic at every turn.
After the breakfast was the Co-op site visit. Melanie came here to meet with both Phuong and me. I really enjoyed the visit, because it gave me another opportunity to reflect and share my experience here overall. My supervisor toured her around the building under renovation which I think transforms every few days. Melanie provided me with some pointers on my job search after graduation since this is my final placement. It will be a bit unique since I will be graduating in December, will be travelling for a while and won’t be back to Canada to start a new career path until July of next year. Companies seem to be more flexible in terms of other means to secure a job interview with Skype and other technology for communication more easily accessible. I have expressed some of my concerns with the job search, feeling that I’m still all over the place. She encouraged me by saying “there is something there for everyone” and I should never hesitate to ask for support anytime after graduation.
Later in the afternoon, while unfortunately my supervisor was unable to make it, I finally had my first meeting to review a policy that has been edited a second time. In my ideal world, I would have done this for many more of the other policies a long time ago. There goes my struggle about waiting again. But I only have five weeks left! The meeting attendees were very helpful though in reviewing these policies and making sure that they are complete and ready for the next review. This morning I also held another meeting related to my side project. I’m just as excited about how the side project is going to turn out.
The countdown sure is going. How do you feel about the scope of things now that there is only a month and a bit left before fall semester starts again?