This year I’ve been working in tutoring, international affairs and development cooperation. These are quite distinguished from one another, so I’ve done event organizing, position papers on educational politics, recruitment, association cooperation and all kinds of shenanigans on the side. Cooperation with university administration has been a big part of my job as well.
The following could be described as a somewhat average work day: a meeting with the board, emailing to ensure things are in order and agreeing on new meetings, writing all kinds of documents, contacting my committee and association organizers (often through facebook), brainstorming with the office specialists, and of course keeping up the spirits in the office and chatting about more irrelevant matters as well.
This year in the board has been the most challenging in my years of working and studying, and I’d say the most important lesson has been accepting that I can’t do everything. I’m an all or nothing type of person, but when you have a thousand things to do and so little time, sometimes an 80% job is even better than anyone expected. Most of the challenges in student interests are so huge you can only get just a bit further and the entire matter will be solved after a very long time, probably after you’re already long gone from the game. I’ve been forced to enjoy the smaller successes as well.
One of the coolest things has been employee recruitment. I’ve learned a lot for my own benefit in future job hunting and it’s an amazing feeling to give someone the opportunity to work with something they’re passionate about. Another important lesson has been that sometimes things happen slowly for a reason. I’m a very impatient person, but I’ve seen how important it is to make sure every involved party is heard in the decision making and do radical compromises. The discussions on even the smallest details have revealed valuable information in the bigger picture.
Next year is the time to plan tutoring for the new student union. We do things differently compared to the TUT student union and we must find a way to merge these two. A new development cooperation project is in planning and Hervanta students are very much involved in it. In my opinion this is one of the best ways to find links between the students in the two universities. Tuition fees are a big theme in international affairs and the work continues with that.