It was July 4, 2011 and the first working day of the week. I can vividly remember walking into Building 37 as it is named and finding my way to the third floor where the International Office is located. Time was 9.24 am when I walked into the open desk office and met Vicki Woods, the Manager of the Administration Team. She welcomed me with that smile I have come to be familiar with in the past one week or so and offered me a seat in the waiting area. By 9.27 am, enters Anton my co-intern at the International office this summer who had arrived earlier but stepped out to kill time.
By 9.40 am, it was time for the fun to begin with Vicki coming over to commence the induction activities. Up to this stage I still was not exactly sure what to expect. I mean, you know the kind of feeling you get when you are new somewhere; be it a school, football club, class, church, etc. For example, I wondered what kind of people I was going to have to work with – were they nice, approachable, social and friendly? Or would they be the troublesome, unhelpful and difficult type? Would I have my own desk with my own computer or would I have to share? And what operating system would I have installed on my PC? These and many more questions streamed through my mind at random.
Good enough, the entire induction had been well planned and outlined so that most if not all these questions streaming through my mind were answered and even other things I had not thought of had been taken care of as well. Anton and I were introduced to all staff present at the office. Surprisingly, only about half the members of the team were present but we were made to understand that this was due to international travel. Of course, this makes sense as that is why it is called the International Office! Everyone we met was quite welcoming and helpful.
The induction very importantly included such necessary items as familiarization with workstations, using phones, logging into workstations, setting up the printer, access to office documents and resources and access to the International Office website and University portal. We also discovered that we would be “hot desking”.
Part of our induction required us going over to Building 85 which houses the Human Resource Department where we had to sign our internship contracts and sort out other issues like issuance of ID cards and access to all online facilities. Indeed, it was impressive that by the afternoon, I had my staff ID card issued and had my staff profile registered on the University’s portal called SUSSED which meant I could actually start working! How excited and delighted I was. This probably was when it dawned on me that I was truly an intern.
But you know what they say – with power comes responsibility. I am not sure but it seems Vicki very much had this in mind as the next item on the induction itinerary was my meeting with my Line Manager to appraise and outline my tasks during this internship. I left the meeting with a clearer picture of my duties and responsibilities. At the end of the meeting, I jokingly asked the Line Manager whether she preferred me addressing her as boss or by name. I spent the rest of the day getting familiar with my work space and resources; indeed the journey had just begun.