Before I begin, I must admit I haven’t written a blog in quite some time so my ‘blog writing skills’ may be a bit rusty…bare with me folks!

My first week at UIT included many ‘firsts.’ Like anyone, when starting a new job your first day can be nerve wracking and a bit overwhelming, but for me neither of those feelings occurred. When I first arrived at UIT I was welcomed with open arms by the staff but I was also welcomed by students and success coaches, a first I have never experienced at any job before. As I began to settle in, I knew my time at UIT would be a learning curve and that my job as a recruitment officer would be a learning experience. I was eager to begin working but before that I had to become familiar with the apps and programming used at UIT. Slack, Trello and HubSpot were popular modes of communication and to my advantage, very easy to use. Soon after I became familiar with these apps I began thinking, heck maybe the tech ‘world’ we speak of isn’t so hard to understand but then words such as redis, coding and larp were later thrown around the classroom which made me think to myself…..whuuuuut? As a recruitment officer these applications won’t apply to me but having an understanding of what they do so I can relay this information to prospective students is a learning curve I am willing and hoping to overcome.

I was given the opportunity to sit in on a ‘pitching’ class with the seven students currently enrolled here at UIT and instructor Ian MacNeil. The class included evaluating students performance in a three minute video on a topic of their choice. A topic with a tone in which set the mood for an intended audience to either think or do an action. At the end of this class I realized UIT was different and unique. Why? Because their students are unique. Of the presentations I listened to I was blown away with the ideas and topics students wanted to talk about. Of the topics discussed they all had one thing in common which was passion.

This passion transferred into the afternoon class which I had the opportunity to sit in on as well. During this class students discussed their startup ideas they will be pitching to Propel later in the semester. Of the ideas that were discussed, I was in ‘awe’ at what the students wanted to create. Not only did the startup ideas sound interesting and effective but they also addressed current problems some of which help enhance the economic prosperity of Cape Breton and surrounding areas.

Throughout the week I began to become more comfortable in my work setting. UIT is far from a regular workspace environment (in a good way of course). UIT even has a slipper policy? I get to wear slippers to work….this….is….the….best. Aside from the great news about slippers, the environment is non-threatening, I am able to be myself and talk about more than just work but what I am doing in my personal life, interests and hobbies.

The pace during the following days at UIT began to pick up. I began scheduling meetings, drafting e-mail templates  and organizing lists of students to get in touch with in regards to next year’s enrolment. Chatter about entering local high schools to do open-house information sessions seem to be on the radar, an exciting opportunity for myself to meet students and ignite their interest about what UIT has to offer.

To end my first week at UIT I was able to sit in on Ian MacNeil’s class again. Friday’s class was about the media, a topic of conversation which is ‘right of my alley’ you could say. Discussions about media interactions, media interviews and communications plans took place. I had the opportunity to touch up on my writing skills by drafting a media release. This was actually great practice for me and also gave me the opportunity to correlate with Spencer, a current student here at UIT.

During the drive home from work on Friday afternoon I was able to reflect on my first week and feel excitement for what is to come. I am eager to start interacting with prospective students and educate them about what UIT has to offer. As mentioned, UIT is unique as is their students and I am hoping to use this to my advantage during the recruitment process for 2017!

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