Emily Part III: What I Have Learned

Here’s the much anticipated Part III of Emily Greenhalgh’s guest posts. Make sure you check out the comments for more good stuff, too!

Hi again everyone!

Here’s the promised part III…  What I have learned.

I’ve been in this position for 2 and a half years now, and have learned a lot (something about working in a University, I think!)  Here are just a few highlights:

  • It’s easier to keep someone else’s life organized than my own!  I like to think I did a pretty good job of that for my bosses in the Provost’s Office.  But I’m embarrassed to let anyone see my desk here, or to admit how many balls I’ve dropped in the last few months!  (PS – this is a hint, Grant… what do you think about an assistant? 🙂
  • Sometimes you have to let go of perfection.  This one comes from my boss (it’s just not natural for me to say!)  There are obviously times when perfection is required: accuracy of student records is one example.  But there are times when ‘good’ is enough.  There are students for whom not every course they take will fit perfectly into their program.  There will always be at least a few conflicts caused by the exam schedule no matter how hard I work to minimize them.  And the formatting of certain documents just doesn’t matter as much as I think it does!
  • A great team is essential.  We have a terrific team in the Office of the Registrar (something for which I can take no credit as many of them were here long before me!)  The strengths of each member help to compliment the others, and we run this office successfully with minimal staff.  Also, cross-training is essential.  When you have as few staff as we do, if one goes down others need to step in to help.  Our team has been incredible for that!
  • When it comes down to it, we are all participants in the education of Trinity Western University’s students.  While I am not (nor would I want to be!) teaching a classroom full of students, my work – and our work in the Office of the Registrar – profoundly affects students’ lives.

There is a lot more I could say on this topic… and that’s something I love about my job — there is always something new to learn!  I wouldn’t want it any other way 🙂

Cheers,

Emily

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4 thoughts on “Emily Part III: What I Have Learned

  1. Emily,

    you write so well; I am captivated by what you say about your job!

    I love the part that you organized your bosses’ work, but without an assistant, it is challenging to keep organized under so many deadlines!

    YOU are an integral part of the great team that we are at the Office of the Registrar. Thanks again for your helpful, efficient and educational attitude.

    Sheila

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  2. Emily, regarding your point on perfection, I agree. Sometimes good is the enemy of great, but sometimes the quest to be great is the enemy of good. I believe in the old saying, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well” but it’s not always worth the effort to gain that last 5% to make something perfect. Not when that extra effort means something else suffers.

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  3. Thanks, Grant. It’s a tough lesson to learn. We ‘perfectionists’ are wired to push hardest at that last 5% that you mention. I appreciate very much your encouragement along the way — it makes it easier to leave something at ‘good’!

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