One of the great things about my role is that every day is different – to the extent that sometimes a week feels like I’ve been doing five different jobs. I’m often at off campus meetings, talking to external partners, attending conferences or networking events – and even when I am on campus, I talk to students and staff from right across the campus about a huge range of things. So there really is no ‘typical’ day, but that doesn’t stop me from creating a mash-up that reflects what a typical day might look like…
So, first thing I do when I wake up is let the dogs out of the garage so that they don’t leave a gift that has to be hosed out. I’ll wake the kids, do some stretches (to try and fix my problematic shoulder), and make a cup of tea for my partner whilst she feeds the dogs. Breakfast (when I have it – I’m sort of on the 5:2 diet) is either home made bircher muesli or sourdough toast with vegemite and peanut butter (not on the same slice) and an espresso (freshly ground beans, shots from a lelit machine for my fellow coffee snobs) whilst doing the Sydney Morning Herald quiz (ipad app, not paper). I’ll do a quick email edit, a cruise of the news websites and if the kids have behaved themselves, I’ll bundle them into the car – otherwise they’re on the bus! Ben and Liam on JJJ in the car, with all of us complaining that Matt and Alex were better….
If I don’t have a meeting first up, I’ll make a coffee in the office and do a proper purge of the emails – and Naomi will run through anything that I need to know for the day.
Generally speaking, most days will be back to back meetings or events. There will be lots of 1:1s (both with my own direct reports and with the DVCs and PVCs) and often project working groups will meet to progress our work. I have regular catchups with Faculty colleagues – Associate Deans, Executive Deans and Heads of Department and also attend Senate and two of its subcommittees. Those regular meetings are supplemented with one-offs (software companies trying to sell stuff, workshops, strategy group meetings etc etc) and a continuous stream of events that I either have to attend or present at.
In between those meetings, I’ll constantly be checking email, writing papers or putting together quick presentations. On the rare occasion that I have a couple of hours clear, I’ll use that to try to wrap my head around a bigger project. I still try to keep up with some research, and have just completed 2 PhD students, but the reality is that the PVC role tends to expand to fill the available time.
Generally speaking, lunch is either in a meeting or at my desk (I’m a leftovers king) but I do try to catchup with colleagues for a real lunch when I can. (Lee’s Asian Food Court is a favourite and will be missed when the hub closes…)
I also enjoy serendipitous conversations – I sometimes park across campus and walking from Y3A to E11A will mean running into people and having a good chat – and there’s certainly quite a lot done with colleagues in the building around the coffee machine.
If there’s no event on in the evening, I’ll be home in time for dinner with the family (I’m one that is pretty firm on us all eating together as much as we can). Sometimes I’m early enough to help with the cooking, otherwise the cleaning up. After dinner, if the weather is fine, I’ll hop on the bike for an early evening cycle – or much more occasionally take a dog for a quick walk down to the beach. When I get back, a final check of emails – and a bit of time on twitter and some favourite websites (generally news and tech-related).
And then it begins again. I’m lucky though, each day is very different – and the new challenges and the different people I talk to keep things very interesting…