My Melbourne with Guido Ernst

February 12 / 80

What is your unit?

Academic Skills

What is your job title?

Manager, Academic Skills

How long have you been with the University of Melbourne?

About 10 years.

How did you come to work at the University?

I started as a tutor in Arts, then I lectured for a couple of years in the German department before I moved to what was then called Language and Learning Skills Unit.

Describe your typical day

Usually, I first spend about an hour replying to emails. After a coffee, it’s often meetings with people from different parts of the University to discuss how we can help students develop their academic writing and study skills. Or I teach workshops, discuss new strategies with my team, write reports, liaise with key contacts, plan new programs, keep an eye on our budget, see students for individual tutorials, assign session requests, mange projects, implement policies, try to establish new partnerships, work on improving our systems and workflows. And more emails in between.

What is it about your job that holds your interest or is particularly satisfying?

Lots of things. I love that it’s so varied - it’s strategic as well as hands-on. That I have a supportive team that is committed and doing fantastic work. That what we do can make a real difference to students.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

Never answer a Proust Questionnaire.

What is something about yourself that most of your colleagues wouldn't know?

English was my worst subject in high school in years 8, 9 and 10.

Where do you buy your coffee on campus?

We have an espresso machine and a grinder in our staff room so I make my own coffee with beans that I buy at The Brunswick East Project.

What do you like most about the University?

Its diversity, complexity and dynamics make it a very interesting place to work. (At times, it can also make it a terribly frustrating place to work.)

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