Home and Away: An anzuk Academy Chronicle

On the 20th of January 2020, the first known cases of COVID-19 were reported outside of mainland China. The very next day was my first as a Recruitment Academy Consultant at anzuk. I think it is fair to say that my first year in the workforce so far has been anything but normal, but before we get to all the craziness, I would like to go back to a simpler time.

Walking into the office on day 1 was an experience I will never forget. I was buzzing with excitement. A mixture of nerves, excitement and the local barista’s caffeine coursed through my body. As someone who rarely drinks coffee, it was fair to say I was wide awake. So, what was the first thing we did on day 1 when I walked through the front door? Go get coffee. Yes, I work in anzuk’s Melbourne office.

The first week moved like clockwork. We learnt about all areas of the company and even went on an educational bus tour of Melbourne, where we learnt about anzuk’s humble beginnings. I met new people, remembered names, forgot names and ultimately became more acquitted with the workings of the company.

My first rotation began in week 2. I joined the Temporary Schools Team, specialising in the Northern Suburbs. Our goal is simple. Provide exceptional educators to our amazing clients. To provide you with a clearer picture of what that looks like, here is how my day is structured:

6.30 am

Arrive in the office and attempt to make it up the stairs to my computer. For some reason, that flight of stairs takes an eternity to summit in the early hours of the morning. After my morning workout, I finally arrive on the second floor and stroll on over to my desk. No matter how tired I previously was, I immediately feel more awake when I turn on my screen and start pumping out calls to educators.

For the next few hours, I work alongside my team, filling bookings by calling our educators and offering them work for the day ahead. The work can be demanding, especially when half of Melbourne is yet to press snooze on their alarms, but it honestly is the most rewarding part of my day.

8.30 am

Breakfast time! The first two hours of my day fly by and before I know it, the time to sink my teeth into some warm pumpkin bread topped with peanut butter has arrived. The power of complimentary breakfast cannot be understated.

9 am

Okay, it doesn’t really take me half an hour to eat two slices of toast, but for aesthetic reasons, we will jump ahead to 9 am. This is when I start preparing for my day ahead. I form a little plan; set any goals I have and move forward with any tasks that I have set myself.

Normally, I would sort through any job applications we might have received. I will then check whether they have previously been registered with us and see if I can find any further information about the applicant. I will then take the time to have a chat over the phone with the applicants and see how we can support them as teachers or teacher assistants here at anzuk.

11 am

For the sake of this piece, I am going to schedule an interview for this 11 am timeslot. Once an applicant has passed through the phone screen stage, they will come into the office for an interview with us. I take this time to really get to know the educator and most importantly what their expectations are of us.

12.30 pm

Lunch break. Time to go on a run and heat up the food I prepared on Sunday. This can become quite grim on a Friday afternoon when the food gets soggy. I really enjoy taking this time to recharge and regain focus for the rest of the day.

1.30 pm

After my lunch break, I will knuckle down and finish off all the work I have for the rest of the day. It is also a good opportunity to talk with members of different teams and get to know other areas of the business. Once 4 pm hits, it is home time, so I try and ensure that I am as productive as possible during this time.

So that’s my day. At least, that is what my day used to look like.

On the 23rd of March, the world turned upside down. It was supposed to be my first day in the Early Childhood team and I can now proudly say that I have completed exactly 1 and a half hours in that team. Less than 2 hours into my second rotation, word came through the I was returning to the school’s team. Within hours of that happening, I was loading computers into my car and on my way to isolation.

Work has certainly had a different feel to it working from home. The culture of the office is gone. The coffee runs and lunch break walks are no more. But one thing has stayed constant. The support. It is unbelievable how positive everyone has been during this time and although I am still learning so many different things about the business, the transition to working from home has been seamless.

Although my experience in the Academy has not gone as planned, I couldn’t be more thankful to the organisation and those who have made me feel part of a team, even though we are all so far apart. I am excited to see what happens in the future. Although there have been so many negatives that have arisen from this pandemic, I am maintaining my focus on what opportunities I can capitalise on and create a positive experience for myself, my team and our incredible pool of educators. Only time will tell what happens next.

Stay safe everyone.