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King's Admissions: Working from Home

May 22, 2020

There have been lots of changes in the King’s community lately, and the Admissions team is no exception. The next best thing that we can do is provide support to prospective students from the comfort of our own homes. This is a very new situation to us and our admissions team is still navigating through some technology hurdles but nevertheless, we are still pushing on.

What is working from home like? How are we adjusting? What’s our setup like? These questions will be answered by our very own admissions staff to give you a more personal insider look at what changes we have gone through alongside you. Here are some perspectives from some of our admissions counsellors and how they are adjusting to this change:

Wanda Thiessen – Associate Director of Admissions + Admissions Counsellor
“It’s taken a bit of time, but working from home just feels normal now. I enjoy not having to commute to campus, and making a hot lunch when I feel like it is a nice perk. I really miss seeing the rest of my team in person though, and I miss meeting with students on campus too. Those are two things I’m looking forward to once we get the all-clear to be back on campus. I live alone, so I can easily move my office around the house depending on where I feel like being. For the most part, I’m set up at my breakfast bar, which lets me look out my south-facing kitchen windows into my budding backyard. I’m definitely loving the amount of natural light in my home setup! I’m also a social person, and usually have a very full social calendar. That’s been the hardest part for me – I miss being with my people! There are hard days, and days when I don’t even think about how strange this current reality is anymore. I’m an optimist and am always looking for the silver lining in any situation (enneagram 7s – can I get an amen?!), and that’s really helping me get through the days that feel harder. Things that are helping me right now are video calls with friends, the sunshine, and being able to go for long bike rides, and backyard fires with my cohort family.”

Justin Wagenaar – Admissions Counsellor
“Working from home has been a nice change of scenery. I will sometimes shake things up and work from my partner’s place for the day too. My set up is pretty simple, just my work laptop and an always filled cup of coffee. But that’s not much of a change from working in the office either. I have enjoyed being able to carve more time out of the morning for myself, and not have to worry about packing a lunch or driving to the office. Working from home, and this whole pandemic, has made me a lot less dependent on my car, which I am very grateful for. Not having places to rush off to has given me the opportunity to bike places, and take my time about it, and really enjoy the process of getting somewhere.”

Brendan Middel – Admissions Counsellor
“Working from home has been easier than expected, but also because every other aspect of my life has become so simple because of the restrictions on what I would consider regular activities. I think if you asked me about working from home under a so-called normal situation, it would look a lot different! But what this experiment has taught me is that I can do it. The key part of my set-up is that I unplug everything at the end of the work day, and take everything down at the end of the work week. All I have besides my work laptop and cellphone is a monitor for extended desktop and wireless mouse, so it’s quite easy to disengage my work station, and turn back into ‘home’ for the weekend. Weeks of living in uncertainty with every possible long-term and short term decision we’re faced with is definitely beginning to bear its weight. The transition to pandemic mode and shaking those blues was made perhaps easier with the advent of spring, warm weather, and shaking off the winter blues in the process. Spending time outdoors running, gardening, birding, and taking hikes are some of my favorite activities and are great for healthy head space. This had made pandemic routine become much more bearable, and feel more like ‘normal’. This has also let me realize that these are items I want to blend into my regular social activities in the future!”

As for myself, being a student worker in the admissions office for four years now has definitely been a blessing. However, this is the first time I’ve ever had to work from home! Much like the other admissions counsellors, every day is a learning day. I’ve learned to work with my technology rather than fight it and look closely for the kinds of supports I need, when I need it. Working from home is great because my breakfast, lunch and snacks are never too far away and everyone I need is a zoom call away. My setup includes one monitor, laptop and a work cellphone. I have a cozy corner desk in a nook I call the den. Almost like its own room attached to my house. I am still adjusting to change but taking every day as it comes and every bit of the outdoors & sunshine I can get!

As your admissions team and your King’s community, we are here to support you every step of the way. Know that you’re not the only ones adjusting to these strange times!

Yours truly,
Bianca

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