Day in the life of an international educator: Carolyn Russell | IE Career Series

Feb 26, 2020    Source: Chelsea Dibble

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Welcome to our career series, where we’re asking international education (IE) professionals to share the inside scoop on the sector.

Carolyn Russell shares a day in her life at University of Victoria.

Current role: Director, Global Engagement at University of Victoria

Years in IE: 20+

Location: Victoria, BC


6:30 a.m. – My day usually begins with breakfast with my husband, short walk for our dog (Ruby), and busy hustling our daughter out the door for a full day of school followed by a two- hour rowing practice.

8:30 a.m – Once in the office I get a coffee, turn on my computer, quickly check emails for any urgent issues, and then make my way to my first meeting of the day.  My day is usually filled with back-to-back meetings related to global engagement in some form – partnerships, policy, outbound travel, inbound visitors, critical international incident response, and staff professional development and information sharing meetings/check-ins. I also serve on a number of strategic planning committees at UVic related to Strategic Enrolment Management, Community-University Engagement, International Plan, Senate, etc. which have regular meetings and sub-committee activity/work taking place throughout the year. 

12:00 p.m. – Lunch is usually a working lunch/meeting. At this time of day, I can be found in the University Club, Mystic Market, Grad Lounge, or my office hosting individuals/groups from on and off campus for lunch meetings. Lunch meetings tend to be informal discussions about issues and are often a way to express my thanks and appreciation to a colleague/group for a contribution or support they provided to the Office of Global Engagement. Or, I am hosting a delegation on campus for discussion regarding partnership advancement and a formal lunch is part of the program. 

1:00 p.m. onward – Afternoons are a continuation of meetings regarding university related business. My assistant works hard to block time for me in the afternoons to address email correspondence and other work resulting from the many meeting discussions that day. 

I use the time at the end of the day to reflect on the day and consider any critical items that need to be carried forward over the coming days/weeks. I also try to use this time to reflect on my annual goals and objectives, the day’s accomplishments, and any potential set-backs vis-à-vis my goals. 

5:00 p.m. – I am leaving campus for my daily Spin Class. This is my time to let the work day settle, before heading home to my family.

Interested in sharing your IE story? Contact us at communication@bccie.bc.ca!