Day in the life of an international education professional: Jessie Atkins | IE Career Series

Nov 2, 2020    Source: BCCIE

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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.

Jessie Atkins shares a day in her life working at ApplyProof, a stand-alone platform that verifies international student documents, which was developed by ApplyBoard, Canada’s fastest-growing technology company.

Current Role: Manager, Partnerships at ApplyProof

Years in IE: 14

Location: Victoria, BC


6:00 a.m. – I begin each day with self care and reflection. I always prepare as though I will be leaving the home to go into an office, although my role is remote based and I work from home. This mental shift helps me get into work mode. My morning routine involves brewing my favourite coffee, having breakfast with my family, and catching up on the latest international education news before I retreat to my home office.

7:00 a.m – In my role as a service provider, I work across Canada to develop and support ApplyProof partnerships with educational institutions across all sectors. Each day looks very different and my daily start time varies depending on scheduled meetings, which take place across various time zones. Each Monday morning, I actually map out my schedule for the week, plan my weekly projects and goals, and wrap up any follow up from the week before. Although each morning looks different, I typically have meetings with my team and institutions in the East, while working through follow up as it arises. Meetings involve presentations to prospective institutions, check-ins with current partners, and team ‘sync up’ and planning meetings. My favourite mornings are when my day begins at 5:30 a.m. PST (yes, you read that correctly!) for our bi-weekly company-wide Vision Meetings. During this meeting, the entire company gives shout outs to their teammates for their hard work and accomplishments. We also hear inspiring stories relating to our goal of making education accessible for students. Feeling inspired is such a great way to begin the day!

12:00 p.m. – Lunch is my chance to connect with industry colleagues and friends. I normally grab my phone, head out for a quick hike on a trail and I call a colleague in our industry. During this pandemic, it is so important for our industry to support each other. Although I have worked from home for many years, lately I am mindful of my colleagues who have had to make the move to a home office their new norm. I am also mindful that many of us are working alone at home, and staying connected is great for our wellness.

12:30 p.m. – Afternoons are a continuation of meetings, usually more focused in Western Canada. I also follow up correspondences timely and wrap up any strategy or marketing projects I am working on. Much of my focus as of late involves developing our marketing plan. Just this week, I have been working on brand awareness initiatives and virtual conference planning. At the end of my day, I take a moment to consider small wins and opportunities to improve, and then tidy my home office before ‘leaving’ work for the day.

3:00 p.m. – It is time to switch gears, I normally hit the waters for a paddleboard or head to the garden with my dogs, which helps me unwind before spending my evening with family. At times, my evenings also are filled with working on my non profit that I founded, which helps former street youth in Haiti access to art education in efforts to help them overcome lived experiences of trauma.

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