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Journals by Interns at Vancouver English Centre, in Vancouver, Canada. The Intern's Journal

Journals by Interns at Vancouver English Centre, in Vancouver, Canada.

Friday, July 09, 2004
I Get Around

Today was really hectic - everybody wanted a piece of me and I think I did a good job getting around.

On our first day, Mr Gardner suggested that Tam and I complete 70-90 e-mails full of listings a day. I got about 50 done by 9 30 when Jean, the homestay coordinator, showed up in my office with 50 pencils I needed to sharpen by hand and after that, she had me working with her in homestay as we needed to find places for 50 students BY MONDAY!! I went through so many files and called so many people, but even if they did pick up, I got the same answer. They already have students or are expecting students during that time. It was really frustrating, but at the end of the day, I think Jean managed to find enough room, which is great!

Then at about 3 today, I went back to my data entry and completed another 20 or 30 e-mails with listings. As I did the listings between 3-4PM, I helped out a few students which is always fun.

Normally I leave work at 4 30, but since it is intake next Monday, my mom, Kim, the director of studies, had to work late to arrange the classes for the coming session, and I thought I would go shopping and then later come back to work and go home with my mom. I realised all my shirts have stripes or plaid on them which isn't a good thing... But at about 4, Kathy, an activities coordinator told me that we need to prepare bags with information for 150 new students that will be coming on Monday. She seemed desperate, so I was happy to work late to get them all done for her.

Why put off until tomorrow what can be put off even longer? Words I once lived by mean nothing. If I learned anything today, it's not to procrastinate. It seems like all the little things that don't seem like such a big deal at the time get put off until last minute and cause the greatest amount of stress.

Since Monday will be really hectic with all the new students coming in, Melanie has asked Tam and I to help them out by showing them where their classes are, telling them how to check in, and just talk to them to ease their nerves. I'm looking forward to that - dealing with the students is a lot of fun. But I guess so is watching paint dry once you've done so much data entry. Haha - kidding John...sometimes I miss data entry when I'm doing other things.

Thursday, July 08, 2004
It Gets Better And Better

Today was great! I worked on my data entry all morning, but Mr. Gardner suprised me by asking if Tam and I would be activity coordinators for the afternoon and take a group of vacation students to Historyeum. It was a lot of fun! The group was really nice to talk to and we didn't have any problems at all. Historyeum was really interesting...as I'm a resident of BC, in school, I have been learning about British Columbia's history since I was little, so it was really interesting seeing it as opposed to reading about it. I'm sure it was a much better experience for the students as they are all learning about our history for the first time. All of the them said that they really enjoyed it and think that other students would as well.

When we got back to VEC around 4PM, Tam and I were asked to do the Conversation Club until 5. It was fun talking to the three students that showed up and getting their perspective on Vancouver and this school. It was a great way to end a great day.

Anyways, I should stop writing now...I don't think anybody actually wants to read this much about my day.

My First Full Week!

Hi! My name is Akshay Singh, and I am a new employee at the VEC. At first, I was quite nervous and a bit apprehensive towards the idea of coming into work because of my inexperience. I soon realized these apprehensions and jitters had no basis, and were easily dismissed. The VEC provides me with a comfortable working environment, good hours, and an enjoyable job! Since I going to be going in the 12th Grade, and my last year in school, it is essential that I gain additional skills to help me attain employment, and the VEC provides me with both - skills and employment. Does it get better than this? At the same time, I am making money that will hopefully be useful in paying some of my tuition fees next year for university.

Though I started off a bit later than the others thanks to my History provincial (unfortunately), I managed to catch up and get into my own niche in the homestay department, making calls and finding hosts for homestay students. The job provides me with several skills that I require, such as being able to converse freely with strangers, and not being nervous about it; as well as teaching me how to file folders and documents efficiently.

I hope and expect to enjoy myself further for my duration of work at the VEC and look forward to my next day of work! My first full week of work has been great! Thank you everyone for all your patience and help in getting us all started and prepared for what I know will be an excellent experience at the Vancouver English Centre!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Hard at work!

Well, let me start by introducing myself. My name is Tam Phan, I'm 15, going to grade 10 of Delview Junior Secondary and I'm working for the first time. Understandably, I was quite nervous for my first day of work last week, but I shouldn't have worried at all. At VEC, the people are so nice, and it's a great environment to work in. People are always willing to help and answer my questions, and even come to my aid when my computer has decided to quit working!

At VEC, my first priority is to enter data for our web directory, and I work in an office with Brennan, who is another student worker, and Melanie, who s very niceand funny and keeps us laughing. Entering data isn't a hard job, although it does get very repetitive and boring, so I'm always happy to do other things to help. So far, I've done some faxing to help our advertising, updated and cleaned the computers in the computer lab, filed papers for the homestay department, and even gone on errands to the bank!

Although I'm not quite as zealous as Brennan to be working, I certainly enjoy my job. It's a very fun environment, and I enjoy coming to work each morning (though I can't say the same for waking up so early each morning). I hope my job continues to be interesting! It'll be a great summer!
- tam

Business As Usual

Today was a lot of fun. I got to help out the activity coordinators by preparing backpacks full of information for new students. Sounds boring? No way! After doing data entry for a few days, it felt like I was going to Disneyland. I'm not speaking negatively about entering data, it's just that being productive motivates me, so usually it feels a lot better seeing all the work that I have done in front of me as opposed to just knowing that I have been productive.

I feels as though I haven't done much today when really, I have done a lot. I suppose it's because I have been having fun and doing so many different things. Of course, I worked with the activity coordinators, but on top of that, I did my data entry, sent fax's to potential advertising buyers, and updated computers in the computer lab.

The more I work here the more jealous I get of the students. I wish I could be coming to Vancouver to learn English. VEC seems like a lot of fun for the students. They get to meet a lot of new and different people, as well as do daily activities organised by the activity coordinators. I'm jealous of them as well. Granted they do work hard, but they also get to go on these trips with the students. I'd do that for free! (Don't get any ideas, Mr. Gardner... ;) )

I also like helping the students out whenever I can, for example, when Mel isn't in the office. I was able to do this a few times today. Anyways, I'll stop rambling on and get back to work now before I leave for the night...

It's my second week on the job!

I really don't know how I should be opening my first blog entry. I may as well just introduce myself. My name's Brennan Hodge, I am a highschool student in Langley (about 40 minutes from VEC) and I am working here full time over the Summer with two other students, Tam, and Akshay. Since my mom, Kim Hodge, is a Director of Studies, I have come in to VEC on many different occasions to help out, so I already felt comfortable in being there on my first day. Although, there's no reason why even a stranger could feel uncomfortable. The staff and the student's are great!

As I have only recently turned seventeen, I will be beginning Grade 12 this September; therefore, I will only be able to work at VEC for the Summer. I intend on working as much as I can, from Monday to Friday, 8:30AM-4:30PM. My mom suggested I keep the job and work on weekends and maybe some days after school. Now, I'm really interested in doing so and I'm sure you will understand why once you are through with reading this entry.

I've been here for just over a week and the novelty is yet to wear off. I'm not convinced it ever will. I really enjoy coming to work every morning. VEC is a fun, diverse atmosphere. The staff is really generous and a lot of fun. I've found that they all have a great sense of humor, especially the president's assistant, Melanie, who Tam, a girl also working here for the Summer, and I, share an office with. Also, it's really nice to have the chance to be around the students, as I don't know of many places where you can go and find all these people from so many different cultures and backgrounds all under one roof and getting along so well.

As sad as it may seem, every night at around 7PM, I look forward to later going to sleep as that means I will be at work soon. I even feel a bit guilty enjoying myself on the weekend. It feels as thought I am wasting time, like I should be doing something productive, and honestly, I look forward to the end of the weekend so I may begin another week at work.

So far my priority has been entering data as part of the web directory project. It's so easy that anybody could do it. The only problem is that everything is the same, so it is very repetitive and often tedious. The first day at work was the worst! I suppose because I wasn't used to being such a robot; however, now I'm practically mechanical. No complaints though, those that are above me (which is everybody) manage to keep me occupied with various tasks to keep me from getting bored.

Other than data entry, my less important jobs have included updating computers, contacting potential buyers of advertising, cleaning, preparing packages for new students, or simply delivering a letter to the local barrister's office. I'm at the bottom of the food chain, so to speak, and basically, everybody is entitled to telling me what to do.

Anyways, this entry is more than long enough, so I better get to work!

Monday, July 05, 2004
Thus begins the era of Akshay, Brennan and Tam...

Akshay, Brennan and Tam are onboard for the summer to help our web marketing staff finish our "VEC Directory" business listings project. Plus, they'll also help our Administrative and Homestay departments with various things...

Welcome guys!


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