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A day in the life of…
Graduate Project Officer, Landgate
Kirra Somerville studied a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Communication and Media Studies at the University of Western Australia in 2016 and is now a Graduate Project Officer at Landgate.
The first alarm on my sleep cycle app goes off. I look at the time and continue sleeping.
Four snoozes later, I roll out of bed and begin my day by showering, putting on my makeup and picking out my work clothes.
I make myself a coffee or two (or three) and eat my breakfast. I am a creature of habit, so it is almost always some form of eggs on toast. I take my time in the morning getting in some TV watching; for a while, I used to catch the Buffy episodes on SyFy, but lately, I have been watching American Dad episodes. Landgate promotes flexible work arrangements which means I can start as early or as late as I want (within reason) and maintain a good work-life balance.
I leave my house, grabbing my lunch from the fridge and begin the drive to Midland. This usually takes me 25 minutes and I listen to the Triple J breakfast show on my drive. The mornings have started to turn crisp, and it is nice having the option to drive to work knowing parking is easily available and very close to work. I park behind the Gilberts Fresh Market in what I like to call ‘the pit’ because it reminds me of the make-shift parking lot by the Business School at the University of Western Australia. From here it is a two-minute walk into the building to my desk.
As I come into the office and turn on my computer, I say my good mornings to my team, then read through the media notices for the day and check my emails. These are usually team updates and correspondences or responses to my own emails. Before I crack into my day, I may make a tea or coffee using the kitchen facilities or go to the local coffee shop with whichever team members need a morning coffee fix. I open my planner and check what notes or follow-ups I made for myself yesterday. I sometimes take this moment to check in with the other grads on Jabber (an instant messaging/phone book system), seeing what they have on for the day, discussing our tasks and how we are going, or arranging to meet up later in the week for coffee or lunch.
As a graduate in my first round of placements, I am working with the Strategic Communications team located on the centre ground floor of the Midland building. Currently, I have been working on the first stage of a new Intranet project which, through a human-centric design approach, we will use stakeholder engagement and UX/UI design principles to gather enough information, feedback and analytics to give a clear direction in determining the business’ wants and needs for a new intranet solution. I also assist with day to day tasks such as news article requests, photo and video recording requests, internal communication plans and manage the team inbox by assigning tasks to the appropriate member.
To kick off the day, we have our weekly team meeting. In this meeting, we go through any current business updates, discuss the progress of various projects, what’s gone well throughout the week, what could have gone better, our priorities going into the week ahead and any help we may require from the team. My role in these meetings is much the same as any other team member, I attend and participate, discussing my work and needs, and where needed offer my services on additional work.
I return to my computer and open my various project documents and open my web browser. I spend most of my time this morning working between my major project, analysing data and trends that may help us better understand how our people use the intranet, preparing our proposal for Innovation funding, and preparing for the launch of our new meeting room names for National Reconciliation Week by arranging the scanning, framing and name plates/description plaques for the commissioned artwork. I check my emails again and see that I have received a response from a UX/UI consultant confirming that they are interested in meeting to discuss our needs for our current project. This is a major step toward obtaining funding as the addition of a cost estimate will complete the request form that requires submission.
My team members are all located in an open plan office area, and my colleague who is the lead on this project is seated two desks away. I either speak across the room (a roughly five-metre distance) or wheel my chair over to discuss in person our availabilities to set up this meeting before responding in email.
I lock my computer and head upstairs to level three of the building to get changed into my work out gear. For the next 30 minutes I take part in one of the onsite fitness classes offered under the Wellness Program, which offers six-week courses in various fitness classes for a small cost which is deducted from our pay. After this is finished, I head back downstairs to the ground level to have a cold shower and get changed again into new work clothes.
I break for lunch, which I usually bring from home or purchase from the nearby options. The Midland office has a handy café situated right out front which offers food options such as make your own salad or sandwich which I love. Alternatively, Gilberts Fresh Markets provides a variety of options or Midland Gate shopping centre is a quick 10-15-minute walk away. Due to the availability of flexitime, our lunch breaks can be as long or as short as we would like. I usually take 20 minutes to eat, and occasionally take a short walk around the building or Midland area, this activity I can allocate to wellness; one of the perks the business offers. Under certain initiatives, we can allocate the equivalent of just under two hours a week of our time to Wellness and/or Innovation. On days where I eat at my desk, I take this time to chat to the other Strat Comms members; it’s a very friendly team and that has made my transition into Landgate all the smoother and easier.
Today I have back to back meetings in the afternoon. Two months into my first placement I find that I am getting more and more across the business and can assist and take on additional tasks where I see fit. First, I attend a meeting to discuss some proposed changes to a survey I have been constructing for SPUR. In this meeting, I note down the changes the team wants and advise them on what is possible with our current subscription. After this meeting, I go directly to my next one which is a Hack focus group. Landgate’s Innovation department ran a whole day Hack in April where people had the opportunity to work on their business rather than in it. My role in this day was to document and take pictures for our internal communications, however, because I was able to see a whole overview of the day and how it went, I have been invited to contribute to a small focus group so they can improve for the next Hack Attack event later this year. We are led through a series of questions about how we found the April event and what we think could be improved on, with everyone having the opportunity to speak and share their thoughts in an open environment.
I go directly to my third meeting this afternoon where myself, my line manager and my project manager are discussing the quotes we have collected from UX consultants. We must decide how much Innovation funding we want to ask for before submitting our request document that must be submitted by COB today. We review the two quotes and run through some follow-up questions that I will email to our consultants before updating the request form. I work in conjunction with my colleague on adding some additional material before submitting the request to our Innovation department for review before it is distributed to the iBoard members.
It’s now the end of the day unless additional work requires immediate attention. I take this time to save my work, close my computer applications, shut down and clear my workstation. I say my good-byes to my team members and head back to my car for the journey home. I arrive just after 5.00pm; the house is empty, I feed my dog her dinner and get changed into some more comfy clothes. After a couple (or five) hours of Foxtel/Netflix/Stan, I call it a night and go to bed. I know that when I wake up tomorrow my day will follow a completely different path. I enjoy working in a job that is not predictable, that’s ever-changing and offers new opportunities.
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