“I completely forgot that you worked here”, a co-worker jokingly said as I was walking to my office for the first time again in three months. To be fair, I’d only been working at UCR for 3 weeks when the “lock-down” started. I was still in the process of getting to know my co-workers and learning about the admissions and recruitment world. Then, all of a sudden, we were all working from home.

I joined the Communications team as a Junior International Recruitment and Admissions Officer mid-February. After traveling, working and studying in different countries around the world I felt that it was time for me to move back to the Netherlands. I’ve always enjoyed being in a university surrounding and helped out at the universities where I studied as an Ambassador. I focused on finding a job in this field, preferably near the beach because that’s my happy place. I was very excited to find all of this at UCR in Middelburg.

The first few weeks were intense and very interesting, sort of what I’ve experienced before when moving to a new place abroad. Processing all this new information about work, coworkers, Middelburg; there is just so much to know. I was pleased to experience a warm welcome and to have co-workers that are including me and helping me whenever I need it. I was off to a great start with a one-week recruitment trip to Italy to look forward to. This would’ve been the moment for me to experience what its really like to work in this role.

Slowly we received more and more information of COVID-19 cases in Europe. It quickly became clear that there was no way that we would be able to safely travel to Italy during this pandemic. After this trip got cancelled it all went really fast. We started working from home, other trips got cancelled and I was no longer walking to work every morning.

Working from home when you’ve just stared a job is far from ideal. As we were all getting used to this new way of working I had a hard time keeping up. There were now zoom meetings. I couldn’t just walk up to my coworkers to ask a question anymore and there were no more training sessions. Discussing things and explaining things all of a sudden got a bit more complicated. I must say that now that we as a team got used to this way of working, I no longer feel lost. To look at the bright side, I do have the opportunity to attend online fairs all over the world and really familiarize myself with the information we provide at these fairs, from the comfort of my own home.

It’s been a hell of a journey already and I can honestly say that I can’t wait what else there is in store for my time at UCR!