Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology
Malin was helped by a fellow teacher to establish a contact in Athens. She then travelled there and had the opportunity to job shadow staff at the Swedish Institute.
Hello Malin. Which department do you work at, and what is your role there?
I am a finance officer at the Centre for Languages and Literature.
You have been on staff mobility in Athens with Erasmus funding. When was this, and how long were you gone?
I went in February 2020 and spent one working week, five days including travel days.
What made you decide to try job shadowing?
I had heard about Erasmus+ and wanted to go. I thought it would be very interesting to see how other finance officers work, and how other universities or institutes work.
How did you make a contact at the host university?
I got in touch with the Swedish Institute in Athens through one of the teachers of Modern Greek.
How long were you gone? What did the exchange consist of, and what did you experience?
I was gone for one working week, five days including travel days. At the Swedish Institute in Athens, I met both administrative staff and planning/research staff.
Were there any language difficulties?
The language was no problem. Everyone spoke English and there were even some Swedes there.
How was it to meet with your colleagues in Athens?
It was interesting to see how differently we work. The colleagues in Athens work at a much more basic level. They even had a cash box where researchers could get money for things like taxi fares. In addition, they did the bookkeeping and financial reporting to both the Greek and Swedish governments, as well as to the Institute's other donors.
What was most rewarding?
It was rewarding to meet other finance officers and see how differently we work. It was also interesting to see how the researchers could travel and work when they need time to work intensively on certain research. I got a better understanding of how researchers work, which is also important for me in my professional role.
What was most challenging?
Nothing felt particularly challenging. Admittedly, travelling alone is always a bit challenging, but they took good care of me at the Swedish Institute in Athens and the teacher who helped me out was also very supportive.
Did you have a lot of work to catch up on when you got back home?
It is important to go at a time when there are not too many deadlines in your daily work. However, there are always things to do when you get home. I made it easier for myself by doing some simple tasks on site in Athens whenever possible.
Would you recommend this to other colleagues?
I would definitely recommend an exchange to other colleagues. I shared my experiences with my team after I came home. If you are not comfortable travelling alone, you can always go with a colleague.