JKU Interview: Starting a New Job Working from Home

Mirjam Strecker began a new job at the JKU just when the university was forced to close. During a recent interview she talked about starting her new job during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Mirjam Strecker

What is your new position?

Mirjam Strecker: I have been an office manager at the Department of Gender & Diversity (Human Resource Development, Dept. of Gender & Diversity headed by Dr. Margit Waid) since March 16, 2020. My team and I provide support services for female academics and scientists at the JKU, implement measures for the ‘Audit ›Hochschule und Familie‹' program, manage the FIT program, and create different plans for gender equality, such as a language guide on inclusive language. We also coordinate childcare at JKU.

Why do you want to work at the JKU?

Mirjam Strecker: I found the job advertisement for the Dept. of Gender & Diversity particularly attractive and I began to take a closer look at the JKU as an employer. I consider the issues the department addresses to be incredibly important for us as a society and I am personally interested in these areas. For example, balancing work and studies with family life in particular requires new arrangements and flexibility. Social inclusion and diversity are also issues that affect us all in a constantly changing image of society. I am happy that at the JKU, I can contribute to the ‘big picture’. So far, my experience has been positive and the JKU seems to be a very good employer.

How did measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus impact the start of your new job?

My first day at the office, 16 March, was also the first day in which the government's initial restrictions came into effect. In that regard, my first day of work was spent working from home. But all in all, it started off well and I was warmly welcomed by everyone in the office. Within a very short time, I was able to access everything at the JKU, my employment contract, as well as additional information and options to access my department’s network. During the second week, I got to know my team better as well as about my different areas of responsibility via Zoom meetings. During the third week, I almost felt 'zoomed-out'. I had many online appointments which were a great opportunity but also challenging at times. The virtual “Welcome Breakfast” last week, Thursday, by the Dept. of Human Resource Development was very nice and provided good information about structure at the JKU.

Now, during the fourth week of working from home, I have developed a routine. I believe this will be my routine for some time.

About Mirjam Strecker

Mirjam Strecker (41) lives in Leonding. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, and family game nights. She also enjoys cooking vegan meals and playing the piano and guitar.