Reflections on AIMST University
By K. Makespary
It is now almost three months since I rejoined AIMST University. As I look back to our old Amanjaya Campus where I had worked from 2002 till 2004, I find that our new university campus is the best place for educating our leaders of tomorrow. I am drawn to the greeneries of this environment and to the splendid architecture of the buildings – all of which give our University a distinctive ethos. Every time I walk pass the big pool of crystal clear water with fishes and tadpoles I see my reflection in the water and this creates an aesthetic and a beauty to my experience at the university.
I will talk more about facilities in the University in future articles. But in this first article, having first expressed my admiration for AIMST, I ask a simple question, which is, “How can the ethos of our campus be enhanced to match the physical beauty of it?”
My experiences are personal but this type of personal experience is universal – we all experience to some extent. As we reflect on our University we can all agree that it is worth striving to make AIMST a university to match the beauty of its physical environment.
Let me explain further what I mean. In my life I have encountered individuals with different styles of working some good and some less so. Broadly speaking, we can say there are three working styles. First, there are those who perform their duties well but who willingly go beyond the call of duty to help others. Second, there are those who perform their jobs satisfactorily according to their job description but are less driven to use their initiative to help others. Third, there are those who require constant supervision to perform their jobs, even to a satisfactory level.
Two of the most common attitudes we encounter is that of procrastination and “passing the buck”. It is when we say “This is not my job – it is someone else’s job”. How often do we encounter staff who tell us they will call back to deal with our inquiry, but never do. How often do we encounter procrastination? How often do we procrastinate ourselves?
What do I mean by procrastination? It is avoiding doing something. It is not being able to get started. As filmmaker Johnny Kelly says, “It is spending thirty minutes looking for the right pen and then another ten minutes trying to get the right pen to work”. It is making a cup of coffee and then taking thirty minutes to drink it. It is checking your emails every five minutes. It is doing eight things at once and not getting one done. It is doodling. It is avoiding doing work.
It is a self-evident truth that our work attitudes can enhance our reputation as an academic institution. Attitude costs nothing but the benefits of the right attitude can richly impact on the life of our university. For instance, consider attitudes to answering the telephone. How often do we encounter a person on the phone who is unhelpful and even appears to be annoyed by our call? A small difference in attitude may simply mean we answer the phone by the third ring, and smile as we greet the caller and make them feel welcome, and do our best to deal with their inquiry promptly and satisfactorily. This same principle can be applied to almost every aspect of our working experience from how we use email to acting on tasks rather than leaving it for others to do.