Each month we profile a member of CILT staff, giving a glimpse into what makes them tick. This month we profile Lynn Vanzo, Work Integrated Learning Support Officer. Lynn provides administrative support for the Colleges of HASS and BGL Work Integrated Learning topics.
What do you like the most about working at Flinders?
I have worked at Flinders for over 18 years and I have enjoyed working with inspiring and supportive colleagues who are life-long friends. I first came to Flinders 23 years ago as a mature-aged (first in family) rural student. I had 3 teenagers and my husband and I were dairy farmers and my commute to Flinders was 90 minutes down and 90 minutes back home to Jervois on the River Murray 25 km south of Murray Bridge. I did this for 5 years and then graduated with a Bachelor of Cultural Tourism. I loved every minute of studying here and I was extremely lucky to be offered work here as a research assistant after graduation by two of my Tourism academics Jane James and Lyn Leader-Elliott. That started me on the path of understanding the University from the ‘other side’. You think you know how the Uni works when you are a student, but as we all know there is so much that goes on behind the scenes to provide terrific services to our students! My love of teaching and learning led me to complete (part-time again) a Master of Teaching. I held both professional and academic roles in WIL in HASS for 12 years and for the last 3 years in the BGL WIL team. I completed 6 placements during both degrees and it has helped me to understand students’ needs and have empathy for their concerns. If I had to sum up why I do what I do in one word, it is providing OPPORTUNITY for students to step out into the workplace, apply their knowledge from their University studies and ‘test the waters’ in their chosen field. I have witnessed (and lived) what the lack of opportunity for both further study and employment can do to marginalised people and the impact it has through the generations. It gives me great pleasure to see Flinders students go on and progress into rewarding careers. Careers that they might not have had without a WIL experience in their degree.
What’s one thing that can instantly make your day better?
Watching the black cockatoos whirl and sing through the sky over the lake, hearing the kookaburras across the gully and finding a koala in a tree on campus. I adore the trees and gardens and courtyards on campus and have many favourite spots to sit at lunchtime depending on the season.
What is something you are looking forward to?
Writing this in lockdown on the coldest day for many years, today I would say, I look forward to several weeks of weather in the mid 20’s and lots of sunshine!