Moving on: Interview with Carina Wurzinger, Departing Management Assistant at the JVI

December 07, 2021

Carina Wurzinger has worked as a Management Assistant at the JVI since July 2014. On the occasion of her departure, she spoke with the Newsletter editor about her experience here.

Carina, you have worked for eight years as a Management Assistant at the JVI. How would you describe that experience?

Diverse, certainly, and diversity ensures variety in a job. Here I got the chance to meet so many people from different backgrounds, also among the colleagues as there is significant turnover in the staff team. I greatly admire the few colleagues who have been working at the JVI for many, many years, and who still continually adapt to new staff members, new circumstances, new workflows… I think we all know how sad it can be to say goodbye to people whom you have enjoyed working with, and it is not just about working together, but when someone leaves, the whole place is no longer the same. At the same time, I have worked with three different Directors, each of whom emphasized different areas, which brought me new tasks and responsibilities. This kept the job interesting, and it was probably one of the reasons I stayed for so long.

What I also liked is the fact that working here as an assistant comprises not only the usual office routines but I was also given responsibility for special projects, such as organizing public events and coordinating the JVI Newsletter.

What was most memorable during this period?

In my job interview here, I was told that although the JVI generally offers only limited-term contracts, it does offer numerous opportunities to learn new things and for personal development generally. Every colleague with whom I worked at the JVI brought in her or his unique opinions, new ideas, and new approaches. This unforgettable experience certainly broadened my horizon.

How has the pandemic period impacted you, personally and professionally?

Well, after nearly two years, many things have already been said about working from home and about measures that needed to be taken that obviously affect our private lives. It is a pity that the JVI currently cannot offer face-to-face training, because in my opinion, those personal interactions make the JVI what it is. Yet we managed to switch to virtual delivery, and we reach large audiences with our webinars, more people than we used to reach with public lectures that did not offer live streaming. Teamwork and communication certainly benefit from working and meeting colleagues in the office, yet we are lucky that our jobs can also be carried out from home. So against this backdrop, regardless of whether I am working from home or from the office, whether shops are open or closed, my biggest concern at the moment is returning to a situation where we do not need to worry about a collapse of the health care system, and raising awareness that we are all in this together.

You were heavily involved in preparing the JVI Newsletter. How has it changed over the years?

Coordination of the newsletter has certainly been one of my favorite tasks, as I enjoy working with texts. I liked putting the online newsletter together, and selecting and preparing picture material. When I took over this task in 2017, we decided that we would publish an issue every quarter. That year, the JVI celebrated its 25th anniversary, and I had the opportunity to work on a special edition, printed as well as online. I very much enjoyed trying out software programs that offered new features to develop the design and layout for the printed version.

To revert in part to your previous question: with the pandemic, it soon became clear that the newsletter has become more important in reaching out to the wide JVI audience, so over the past year we have managed to increase the number of issues. Unfortunately, there was not enough time for me to work on a new template, so I will leave that in the hands of my successor.

What are your plans after the JVI?

There are a few projects I have in mind, mainly related to going back to translation, which is what I studied and had already planned when I joined the JVI. We will also have a change in our family situation. So all in all, I am confident that I will not be bored.

Carina Wurzinger, Management Assistant, Joint Vienna Institute

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