A Whole New World

Marhaba!  This is my first post from my new world at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.  I have been here for 10 days and am finally feeling like a human being again.  The +11 hour time difference and jet lag really took a toll on me (aside from jumping right into work).  I am still trying to get used to being 11 hours ahead of everyone I love. Honestly, it has been very hard emotionally to be so far away from my family and missing all the things they are doing.  I could not even think about this opportunity without their love and support.

People here at AUS have been outstanding and extremely welcoming.  I am living in a lovely 2 bedroom furnished villa on campus.  I joined the staff pickup soccer game and am exercising 3 times a week doing circuit/crossfit training.  Once the temperatures drop to the low 30’s I expect to be able to walk to work.  My work days are full and very busy.   There is so much I need to understand about the operations and projects underway of the IT Department and the University.  I am very impressed by the level of professionalism and technical ability of my new team.  It is really an honour to be here with them.

I setup team meetings with my new IT colleagues.  The first presentation was from our Network team.  They did a great job putting together a presentation about themselves, their operational and project duties.   Next week, I will get presentations from the MIS, Helpdesk, Telecom and Systems teams.  Once the team meetings are done, I will be booking individual meetings to we can get to know each other.

Taking on the role of the top technology executive in any organization has significant challenges.  I will be taking a two pronged approach to 1) learn about my team and support them and 2) reach out to our AUS university community to understand their needs and help them understand the power of technology to support them.

There is a reason we say “People, Process and Technology” and that is the order of priority that I will be applying to earn my place as the Director of Information Technology at the American University of Sharjah.  Inshallah!