Getting to know Tanya

Tanya is a science collections technician at the C.E. Moss Herbarium. She is involved in integrating orphaned collections into a fully functional herbaria. She has also been involved in the incorporation of three herbaria into the Bews Herbarium collection. The current one is her fourth, which is Buffelskloof Herbarium, which is being incorporated into the C.E. Moss Herbarium collection.

Tanya doesn’t really have a typical day routine as her work changes all the time, depending on the status and needs of the collection and the specimen she is working on at the time. Essentially, her day involves ensuring that the incoming collection is in the right state to be filled with the collection in which it is being placed. This includes verifying and updating the scientific names of the specimens, repairing them, imaging them, digitizing them, and filing them.

Since working in collections, she has learned that taking care of a collection is not as simple as just filing specimens away nicely; there is a lot of work that goes into it.

Expectations from the workshop: Tanya looks forward to learning about herself and how she can be a better leader. Additionally, she is also looking forward to networking and learning about how other young people are developing themselves as emerging leaders.

“Young leaders may not fully know the job when they come in, but they bring a new perspective and new ideas that are suitable for the time we are living in, helping the organisation adapt and stay relevant. An organisation needs that balance of the young and old working together to keep it going. For an organisation to stand the test of time, it needs a good succession plan; where a young leader has been mentored by a person who has long been in the organisation and has passed down the vision of the organisation.”

Tanya hopes to be able to look for, identify, and create growth opportunities in her work environment. She further hopes to be able to be and feel like a leader, even in her junior position.

Tanya as a young leader: 

“I am still learning about myself and figuring out what being a leader means to me, but I am grateful to have been around a lot of good leaders who have inspired me in many ways, which I believe will eventually impact my growth in leadership.”

Tanya believes that for a young person to smoothly step into their young leader role, they must build a good working relationship with their superior by providing them with the support they need and by communicating her desire to grow in the field. Additionally, she suggests asking for their guidance as you find your feet. Furthermore, avail yourself to do other or more challenging work, form an understanding between you and your superior, and express your eagerness to learn and willingness to take on challenges. This builds trust and confidence in your supervisor.

Preparation for the workshop:

“I am reading the article provided. Can I just add that my supervisor is so happy that I am going to this workshop? This adds to my desire to make the most of it.”

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