From her office on the third floor of the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Music, it’s not uncommon for Véronique Lefebvre to listen to students humming a few notes or practicing the piano. “It’s a living faculty!” She immediately admits the student records management technician (TGDE). In the position for nine years, she appreciates this touch of freedom in a job that requires meticulousness and vigilance on a day-to-day basis. “It is not easy to start as TGDE. The first few months can be very unsettling as there is a lot of process to learn and information to absorb. But when you get past the beginning course, it becomes an interesting and rewarding position. You just have to be persistent,” she says.
Responsible for 19 programs ranging from the minor in digital music to the doctorate in composition and sound creation, he accompanies some 350 students in the different stages of their university career. Whether it’s qualification, admission, graduation, or follow-up training, she makes sure every file is compliant and up-to-date. However, the particularity of the individual lessons makes everything a bit more complex. To facilitate the process, the computer and multimedia services team created a database a few years ago that allows tracking assignments, registrations and cancellations related to this type of course. “The database is especially useful in relation to the tasks of the teaching staff. Individual courses are not like theory courses, where a single instructor is associated with a single course symbol. A single lesson symbol can have multiple teachers and multiple students, the same instrument symbol. The database is there to allow us to group all that and ensure that it is followed up both from the teaching point of view and from the administrative point of view”, explains Véronique Lefebvre. Although it has fewer individual courses to manage than TGDEs dealing with performance programs, many of its students must take individual composition courses. If she is aware that her job requires a little more manipulation due to this internal database, this will soon be forced to change. “The faculty is currently working with the Registrar’s Office to design a Synchro tool that will allow us to do the same tracking as we do now, but in the form of reports,” she says. The TGDE, therefore, will no longer have to enter twice and it will be possible to assign several teachers to the same acronym. Needless to say, the database will probably be gone in the next few years.”
A career not predestined
If she is now satisfied with her work, Véronique Lefebvre was not necessarily going in that direction when she presented her candidacy to the UdeM. With a degree in office automation, she instead aspired to a technical position in office work coordination (TCTB), which seemed to correspond more to her field of study: “My first job was in a law firm. Working in this sector made me question what I wanted professionally and where I wanted to go. I’ve always been interested in the education sector, so when I discovered that there were TCTB positions, I immediately said to myself that this is what I wanted to be.” That’s how she was hired as a secretary in 2004. She served two temporary periods in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, he then quickly took on TGDE duties at the Faculty of Medicine before gaining his tenure as a TCTB at the Faculty of Music in 2006. However, an opportunity presented itself in 2009 and he undertook a work placement in France. I came back to Quebec in 2011, I called my contacts. There was a temporary admin position available in music and the callback lists were empty, she says. I had lost my employment relationship with the University and was starting at the bottom, but I was very happy to find this team. It took me a little over two years to regain my tenure in the position of TGDE that I still hold today.
Despite the challenges of her job, she likes the autonomy and details that make daily life more pleasant, such as the sympathy that reigns within the faculty and the recognition of the student community for her work. “Students who express their gratitude are a source of motivation. Many thank me by email. There are even some who make dedications in his memory or in his thesis mentioning my name in his acknowledgments. It is super rewarding and warms the heart. It’s a pat on the back that makes you want to continue,” he says.