This story is a part of our “A Day in the Life'' series that highlights the career journeys of 2U employees across the world. This article celebrates one of our 2020 No Back Row Award winners—an employee recognized for embracing one of 2U’s nine Guiding Principles. Jasmine Haigh was one of two 2Utes selected as the winners of the Make Service Your Mission award.
Cape Town, South Africa-based 2Ute Jasmine Haigh has taken advantage of so many 2U-powered educational offerings, it’s hard to keep track of them all. “In the past six years I’ve been here, I’ve completed 11 short courses, 11 health and safety courses, and a number of management and development courses,” she says.
But that’s only the beginning. As a self-proclaimed lifelong learner, Jasmine is committed to picking up new knowledge whenever and wherever possible. “I started from an entry-level position at 2U, learning as much as I could from everyone around me to further my education,” she explains.
Looking back, this commitment to personal and professional development has clearly paid off. “Through a lot of hard work and dedication, I worked myself up into my current position: manager of workplace operations,” she says. Read on to learn how Jasmine is helping to lead the development of a new Cape Town campus, cultivating a thriving work environment, and living by 2U’s Guiding Principles.
Jasmine (front row, left) and 2U Cape Town colleagues boasting their Toastmasters certificates
Why did you join 2U? What is it about the company that sparked your interest?
There’s so much about 2U that speaks to me. First off, being part of a company that helps others further their education makes me feel like I’m making a positive difference in so many lives—I wouldn’t be able to do that elsewhere. 2U also has the strongest company culture I’ve ever seen. The focus is on staff well-being, happiness, and truly living by our Guiding Principles. All the fun things, like free-flowing coffee and gifts of appreciation, are cherries on top of an already incredible company culture. Finally, I’ve gotten to know a number of great leaders within the company who have been amazing mentors to me. I’m forever grateful to them for shaping me into the person I am today.
How would you describe your role at 2U?
I would describe my role at 2U as ever-evolving. No two days are the same, and I always have to be on my toes. As manager of workplace operations, I serve all 2Utes—helping people perform to the best of their ability by providing a safe, healthy, and comfortable working environment that accommodates their needs. I’m the point of call for all emergencies, facilities queries, or even just to point someone in the right direction. Essentially, I see my role as the glue that holds everything together at 2U.
Jasmine and her "better half" enjoying some creature comforts
What do you find most rewarding and challenging about your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is watching the office function at its best: creating structure and seeing the staff happy and enjoying our work environment. It's also rewarding to resolve issues, especially when a solution is delivered faster and better than expected. Being able to play a part in every staff member's experience at the Cape Town offices is incredible.
One challenge is never truly being able to plan my day to day. Since I’m the first point of contact for staff, I have to be ready to tackle anything at all hours. Another challenge is knowing when to say no. Part of me always wants to drop what I’m doing and say yes to requests, but it’s impossible to be everywhere at once. Being able to say no and create an alternative solution can be challenging—it’s a skill that requires constant work.
Crocodile cage diving! Jasmine epitomizes yet another 2U guiding principle: "Be bold and fearless."
Out of everything you’ve done at 2U so far, what gives you the most pride?
First of all, I’ve loved being able to develop my team and watch them grow. It's difficult watching great people move somewhere else within the company, but seeing them blossom in exciting new roles makes me incredibly proud.
I’m also really proud of the development of our Woodstock Quarter campus. This was my first development, and being able to complete it and see the smooth transition from our old campus to this one was amazing. Once our new Cape Town “OneRoof” project is completed, this will be another great accomplishment of mine—I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to help lead this build for 2U.
Jasmine brandishing a hard hat and face mask at the OneRoof construction site
Each of 2U’s 2020 No Back Row Award winners were recognized for their commitment to one of the company’s nine Guiding Principles. What does this honor mean to you?
I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. At first, I was in denial since I felt as though I had simply been doing my job. But once the honor sunk in, I was very proud that I’m making a difference at this incredible company. It makes me want to work even harder and grow even more so I can continue to do great things and teach others along the way. I’m very thankful for all the opportunities 2U has given me and for this award.
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