Balancing the Grind with Isha Kharub, Academic Tutor, Marketing Communications at WSU

Isha Kharub is an Academic Tutor at Western Sydney University where she teaches Marketing Communications. She also writes about digital marketing, travel and food on her website.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I am an Academic Tutor at Western Sydney University and I teach Marketing Communications.

As a tutor, I prepare and deliver lectures, coordinate group activities, provide support and feedback on assessment tasks, and evaluate assessments. Previously, I worked in market research and events.

I also have my own website and Instagram page where I write about digital marketing and post vegetarian food reviews.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Being a tutor means my day to day activities change depending on what time of the semester it is. I start my day at 8 am with coffee and a light breakfast.

After that it is a combination of responding to student emails, delivering lectures, providing feedback on their group projects followed by evaluating assessments. Once every week, I liaise with the unit coordinator to ensure quality delivery of the unit.

Post-lunch, I answer my personal emails. Currently, I am pursuing a Master of Research in Marketing and as a developing researcher, I read multiple academic articles every day. We are examining the effectiveness of a humanoid social robot performance in a service environment.

With COVID-19, the number of articles being written about social robots has multiplied, and my afternoons/evenings usually goes by in reading these articles.

In between I take a two-hour break for evening snack, watching random YouTube videos, and exercising for 30-40 minutes. I continue reading till dinner which is about 8:30/9 (I know it is quite late!). Depending on my workload, I would either continue working or watch Netflix and chill.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Absolutely! All our face-to-face lectures have shifted online. Although I prefer face-to-face lectures, online lectures save me a lot of time commuting.

The university provides us with all the resources we need for an effective delivery of lectures and the students especially have been very accommodating and understanding.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

For me, work-life balance is all about prioritising. I absolutely love the role I am in right now and I love reading and writing research articles in general, so most of the time I do not feel like I am working.

However, there are days when it gets exhausting and that is when I prioritise my mental health over my workload. I feel it is all about knowing when to switch off and wind down.

Over the weekends, I ensure I get plenty of sleep (and I am mean PLENTY!) and get out of the house. Getting fresh air is so important. Of course, getting good food is a must. So, I treat myself multiple times a week with good food and try to post them on my Instagram page.

Due to Covid-19, I have not been going out much, so we try to cook something delicious at home. I live far away from home, so I catch up with my family, and talking to your loved ones can really lift your day up.

5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?

One thing that I can clearly pinpoint is having to-do lists. When I was at uni, I developed a habit of making to-do lists and it has helped me massively in organising events, managing studies and work together, and being extremely effective in managing my time.

I have just finished my internship and one of the feedback I got was how well organised I was and efficient at multi-tasking. Honestly, I would be a mess without my checklists.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I love reading LinkedIn’s Marketing newsletter, Hubspot newsletter, and Marketing Week’s newsletter. I try to read them everyday along with reading news and theSkimm.

I have also set up Google Alerts for topics I am interested in. I have just finished reading Ikigai and absolutely loved it.

7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

Planning. I make mental notes of what I need to do every day and I have to-do lists running for the whole week which I keep looking at to ensure I am on the right track. My tasks are always written down in a priority order.

I have a tendency to pack in as much as I can in a day but I am trying to be a bit more realistic with my tasks and not feel guilty if I don’t finish everything on the list each day.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

Honestly, it would be my mom. I have always wondered and admired her for how she has been able to excel at everything that she does.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Keep calm and look after yourself. Everyone has their own ways of doing things, so do what works best for you. Remember, ‘A healthy mind resides in a healthy body.’ Keep exercising and eating lots of yummy food.

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This conversation is brought to you by holistic health expert Josephine Zappia, helping individuals globally achieve wellness from within.

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.