It has been a whirlwind-month for Wittenborg’s new front desk and facility officer, Eva van Herel, who replaced Andy Fekete at the start of last month. We finally caught up with her for an interview since she will probably be the first port of call for many students at the university.
How would you describe your first few weeks at Wittenborg?
Such a lively, friendly environment! So many things to learn, I have been so busy I never had time for even a short interview!
Where are you from and what is your academic and career background?
I was born in the Netherlands, the eldest of 6 children. We emigrated to New Zealand when I was young. There, I assimilated the language and quickly felt myself a Kiwi, or New Zealander. I played piano, read books and loved going out to look at the sea or wander the hills. At age 16, my mother decided she did not want to get old in New Zealand but wanted to go back to the Netherlands, and I was transplanted back to a culture and language I did not know well anymore. It took me a while to readjust, but I built a life, went to university, married, had 2 children, got divorced, looked for a job and found Wittenborg.
What did you do before joining WUAS?
I was a stay-at-home mom out of necessity for almost 10 years. My fingers always itched to get back to work, though, I tried to start a business but discovered I am not an entrepreneur. I am so happy to now have a job again.
What is your official title now and what does the job entail?
I am Front Desk and Facility Officer. This means I do very many kinds of job. One moment I am fixing the printer, the next I am handing out books or getting a student an appointment with the doctor. Or I could be sending out invoices, ordering supplies or meeting a new student and helping them find their feet. I am first port of call for student questions that are not academic, I have two libraries to keep organised and I assist the back office.
What are the some of the more interesting experiences you've had here?
The conversations at the table with people from such diverse backgrounds.
If you're not at work, what do you do to relax?
I have been taking guitar lessons since the beginning of this year, I am enjoying it hugely. I also spend time with my boys and I love to read and do fitness.
Interview by Anesca Smith