Gimène Spaans, division manager of customer care, ICT Services
'My work is varied and turbulent.'
‘I started out as a systems administrator at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences in 2000, first as team leader, then as interim head of department. In 2006 I moved to ICT Services, where I was head of the Front Office department, initially leading the UvA staff only but later, from 2011, the AUAS staff as well. From 2014 I have had the role of division manager for customer care, with responsibility for four departments, each with its own head. I currently supervise fewer staff members, but I have greater responsibilities and engage more actively with the rest of the organisation. From where I started out, in systems administration, my career has increasingly moved towards the customer-related side of things.
The UvA and AUAS departments of ICT Services will merge fully in 2015. They are two very different organisations, with their own culture and employees. The AUAS is more focused on trends and innovation, and the UvA on research.
Not a day goes by without something strange or unexpected happening. My work is varied and turbulent, as we are always dealing with so many different things at the same time. A good day for me is one in which a lot happens and we make our customers happy with successful results. We are further professionalising our service delivery all the time. When it comes to online testing, for example, we cannot afford for anything to go wrong. The AUAS administers a large share of its examinations digitally, and the UvA is staring to make use of this option as well. What makes my position tricky is the fact that you need to develop policy and make savings at the same time. Taking decisions is a key part of my role.
If you want to achieve something here, the UvA will give you the opportunities to make it happen. I want to continue to develop myself, and in 2012 I did a Master’s (in strategic management for non-profit organisations). Input from outside is important.’
Gimène Spaans has worked for the University of Amsterdam since 2000. Since 2006 she has worked at ICT Services, a shared service unit with 270 staff, responsible for the technological infrastructure that supports all the IT processes at the UvA and AUAS.