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Working at Campus Fryslân

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Staff testimonials

Rowan-Niels Spinder, Relationship Officer

I’m now working for almost one year for the Campus Fryslân as the Relationship Officer, for me it’s the most interesting environment where I have ever worked. It’s a diverse, international and interdisciplinary organisation with the focus on collaboration. Getting the job done with the resources we have and together with (inter)national and regional organisations we’re working with.

I studied Applied Psychology at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. Next, I worked for the municipality of Smallingerland and later at Brunel. My job there included finding the right candidate for a job, which is basically what I am doing here. As a Relationship Officer I maintain contacts with organizations. I determine what they can do for our students, and vice versa. We try to provide our bachelor’s and master’s students with the best place for their research. That is the biggest challenge: to find a research position where the student can test the knowledge gained in practice. Not staying within their university’s walls, but trying it out for real, this is based on our slogan: ‘’Global Challenges, Local solutions’’.

Working in Campus Fryslân means room for initiative and good ideas. As as Frisian I’m really proud that Fryslân has its own UG-Faculty.

Sepideh Yousefzadeh, Lecturer

Soon it will be two years since I joined Campus Fryslân in beautiful Leeuwarden. I teach and conduct research in areas related to global health. Teaching has always had a special place in my heart and teaching young students, in particular, brings me hope and warms my heart. It constantly provides me with insights and inspirations. But, bringing all those insights, thoughts and inspirations to life, requires open-minded and supportive colleagues to walk with us on a creative journey. So far, my experience at this campus has been nothing but a creative and joyful path. I enjoy working with colleagues who are excited and enthusiastic about the ideas I share with them and accompany me in giving them life. For me, Campus Fryslân is where the mind meets the heart.

Engelien Reitsma, Manager Marketing and Communications

Actually I wasn't looking for a new job but when I heard the University of Groningen was going to build up a new faculty called Campus Fryslân, I immediately knew I wanted to become part of it as for me it's a once in a lifetime opportunity from both a professional and personal point of view. Working for an academic start-up gives such energy in exploring new pathways to become successful on the one hand and to establish approaches that work on the other hand. I feel privileged to work in an international environment with colleagues and students from various backgrounds and also feel privileged to see how UG/Campus Fryslân engages and interacts with society in the region and beyond through education, research and public lectures. Being responsible for the marketing and communication of the faculty since the end of 2017 has been very rewarding and I haven't regretted a single day to apply for this position.

Tom Long, Lecturer

I was looking for a position that would let me focus on my interests around sustainability, innovation and business models. The position at Campus Fryslân, working on an MSc dedicated to Sustainable Entrepreneurship, was a great fit, letting me explore my interests through both research and teaching. The chance to join an academic start-up added additional challenges and rewards. It has been a unique opportunity to help shape and launch a new educational program and develop new research lines. A real draw was the grounded, problem-based, interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching, which means the faculty is better able to have a genuine impact.

Hellen Dawo, PhD Candidate

I believe that more and more, the environment is taking centre stage in discussions. From the political arena, to the classroom and even at the dinner table. For a long time, I was fascinated by the chemical changes in the environment. However, it was with concern that I observed how development actually had some unintended consequences on the environment. I wanted to develop solutions that could balance ecological and economic objectives. When I saw the PhD position in sustainable entrepreneurship at Campus Fryslan, it was clear that this was the right fit for me.

Since starting my research I have been privileged to work with experienced supervisors who were quick to identify my strengths, and help me build them. The faculty also has a rapidly growing PhD community, not only in my field of sustainable economy, but also in the other flagships. Namely health and food, governance, and culture, language and technology. This rich research environment provides me with inspiration to push boundaries. I apply trans-disciplinarity in my projects and make use of the local and international connections at Campus Fryslan.

I could go on and on about the advantages of working for Campus Fryslân. But in the interest of time, I will just point out that the campus has a very active social club that plans activities, in line with its broad values of sustainability and inclusivity. My journey as a PhD at Campus Fryslân has been very fulfilling, and I look forward to the career opportunities it presents in the future.

Chantal Vrijhof, Education Policy Advisor

I’m working as a policy officer for Education and Student Affairs at Campus Fryslân. I moved from Brabant to Leeuwarden about 3 years ago, because my husband found a job here. I worked at a college; first as a teacher, later I became involved in setting up a branch in Limburg. Setting up something new, and thereby pioneering, really pleased me. Coincidentally, I ended up in Leeuwarden, where the University of Groningen was also pioneering with the development of Campus Fryslân.

In my role as a policy officer I have a wide variety of tasks, including the co-development of new master programs, quality assurance, language and culture policy, but also setting up the educational organization and logistics. My previous experience at the university came in handy here. We work in a diverse and international team, which makes the interactions very fun and interesting. Everyone has one goal in mind, and that is what makes Campus Fryslân a great success. I look forward to the start of the programmes in September. Then the students will mirror us if we have really thought of everything!

Tim van Zutphen, Health & Food Programme Manager

For me working at Campus Fryslân is really something else. Like most that have worked in research, my surroundings often consisted of people with more or less similar backgrounds, at least, that’s not how I looked at it then, but compared to the diversity in this new faculty it definitely was.

To put the ambition into practice to really become interdisciplinary turned out to require serious effort, as it makes you go outside of your comfort zone to explore where two or even more fields together have added value in solving relevant questions. Healthy ageing as a focus area of the university, may be one of the most tangible illustrations, as many fields of expertise including medical, behavioral, nutritional, political and cultural sciences will need to join forces to be able to make a difference in preventing disease and increase healthy years of life.

As faculties don’t arise on a daily basis, starting from scratch provides the exceptional opportunity to shape our own future but it also entails earning a spot as the new kid on the block and actively going out there to look for structural partnerships. All and all an exciting place to work in a team full of energy that comes naturally with the birth of a new faculty.

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