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Advent calendar - December 1st - Linda Balkema

01 December 2023

In the Zernike Institute Advent Calendar, we are presenting 24 short spotlights in December. In these specials, we highlight PhD students, postdocs, support staff and technicians of our research groups and team - providing a glimpse in their typical day at work. In Episode 1 meet Linda Balkema, management/office assistant within the groups of Micromechanics and Quantum Interactions and Structural Dynamics .

Linda Balkema
Linda Balkema

My name is Linda Balkema and I am working as management/office assistant within the group of Micromechanics. There I work for Patrick Onck, Erik van der Giessen and Andrea Giuntoli. I also work for the group of Quantum Interactions and Structural Dynamics, there I work for Ronnie Hoekstra and Thomas Schlathölter. These are very different groups to work for as one group is theoretical and the other one is practical. My working days are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings until approximately 13:30, so I work during the schooltime of my 3 children.

I started working for the University of Groningen in December 2018, without any secretarial education or experience. Since then I learned a lot of the ins and outs of the University and now here we are 5 years later, still learning every day. My job is very various and dynamic. I assist the group with every day things, but also with scheduling meetings, organizing events, making travel arrangements, general administrative task and I help monitoring the project budgets.

When I am in the office people drop by my office with all kinds of questions and I always try my best to help them the best way possible. Sometimes this is only referring them to the right person or helping them along in the administrative jungle the University can be. So, I never know what the day brings. Also, the group members mostly are quite an international mixture of countries and cultures, which makes my job interesting and fun.

Half of the time I work from home, which is nice with my busy family. Fortunately, group members can always find me by e-mail or phone. So, it’s not a problem I am not in the office all the time.

Apart from work I love walking (hiking in the mountains during the holidays), reading, being creative (drawing, knitting, crochet, etc.) and when my busy schedule lets me, I do speedskating and running a bit.

Hereby I take the opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Last modified:01 December 2023 06.21 a.m.

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