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Jonique van Hooff: 'I love being able to work independently'.

Between the humanities Dean Mark Rutgers and his busy schedule we can find board secretary Jonique van Hooff. Her task is to make sure that the Dean gets to smoothly do his job. 'I get very happy when, after trying to figure things out with busy schedules, I manage to properly arrange things.'

Peace of mind

'I have been working at the Faculty of Humanities for over 5 years now and it is my job to take as much work off the Dean's shoulders as possible. I keep his mail and schedule up to date and I make sure that Mark can attend his meetings and has enough time to prepare for them. In addition we take care of the administrative handling of PhD promotions together'.

An unexpected turn

'I started working at the age of 19, so I've been working as a secretary for almost 30 years now. You could say that I know the ropes by now. Even though I didn't see myself as a secretary when I left high school. After finishing high school I wanted to go abroad to see the world. I then decided to study at Schoevers, a sound secretarial educational institute, where you could follow a study programma that focused on tourism. After my studies, I ended up working for a consultancy firm as a secretary, through a job agency, and it turned out that the job actually suits me very well.'

'The organisational aspect and arranging things suit me well. "This is what has to be done, make it happen!" That's how I prefer to work. Tell me what needs to be done and I'll make it happen. If I have any questions, I'll ask. I love being able to work independently.'

Well begun is half done

"I work full-time. I'm logged into my mail on my phone and I check it several times an evening. I don't have to, but that's just the way I am. This way I can immediately respond if I need to. If necessary, I'll bring urgent matters to Mark's attention. And I like to know in the evening what'll be waiting for me tomorrow. 

'A lot of people don't realise how busy a board member is. We often receive mails asking: "Can Mark attend a meeting next week, it will take 2 hours." That's not possible. Mark's schedule is filled with administrative meetings, related to both the faculty and central, with the necessary preparations and consultations. In general, board schedules are full about 2 to 3 months in advance. So whenever something urgent comes up, it can be quite the puzzle, but I'm very happy that we always properly manage to sort things out.'

Tennis and motorcycle trips

"What I do besides working? My husband and I both have busy jobs, so during weekdays our lives are dominated by work. But we picked up tennis a year ago, quite enthusiastically right away. We play tennis 2 or 3 times a week and participate in small tournaments. And my husband has a motorcycle and every year we go on a road trip on the motorcycle. We put it on a trailer, drive to Italy and park the car and trailer on a campsite at Lake Garda in Italy. From there we go on a two-week trip on the motorcycle, after which we stay on the campsite for two weeks to get recharged.'

In the Humans of Humanities series, we will do a portrait of one of our researchers, staff members or students, every other week. Who are they, and what do they do? You can find more portraits and information on this page.

Julia Nolet
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