INTERVIEW: Anne Herms and Susanne Hölzemann on the daily life in the SCIoI Finance and HR department
Since September, SCIoI has a new finance team, Anne Herms and Susanne Hölzemann. We had a chat with them to find out more about their work.
1) Anne and Susanne, could you tell us a little bit about your background and how you found out about SCIoI?
Anne: I am an anthropologist and have been in charge of research projects at universities for several years, most recently in Cologne. Although a researcher at heart, I have always been particularly interested in the administrative area. At the University of Cologne, which is also where I graduated, I worked both in administration and then in coordination for a platform for science communication, which I also helped to establish and maintain. What attracted me to SCIoI was the diversity of the research disciplines working together.
Susanne: I studied English, Theater-, Film- and Television-Studies in Munich, Cologne and Berlin. For the last 20 years I worked as a German and English teacher in a women’s social project, but I was also involved in the administration of a wide variety of funding sources. A friend of mine brought the cluster to my attention and I was attracted by it and the idea of professional reorientation.
2) You two are the new Finance and Human Resources team at SCIoI. What does this mean?
Anne: This is a position with high responsibility, as it involves a variety of projects and stakeholders. As the leader of the team, my focus is on controlling and planning finances and keeping an eye on the big picture while at the same time paying attention to detail. What I find really interesting is being at the interface between scientists, university administrators, project partners, and funders. I believe in teamwork, and I value respectful cooperation.
Susanne: We are providing a service in order to free the researchers from administrative tasks as much as possible, so they can concentrate on the science. What I have in common with Anne is the joy of working in a team, the ability to abstract and to keep track of things. It is important to me to listen to people and to communicate openly. My main focus is on the accounting of procurements and on personnel matters.
3) Do you see personal opportunities in working at SCIoI?
Susanne: Yes, definitely. It’s exciting and enriching to work in such an international team and I am intrigued by SCIoI’s interdisciplinary approach. We are able to learn about research results first-hand and that’s exciting! I also think it’s great that I get to expand my experience with digital work.
Anne: Yes, I agree with Susanne. It’s very motivating to work in such a multicultural team and to come in contact with people with different backgrounds. I am also happy to get to know the Berlin university landscape and to broaden my professional horizons by deepening my expertise in the field of finances.
4) What do you like to do (besides finance at SCIoI)?
Susanne: I like to be creative: watercolor painting, creative writing, singing, and I feel very close to nature. I love going for walks by the sea or in a forest––and I couldn’t live without books.
Anne: I enjoy doing sports, especially swimming. Also, I am passionate about reading, visiting art exhibitions, traveling, and learning new languages.