We would like to extend a warm welcome to the new member of the ELC family, Kirsten.
Kirsten will be the first pretty face our new students see when they come through our doors as she sits at the reception desk. We are thrilled that she is part of our team. Here is some more information on this special lady that we call our Senior Secretary.
ELC: Welcome to the team, Kirsten! When did you actually start with us?
Kirsten: I started at the end of October, so it has been almost 2 months already now!
ELC: Was it difficult to get the job?
Kirsten: It wasn’t a difficult process, but it was a pretty intimidating interview with 5 people including Simon, the ELC Director and Juliette, the Director of Studies.
ELC: What did you do in your last job?
Kirsten: I was the Trainer Coordinator at a training skills development company where we offered soft skill courses such as front desk reception, or other business related skills.
ELC: So you have some experience dealing with courses and students and all the organising that needs to go into something like this. We are glad you decided to join us. What is your favourite thing about ELC so far?
Kirsten: The relaxed environment, definitely. I enjoyed my last job, but it was very corporate and I was stuck in an office alone most of the day getting on with my work. Here I get to interact and chat to the students and teachers and I am in the middle of it all.
ELC: And what is the most challenging thing so far?
Kirsten: I would have to say the traffic. I live quite a fair bit away from ELC, and the commuter traffic can be quite difficult sometimes. I hope to be able to change that in the next few years and maybe move a bit closer. We will see. Other than that, one of the challenges I am still getting used to is having to sometimes communicate with students who have no, or very little English. But we get by with Google Translate and lots of hand gestures [laughs].
ELC: So tell us a little about Kirsten and where she is from…
Kirsten: Well, I grew up in a place called Kommetjie which is very laid back. It’s a beach and slip slops kind of town. I attended school in Fish Hoek, then went on to Varsity College in Rondebosch to get my Diploma in Business Management. I have also been studying part time to get my degree in accounting, which I am almost done with. It feels like it has taken me forever. That’s also another special thing about working here at UCT, by the way. Everyone I speak to has already got their degrees and masters or PhDs. It has inspired me to get cracking with my degree. In my free time I like going to the gym and watch series, but I am making an effort now to be outdoors more, so I go hiking more when I have the chance. Otherwise, I consider myself a good and safe driver, I have a good eye for colours and patterns I and love reading interior decorating magazines. And, well, I guess the last thing is that I speak English as a first language and grew up speaking English at school, but my parents actually speak Afrikaans to me.
ELC: Ok, so some quick questions:
• Favourite food?
Chicken. Any form and anything with chicken.
• Favourite drink:
Coffee. Everyone knows my weakness is coffee.
• Favourite colour?
I don’t think you can have one favourite colour. But you can have different favourite colours for different things.
• A person who inspires you?
My last boss played a very big role in the person I have become in the work place and I admired her immensely. She was a strong, independent, Italian woman and we are still in contact and friends.
ELC: What are your plans for the future?
Kirsten: I have a 5 year plan and there is a quite a bit I would like to achieve in that time [laughs]. I want to travel, specifically travel to Europe. I would like to get my Master’s degree, start a family and buy our own house (closer to work if possible!). I would also like to stay working for the UCT brand because it offers a really good balance and it’s a really lovely place to work. UCT is a great brand.
ELC: Thank you, Kirsten.
We would like to mention that Kirsten has yet to tell us what her super power is (special skill), although she did mention that her boyfriend has the uncanny ability to memorise anyone’s car licence plate! We look forward to finding out what Kirsten’s super power is.