7 December 2020

Silvia Schulz

Silvia Schulz - Department of Mathematics, TU Munich

1. Briefly describe your current position and responsibilities within MCQST.

My responsibilities vary from supporting the professors in several projects, such as externally funded or in-house projects, as well as information management for lectures, seminars and workshops. Some of my other responsibilities include assistance to team members, guests and students in various matters, interface to various TUM departments such as financial, staff, travel expenses, graduate school, or head office. My role within MCQST is the processing of documentation, paper work and interface between the professors and the several contact persons within the MCQST Cluster.

Silvia Schulz in her office at the Maths Department at TUM. © S. Schulz

2. How does a typical workday looks like for you?

There is no “typical workday” as there are frequently contingency small matters to be solved. In normal case, I grab the post in the ground floor of the building when I´m arriving at TUM in the morning and distributing it to the several people on our chair. Afterwards I am checking my post (in hardcopy form and emails), making a small checklist for the day, prioritizing what to answer or to do first, catching some small tasks in between from the people entering my door. Preparing organizational things for the chair, booking rooms, calling different colleagues to clarify issues, writing numerous of mails, get some signatures form the professors for important documents, helping people to find their counterparts, creating overview lists, calculations and/or regulating financial issues from the chair...
In between a nice talk to a colleague with a coffee and a sandwich with some nice topping is helping to get the vital energy again. When I´m leaving the office in the afternoon, there is sometimes, a small list placed already for the next day with some tasks still to do or to remind me for some deadlines. (I´m still a less digital person in noting things down ??)

3. What has been the biggest challenge you faced this year?

The biggest impact to my work during COVID-time was and still is the reduced contact with people. I used to speak with people in person, to arrange things locally, to help for example guests in small needs. Most of this migrates to a digital world and now it reduced to more or less a handful people (including my superiors) who I see regular in person on the floor. Online-Meetings or texting in divers systems are representing my daily business now and the physical human contact has totally reduced. I used this COVID time as a chance to get more knowledge in digital matters, trainings in new systems and communication channels as well as online organizational tools. Therefore, I feel now more qualified on the digital track as beginning of the year 2020. I also learned how to arrange home office, family and home schooling – and it works.

4. You are part of the team organizing and hosting the upcoming QIP2021.Tell a bit about what it means to organize such a big conference.

For me it is the first time to organize a scientific conference of this size. So far, it was always small seminars or workshops. Therefore, the dimension of this QIP2021 is the major challenge for me. Keeping the overview of all the single pieces of the entire puzzle “online-conference”, coordination of timelines, flow of information within the hosting responsibilities and to the outside world as well as the cooperation with so many different key players is very exciting and challenging. It feels good to see the project growing and have the possibility to be a part of it.

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