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#032 Ruud’s futureproof investments

The story of Maartje’s bigger picture is a story of Ruud’s futureproof investments

Maartje van Delden has always looked at the bigger picture. As a child she was already committed to good causes, and as a board member of the Student Union she dedicates her energy to the well-being of her fellow students. Today she interviews Ruud Slot: a financial expert who not only looks behind the figures – but also looks ahead. "Together with my colleagues, I help the university to make the right decisions and to remain future-proof."

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Tuesday 25 May 2021

Well-being over wealth

Maartje: ‘I see all kinds of photo books behind you. Can you tell me a bit more about them?’

Ruud: ‘Yes, of course: these are photo books of the trips I made with my wife. To the United States, Canada, South Africa, Jamaica, Finnish Lapland and Mexico... We like to see as much of the world as possible.’

Maartje: ‘Wow. And what is your favourite destination?’

Ruud: ‘Gosh, difficult to say. I like cities and enjoy visiting New York. But I also love the diversity of nature in, for example, Canada or Africa. We really should make a point of protecting and conserving it.’

Maartje: ‘What do you mean?’

Ruud: ‘When traveling you see how beautiful the world is, but you also see how much it is being destroyed. Global warming, floods, pandemics - they all have to do with how we treat our planet. Not everything should have to make way for our own financial wealth, well-being is much more important. I am happy to contribute to that. Starting with small things, for example: I hardly eat any meat anymore. And concerning travel: we only fly when that’s the only option and we usually take the train instead of the car. We make conscious choices.’

Maartje: ‘Great, it sounds like you have literally and figuratively broadened your horizon on your trips! Can you also contribute to a better world in your work?’

Ruud: ‘Certainly. As a controller at the faculty of Engineering Technology, I help UT to formulate realistic goals as well as achieve them. My work doesn’t just involve numbers, but really the stories behind the numbers. Does the faculty invest time and money in the right issues? Is there a healthy relationship between education and research? And what kind of training courses should we offer or develop? What does the market need? Together with my colleagues, I provide the figures and analyses that help the university make the right decisions and remain future-proof.’

Maartje: ‘Interesting! How do you see that "better world" at UT?’

Ruud: ‘In different ways. For example, CO2 reduction is one of the goals in Shaping2030. We also do a lot for people who are at a distance from the labour market. But like I said, it's also in smaller things. Like more vegetarian items in the cafeteria, which is also very popular among students. I have the feeling that people in their twenties are much more serious nowadays about the future and our planet. When I was a student, this wasn’t as important to us. And my parents' generation was mainly concerned with rebuilding after the war, with surviving. Making sure to have food on the table. Not the choice between a sandwich with either ham or humus.’

Maartje: ‘Haha, yes, I recognise that. Many of my friends thought that climate was the most important topic for the elections. And in the past three years, almost half of my group of friends has turned vegetarian. We have to make sure the world can last for a while. That’s why I have also started to make a lot more conscious life decisions.’

Ruud: ‘I also think that has to do with the phase you are in. You are at a turning point, between student life and starting your career. That’s when you start to live more consciously, making deliberate choices. That works if you stay true to yourself, to the things that are important to you. That’s why I think it’s good UT not only aims for content and knowledge, but also for personal growth. You’re currently on the board of the Student Union - that’s great. You will learn all kinds of things that will help you outside of classes: in your career and life in general.’

“Money, power and prestige are not that important to me. Above all, I want my work to be fun and meaningful”
Ruud Slot

Maartje: ‘Exactly. You learn a lot from studying, but there is more out there. Do you think that there is sufficient attention at UT for employees’ personal growth?’

Ruud: ‘Yes, in principle. Most colleagues I know are happy in their work and with UT as an employer. At the same time, I think we can really do better on some issues. Reflect on lessons and successes, and hold each other accountable for them. Many people find it difficult to give feedback. And I also think that we can challenge each other more to discuss our future prospects. What will you be doing in five years? It is important to continue to discuss these ambitions and to challenge each other.’ 

Maartje: ‘Are you consciously working on that yourself?’

Ruud: ‘Yes. Although I am not that kind of careerist who has to become an executive in ten years' time. Money, power and prestige are not that important to me. Above all, I want my work to be fun and meaningful. That I can look back with satisfaction at the end of the week and still have some energy left. I honestly don't know if I'm going to do this until I retire. It could also just be that I become a forest ranger or open a cafe because I no longer want to sit at the computer!’ 

Maartje: ‘Last question, what do you like best about UT?’

Ruud: ‘The diversity and the international atmosphere. I’m from Oldenzaal myself and worked in accountancy for thirteen years. This is a fairly homogeneous, white bubble with people who care about similar issues. Whereas at UT, people from all corners of the world study and work, with all kinds of different backgrounds - I find that inspiring. And I also enjoy seeing the impact of engineering technology all around. Dams, bridges, windmills… The academic field is very concrete and topical and really contributes to tomorrow’s world. It really suits me well.’

MAARTJE VAN DELDEN BSC (1999)

is portfolio holder for Personal Development and Education in the UT Student Union. At the beginning of the year, she finished her Bachelor's in Technical Medicine. She had previously worked with Pre-University as a student teacher, teaching Life & Science to secondary school children. Maartje also plays an active role in student life and is a member of a student association.

Ruud Slot MSc RA (1986)

obtained his Masters in Accountancy at Nyenrode Business University. After 13 years of working in business, he started working for UT in 2019 as business controller for support services. In December 2020 he started as a business controller at the Faculty of Engineering Technology.