Stories#092 Inge’s looking in the past and the future

#092 Inge’s looking in the past and the future

The story of Toms space making is the story of Inge’s looking in the past and the future

While Advisor Policy & Analytics Inge Broekman has been working at UT for years, everything is still completely new for Policy Advisor Research Tom Boogerd. During their conversation, the two discovered many things they have in common. They both work(ed) in internationalisation and get energy from a workplace that offers variation and choices.

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Monday 17 october 2022 

Inge’s conscious decision to take a broad perspective

Tom: ‘Inge, I remember we met at a workshop last year. Other than that, I know very little about you. What do you do at UT?’

Inge: ‘I have been in UT’s Strategy & Policy department for two years now. I work on various topics dealing with analysis and monitoring. I also work for the education and research policy clusters. For example, I make sure that we write a UT annual report, I process student surveys and play a part in education and research sector plans. I also advise on the development of the planning and control cycle.’

Tom: ‘It seems to me that what you do is very broad. Do you like that way of working or would you sometimes like to specialise?’

Inge: ‘I consciously chose this broad perspective. I find it interesting to communicate UT’s story to the outside world and to advise on how to shape it. At the same time, I love digging for information and to dive deep into the content. In my job I get to do both and I am very happy with that. Many different parties are involved in what I do and my goal is always for them to understand each other. I see it as my role to provide the right translation.’

Tom: ‘How do you bring those parties together? Because some people don’t automatically get in touch. Yet you manage to connect them.’

Inge: ‘Indeed, it doesn’t happen by itself. I mainly ensure connections between the faculties and the central departments. But also among the central departments. I try to listen to students, researchers and lecturers as much as possible. To really make contact with them, by picking up the phone. This way, I stay informed and up to date about what’s going on. What do people at UT worry about? What brings them joy? If I see that there’s a problem somewhere or that something really cool is happening, I jump right in and make sure I speak to people.’

When I started this job two years ago, it was like a sweet shop

Inge Broekman

Tom: ‘I haven’t been at UT for so long in my current position and I have noticed that there are many fun projects and numerous opportunities. I get the idea that I may have to be careful with that. How do see that?’

Inge: ‘I see what you mean. When I started my job two years ago, it was like a sweet shop. Now, I’m not very fond of sweets, but there were so many fun things to do. I remember a friend saying to me: ‘Think of it as a treasure and a strength.’ I would say: pick the things you like now and that you can do right away. Those other cool topics will still be there in a year’s time. So choose something, and go for it – don’t wait.’

Tom: ‘Speaking of choosing: you chose this position two years ago after working for years in internationalisation at UT. Why?’

Inge: ‘It was time for me to start something new. I noticed that I was doing the same things over and over again. Often that was fine, positive even, but I also came across things that didn’t make me tick anymore. I came to the conclusion that I had to make something of it or just leave, if I really wasn’t going to be happy. I chose the latter, also because I got the opportunity to start a new job. The choice for my current position with its broad orientation has been very good for me.’

Tom: ‘We’ve been talking about work for a while now, but I saw that you also have a unique hobby – or even a business. I’m talking about the restoration project. Can you tell me a bit more about that?’

Inge: ‘Definitely! I studied Dutch and Art History, but I don’t really apply that background at UT. At some point I noticed that I missed being involved with old documents, history and culture. My husband and I go to the pub together every other month to see if everything we do makes us happy and we noticed that this was a subject that came up often. We thought: why don’t we do something about that?’

Tom: ‘So what do you now do about it?’

Inge: ‘I started restoring old objects. For two reasons. I want to give objects from the past a purpose and a new future. And I think it’s important to share the story behind them to preserve knowledge. It also touches on my personal sustainability goal of using products for a long time. Many old objects, such as furniture, are made to last for hundreds of years. But they are quickly discarded because they are broken or out of fashion. It brings me a lot of joy to commit myself to preventing this.’

If anyone has a cool object from UT’s history, I’d love to do something with it and write a story about it

Inge Broekman

Tom: ‘Have you restored anything related to UT?’

Inge: ‘I haven’t established a link with the UT yet. If anyone has a cool object from UT’s history, I would be happy to do something with it and write a story about it. If you look at it from a distance, my hobby does have to do with the university. Because you can learn a lot from the past and I am also dedicated to promoting this at UT.’

Tom: ‘Are there things you would still like to achieve, in your work or your personal life?’

Inge: ‘I hope to take the UT annual report to the next level. I would like to develop it into an integrated report, where financial and policy aspects are really intertwined. I see the annual report as a very valuable tool. It is not there to just look back, but also to anticipate future developments. I would like us to take a sustainability perspective even more, especially on the environmental, social and governance aspects. It makes me very happy when we are transparent about these things.’

Tom: ‘I see that you can take a broad perspective and dive deep into the contents in your job. Seems like a really nice balance to me.’

Inge: ‘That’s right! Shall we go for a coffee soon? So we can talk some more.’

Tom: ‘Yes, I think that’s a very good idea. See you then!’

Dr. Inge Broekman (1981)

has been working at UT for thirteen years. She studied Dutch and Dutch Golden Age Studies. After graduating, she wrote a dissertation on the role of painting in the life of Constantijn Huygens. She then held various positions at UT. She worked as Institutional Erasmus Coordinator at the International Office, Coordinator Internationalisation at the Center for Educational Support and was active nationally as a Bologna Expert. She has now been Advisor Policy & Analytics for two years. She deals with various strategy and policy topics and is co-responsible for the UT Annual Report.

Tom Boogerd (1998)

is a Policy Advisor Research at the BMS Research Support Office. He obtained his master’s degree in Industrial Design Engineering at UT, and was a trainee on Internationalisation and at the BMS Teaching Academy of the BMS faculty. Next to his job, Tom works on a more inclusive campus as a member of Think With Pride, a UT organisation that is committed to LGBTQ+-rights and inclusion on campus.