Vanessa van Aalst, TU Delft, Delta
Vanessa van Aalst: "I don’t see being a woman in my role as anything special." (Photo: Heather Montague)

Who are the people who study and work at TU Delft? We meet them in Humans of TU Delft where they talk about their work or other activities. In facility management, Vanessa van Aalst is used to hearing when something goes wrong. But her team is there to make things right.

“I started working at Civil Engineering and EWI about two and a half years ago. In January, I transferred to support Architecture, TPM, the Science Center and the library. In May, I got the position of forewoman, which we call voorvrouw in Dutch.

Ninety percent of my colleagues are male, but I don’t see being a woman in this role as anything special - I’m just doing my job. It’s mostly operational work that we do and I find it easy to work with males. I think a balance between males and females makes for a good atmosphere in a team, but I find this job easier with mostly males because it can be hard and physically heavy.

‘The hardest thing about my job is filling my positions’

I coordinate the daily operations within the team. I try to make sure things go as efficiently as possible and that we respond to and prioritize ad hoc situations or requests.

The hardest thing about my job is filling my positions. Even with 11 staff, divided over four buildings, it’s tight when someone is on sick leave or holiday. One thing that is exciting but challenging is that you have to communicate with all kinds of people and take into consideration all kinds of opinions and wishes.

The most positive part of my job is when customers are satisfied. Also, working in a really good and motivated team is nice. In facilities, we normally only hear when things go wrong. That’s normal because that’s our job. But it’s also nice to hear when we succeed and when people are satisfied.”

Heather Montague

Also read: 
Humans of TU Delft: Roy Bendor