IT Center Blog

Onboarding – Digital and with heart

November 10th, 2021 | by
two women in a video conference smile at the camera

Nadina Binz in interview

Onboarding in the Systems & Operations department

Nadja has been part of the Identity Management and Software group in the IT Center’s Systems & Operations department since April 1. In this interview, she tells us how she experienced her first time at the IT Center and how her induction went.


Janin: Nadja, please briefly describe the IT Center department you work in, which group you belong to and what the tasks of the department and group are.

Nadja: I belong to the Systems & Operations department, SuB for short, and there to the “Software” team of the Identity Management & Software group. We are four permanent employees and two HiWis. The Software Management team is responsible for bundling and managing software and providing licenses. In addition, the team also provides support in arranging framework agreements. The group’s other team, Identity Management, is responsible for the entire lifecycle of the central IT-based services of RWTH Aachen University as the central user administration. The main task of IdM is the administration and provision of data for the authentication and authorization of users. The focus is on supporting university-wide processes with different user groups, as well as the further development and operation of all associated systems.

Other groups in the department include “Servers, Storage, HPC,” “Application Operations & Cloud,” and “Application Development.” The Systems and Operations department is jointly responsible for operating the hardware and software of central systems. It performs conceptual work and introduces new products with a central character, which are made available as a service to the IT Center, the RWTH Aachen University and external customers. This ensures a basic infrastructure and creates an interface within the university landscape.

Once a month we have a big meeting where we talk about all current tasks of the department and inform each other about changes.

Janin: How was your first day at work at the IT Center? What did you experience and how did you feel?

Nadja: I found my first day of work very pleasant. I went to the IT Center to pick up the equipment for my home office. A colleague from my team welcomed me, showed me around the IT Center, set up my computer with me and showed me all the important access points. I felt really comfortable right from the start and was already able to ask a few questions. In the afternoon, I worked from home and had a first meeting with my group leader Ann-Kathrin Wluka. She welcomed me and we discussed together whether everything was working or if there were still things that needed to be clarified so that I could work from home without any problems.

Janin: How did you feel about knowing that you were being trained purely digitally and getting to know colleagues and managers online?

Nadja: I already knew the situation from my previous job. There I also trained HiWis digitally, so I didn’t find it that unusual. Of course it’s still different when you’ve never met new colleagues in person. Nevertheless, my team is very open, which is why I was able to get to know everyone right from the first day. Right from the start, it was very important to me that we also take time for private conversations in order to get to know each other better. In other words, the classic conversations that we would otherwise have on site at the coffee machine. That’s why we take time in regular meetings to talk about our interests and also about private matters. This is also very important to me, so that my colleagues get to know me better, know my background and know what I can do. At the moment, we’re planning to have a virtual lunch together to create more space for getting to know each other.

Janin: How did you like the digital induction? Did you have certain expectations and were they met?

Nadja: I think the digital induction worked very well. I didn’t have any specific expectations beforehand and I think my team did a great job. It was very well organized and I always knew who to contact if I had any questions. Different colleagues taught me different things, took me along with them on their work and showed me what tasks they were doing and how. From the very beginning, it was clear that no matter what question I had, I could always ask it and my colleagues were always open to hearing it. I’m still learning, and my team supports me at all times. Every morning we have a joint meeting, which is really helpful. Especially at the beginning, it gave me an overview of the tasks at hand and where I could provide support. It was really a top organization in the induction.

Janin: Have you already experienced an induction at another company and if so, what differences did you notice?

Nadja: In my previous job, I wasn’t trained virtually, but I don’t think there are extreme differences. Sure, it’s different when you’re not sitting face-to-face with people and you’re not looking at a computer together, but we shared the screen and could still talk through Microsoft Teams. I think it actually had advantages because I was already clicking along on my own screen, so I was already getting hands-on experience.

Janin: When you look back on your first few months at the IT Center. How did the onboarding go? What went particularly well and where were there hurdles in your eyes?

Nadja: I think my team supported me super well and was always there for me. The induction process is very well organized. The only small hurdles were partly technical. Every now and then I was missing an access, but that was easily cleared up within a few hours.

Janin: How would you sum up your onboarding time?

Nadja: Overall I had a top onboarding, the whole department is great, everyone is helpful and I feel very comfortable.

We would like to thank Nadja for giving us an insight into her first time at the IT Center and allowing us to get to know the Systems & Operations department better.

Responsible for the content of this article are Nadja Binz and Janin Vreydal.

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