Charlotte Engelsen

Business Administration Assistant
Charlotte Engelsen needs change in her everyday life to make sure she won’t get bored. Luckily, that seems to fit well with her front office job at Eriksholm where there is no such thing as a ‘typical work day’. She has many different functions, but it all comes down to limiting the amount of administrative tasks for the researchers.

December 2018

What do you do at Eriksholm Research Centre?

“I work in the business administration team, and we are basically the ones who make Eriksholm run on a daily basis. That includes many different things like day to day running of the facilities, practical preparations for visitors, and administrative tasks like accounting and purchasing.
I am also spending quite a lot of my time working on administrating the EU-funded projects, e.g. figuring out the best way possible to manage these projects economically in collaboration with the project managers.
A typical work day does not exist. It is actually quite common that on a typical day I don’t get around to do the things I planned because so much else comes up.”

How does your work support the research?

“The important difference my work makes for the researchers is to make sure they don’t need to be bothered by practicalities. We make sure that everything practical is ready for the tests, which makes it possible for the researchers to focus one hundred percent on their research. Our job is to create the optimal conditions for the them.”

How did you end up working at Eriksholm?

“The road to getting here was not straight-forward. Originally, I was trained as an office clerk with a focus on accounting. I worked in that area for ten years in an international advertising agency, and later I had an all-round position at a small museum for many years.
At some point, I decided to become a self-employed Pilates instructor. I made my own little company, had my own classes, and worked with costumers for five years. However, I missed having colleagues. I didn’t want just any job. I wanted to be part of an internationally oriented company, which I had enjoyed in the advertising business. But I also needed a workplace with visions. I got all that here at Eriksholm. That was incredible, and I feel really lucky and grateful to have found this job. Eriksholm really is a place with visions, and our work makes an important difference for people with hearing loss.”

What is the most interesting experience you have been part of during your time here?

“The most amazing thing here is that people are so extremely nice to each other. The colleagues are kind and treat each other with respect, and I am happy about that every day. It makes this work place different from the other places I have been working.
Furthermore, it is obvious when working here that people are very dedicated about what they do. That is fantastic and makes the atmosphere quite special.”

What motivates you in your job?

“Change. It is important to me not to do the same thing all the time, because then I will quickly get bored. Luckily, this fits well with my current job. Another thing that motivates me is to have people around me with whom I can share a laugh.
I also think it is important to have some kind of greater reason for doing what you do in your work. I enjoy supporting the beautiful and extremely important mission of making life easier for people with hearing loss. Looking at young people’s use of head phones today, I don’t think that our mission will be any less important in the future.“

What do you do in your spare time, when you are not working at Eriksholm?

“I still teach a lot of Pilates. I just work for others now since that is much easier than running your own company.
I really enjoy going for a walk, going to the cinema, or eating at a restaurant , being together with family and friends. I like to be active but of course, I also need to just lay down on the sofa every once in a while.”

What are the three most important values in your life and why?

“Well, love is what makes life worth living.

I also think it is important to take care of the earth. We need to take care of the resources we have. It is terrible to hear about plastic in the oceans and climate change, and what it does to the wildlife. We need to change course as fast as possible.

Finally, to me it is also essential to be understanding and empathic to others. It both accounts for my relationship, my colleagues, and my job. It is actually applicable to everything. I think it is a good aim to have to make sure you don’t get superficial. People would be able to do a lot of things better if we exerted ourselves. It could be easier to understand other people’s behavior instead of giving up on people who are different from yourself, or people from countries you don’t care about. We are all human beings, and all human beings are products of many different experiences. I believe that if we tried harder to understand other people it would be easier to respect each other.”

What is the most exciting scientific breakthrough or invention in your time?

“Looking at Eriksholm, I think that the research aiming at making the brain control the hearing aids is something that can really make life easier for so many people some years into the future.
Outside of Eriksholm, I think that big and important steps are taken when it comes to cancer research.
Research in general is moving forward so fast at the moment. Developments are made in every area. It is like a snowball rolling that makes us wiser at an increasingly fast pace, and hopefully makes the world a better place to live”

What do you hope will happen in future science?

“I am very concerned about climate change. It would be great if researchers, in collaboration with the industry, got better at developing things with less of an environmental impact. It could be research on better cars or trains which being done already, but also things like cultivate crops, extraction of raw materials and so on. Everything has an impact on the environment – not solely climate change. We exploit this earth, and it has a frightening perspective.
In general, I just hope that we become so evolved that we start doing things in a different way.”