Inside EUMETSAT: meet Ruth and Valentin
Inside EUMETSAT interviews Ruth Weitzel and Valentin Costache
Inside EUMETSAT returns this month with another in-depth interview featuring two more of our outstanding EUMETSAT colleagues: Ruth Weitzel and Valentin Costache! Ruth started at EUMETSAT in September of 2001, while Valentin joined the team more recently in May of 2020.
01 September 2021
31 August 2021
Inside EUMETSAT is a series of articles for the EUMETSAT Science Blog that will be published over the next weeks and months. Each month, we’ll introduce you to two valued members of our team: one newcomer, who joined in the past year, and one senior staff member who has spent years at the organisation.
In a time that’s far from ordinary, we hope to use this opportunity to introduce our readers to some of the diverse and friendly faces they might encounter in the course of a normal day at EUMETSAT. It’s our goal to appreciate and celebrate all the different and talented people who work here. We hope these articles will help you discover—or rediscover—EUMETSAT.
Meet Ruth and Valentin!
What is your current role at EUMETSAT? What are your current duties?
Ruth Weitzel: I am EUMETSAT’s Librarian, managing all aspects of the library services. The library is in charge of organising and making externally published resources (books, journals, and standards) in print and electronic format available to everybody working at EUMETSAT. In addition, we provide research services, mainly in the form of a monthly current awareness service (a user gets monthly updated lists of new publications on the topic he or she requested).
Valentin Costache: I am a Project Controller in charge of budgeting and controlling human resources activities of the Operations and Services to Users (OPS) and the Technical and Scientific Support (TSS) departments. OPS/TSS Project Controller - Budgeting and controlling the HR activities related to OPS/TSS. My role is to support the departments with human resources related procurements and maintain the HR plan at every budget cycle.
What has been your biggest challenge during COVID and lockdown? Do you feel supported by EUMETSAT?
RW: The time last year when we were all in home office was very hard, switching from one day to another to an entirely virtual library. It is now working much better. The library is still available for all the usual services – book loans take place when colleagues are on site, they just walk in as our door is always open. On top of this, we have some very interesting and extensive electronic resources to offer, for example e-books and the O'Reilly Learning database. This is an impressive service that provides users with many learning opportunities. All electronic resources are available on the intranet pages of the library – or upon direct request to the library team.
VC: My biggest challenge was preparing the budgetary exercises – draft and sketch, remotely, without too many face-to-face interactions. EUMETSAT did almost everything possible so that colleagues would feel supported to overcome all the difficulties imposed by COVID-19 and the lockdowns, and we managed to smoothly complete our work.
Where do you usually work from? How do you interact with your colleagues?
RW: I am on site two to three days per week, the rest teleworking. That works fine.
VC: At the moment I am teleworking, but I try to pass by the office at least twice per week. Unfortunately, the main way to interact with my colleagues is still via virtual tools. I am looking forward, like everybody else, to the day without restrictions and social distancing.
What has your experience of EUMETSAT been during normal, non-pandemic times? Why do you like working here?
RW: I always liked the diversity of my job, a mix of administrative tasks and interaction with users. It is a very nice feeling when a user is satisfied with the library service – and most users are so nice here, they actually tell you so! If a user is happy, I am happy.
What has been your experience of EUMETSAT been like so far? Were you able to come to HQ and meet colleagues face-to-face?
VC: The EUMETSAT experience actually started for me a while back in 2016, when I worked in a temporary position as Assistant Project Controller in the Programme Preparation and Development (PRD) department. So I can say that I have become very familiar with the EUMETSAT experience well before the pandemic. I already knew quite well most of my new colleagues from my previous time here.
What book are you currently reading?
Librarian Tales: Funny, Strange, and Inspiring Dispatches from the Stacks.
Upheaval: How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change by Jarred Diamond.
Which weather phenomenon represents you best?
Sunny and warm but not too hot, maybe a slight breeze, a few pretty white clouds in the sky.
The fog :).
If expense were not a concern, what would you like to do in the next 5 years?
Definitively do some travelling without having to rush because one has only a limited amount of holiday days – I still have quite a few destinations I would like to go to.
Travel to space, it seems to be the trend nowadays.
According to you, what is the most exciting science/technology innovation in the last century?