The EWP+ Meet The Team Series: Victoria Penopoulou (ESCI Service Desk Agent)

The Erasmus Without Paper project plays a central role in digitalization of the Erasmus administration. A total of 14 consortium partner institutions are working on various building blocks of the European Student Card Initiative, aiming to replace paper-based workflows, allowing Higher Education Institutions (HEI) to digitally exchange information in the context of student mobility.

But who are the people working on making this dream become a reality? In this meet The Team Series, we will take you behind the scenes and introduce the various members of the EWP+ consortium that are doing the real heavy lifting. Today we are sitting down with: Victoria Penopoulou (ESCI Service Desk Agent), working at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

What does a regular day look like at the ESCI Community Service Desk?

Victoria: The daily workflow depends on the incoming issues. I start with my emails and notifications. Usually, I handle the follow up issues first and then I start investigating new ones. We (our team) regularly have a 15 minutes session so we can organize and prioritize our work better.  

How long have you been a part of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the team working behind the scenes?

Victoria: I joined the team around March 2022, so I am a fairly new member. Previously I was also working in a customer service position. I provided technical support for a national Telecommunication provider regarding issues with internet access or landlines.

What is the most pleasant part/aspect of working at the Service Desk? 

Victoria: It feels great being able to provide assistance and solve problems. If people reach out to a service desk, it is because they don’t know what more they can do, so if I can fix it for them, I’am happy.

How do people respond?

Victoria: They are grateful if you could help, and frustrated when you can’t (laughs). But in general, people are frustrated with the system, and not our quality of service. It’s a lot better now with the new Service Desk system than before, so that is a step in the right direction.

What is the weirdest question you have received through the service desk?

Victoria: I think that I have not received any weird questions just yet. Sometimes people do ask very basic questions, or they provide the answer to their own question in the ticket. After the presentation on the Service Desk during the Erasmus Goes Digital Summer Webinar, we received many tickets asking the same questions we specifically explained during the webinar.

What suggestions do you have for people that might submit a ticket in the future? (in order to make your job easier?)

Victoria: It really helps when users report specific problems in detail along with their Erasmus Code. This makes it easier to locate the issue and share information.

What did you study

Victoria: I studied Computer Science at [institution] and gained my Masters in Network and IT infrastructures.

Did you go on Erasmus, or In what country would you have liked to go on Erasmus?

Victoria: Unfortunately, I did not go on Erasmus but I would like to have been on Erasmus in Germany or in Spain. At that time, certain German universities had very good Computer Sciences programmes. Spain, I just really like the weather, the food and culture (laughs).

Where did you spend your last holiday?

Victoria: I spent my last summer holidays on a Greek island, Thasos. Most recently I went for a short trip (long weekend) in Athens. The Greek islands are a very common holiday destination for us. Personally, I like going to the same familiar places. That, for me, provides a genuine holiday feeling. So we are visiting Thasos again this summer!

Do you have any pets, and if ‘yes’ what are their names?

Victoria: No, I don’t have any pets. I love playing with my nephew's dog, though. We call him Chito.

Can you tell me a fun fact that your colleagues don’t know about you?

Victoria: I have two daughters, they are seven and two years’ old. I really like playing with LEGOs and Barbie dolls with them, but honestly, I like the LEGOs a lot more (laughs).

Thank you for your time today and contribution to EWP+ and the European Student Card Initiative!

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