"We had a good summer," Iris says. "We processed 36,000 registrations on time. In August, we received almost 10,000 phone calls from (prospective) students. We were able to handle this rush well. Applications go digital, but diplomas and grade sheets come by mail. So there are big piles coming in. And on the last day, (prospective) students still have to arrange all kinds of things. For example, they massively turn in tuition authorization forms."
What does the peak look like?
"August 31 is the busiest day. That's when students queue for over an hour for the five to six desks we have open with the team, whereas it's normally a lot shorter. We also worked on Saturdays around those days."
How do you guys handle that?
"Normally we work with nine permanent staff and some part-time staff. In the summer, we expand the team with summer staff. We open the front desk, chat, phone and mailbox to answer as many questions as possible before the registration deadline. The peak rush requires flexibility from the entire team. At the same time, we work according to strict agreements: from mid-August, everyone must be there. What also helps: other departments and faculties are running well. The International Office (Accommodation & Immigration Team) is behind the counter. In addition, the Degree Mobility Team and Student Administration are on hand to resolve questions immediately. Dealing with the crowds is teamwork."
What does the peak rush require of a team?
"I think it's important to make the bustle an enjoyable time as well. In advance, we hold a summer kick-off and prepare on a work level. During peak weeks, we often get something tasty. The atmosphere is good. Everyone enjoys having a blast. We help each other when needed: are you done calling? Then go help at the front desk. Closing with each other is also a highlight."
"Recuperating! A summer like this gives a fulfilled feeling. Now we pick up the usual routine again. And we will evaluate, so we can improve some things next year."