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With focus on delivering an excellent administrative support

Interview with Joakim Palestro

Joakim Palestro, Head of Administration
Published May 17, 2022

The professional support gathered at a conference where the theme was "close to business". We spoke with the school's Head of Administration Joakim Palestro about his thoughts and conclusions on how we can provide the best support.

Hey Joakim! Tell us briefly about the professional support's conference last week?

"The annual conference aims to develop our ability to deliver full administrative support to our clients and find ways forward in the ongoing merger process. To meet physically after two long pandemic years was a fantastic bonus."

The theme was "Close to business" - what did you come up with?

"Close to business stands for different things depending on who you ask. We came to several relevant conclusions. There is now a greater need for teachers and students to get fast digital feedback, as there will be fewer physical visits (even if they occur). A conclusion is that our behaviours have changed during the pandemic. And that our premises must have a high digital standard to meet the needs of the 'borderless' work."

"It was also gratifying to discuss the department team's task and function and how other employees on the professional support who are only indirectly part of a team should be able to perform their work with high quality in harmony with the department teams."

"A couple of the highlights were getting an inspirational lecture by Professor Danica Kragic Jensfelt about her ongoing research. Also, to share experiences from Luleå University of Technology about their journey of change to joint professional support. It was very instructive with the two digitally conducted lectures - so symptomatic of today's hybrid everyday life."

What is "close to business" support for you?

"To capture needs, to be present - digitally and physically - to work together towards common goals and to have a good backing so that not only one person is responsible for a process. The professional support must also show interest in our academic leaders' needs and participate in department and division meetings."

"Then, it is essential not to push cases aside, that our processes are carried out with high quality so that things do not end up between the chairs, and of course, we are generally nice to each other. We are colleagues. We must treat colleagues nicely and feel trust in each other."

What will be the next step in taking this further?

"Now that the department teams have been appointed, I look forward to following their work and ensuring that they can deliver a good result."

"This autumn, we will conduct a new workplace survey. Then I hope, of course, that our well-being has increased, that we feel faith in the future and that the merger with the joint professional support makes us even better, that things do not end up between the chairs and that we work with each other, not against each other."