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Meet your colleague: Study planner Kristian Winther

For more than 17 years, Kristian Winther has kept track of room booking, timetables and exam schedules for the benefit of both students and lecturers. First at the former Aarhus School of Business and today at Aarhus BSS. Here, he is one of five total study planners in Studieplan, which is part of the Aarhus BSS Studies Administration. Read his story here.

2018.02.05 | Sinne B. Jakobsen

Photo: Sinne Brandt Jakobsen

In Tåsingegade 3, at the end of a long hallway on the first floor, you'll find room 119. Kristian Winther greets me with a smile. The office is small, but cosy. Pictures of three happy boys decorate the wall, and various notes and overviews hang on the bulletin board - denoting a busy working day. We sit down.

Tell me about your work here at Studieplan. What does it actually mean to be a study planner?

The job actually entails many different tasks. Each study planner is responsible for specific degree programmes. Mine are the BSc and MSc in Economics and Business Administration. I prepare all of the timetables and exam schedules for these programmes. We also book rooms for other events at the school, from conferences to the oral defence of Master’s theses and PhD projects. We also handle the Chronological Exam Schedule, where we book exam rooms for all of the school’s degree programmes in Aarhus. This is the plan that the students use to get an overview of their exams.

It must be something of a jigsaw puzzle?

It is. There’s a lot that has to fall into place, and something new happens all the time. No two days are alike and that’s one of the reasons why my work is so interesting. I look forward to making things come together every single day. Luckily, we have a very good collaboration both across the Aarhus BSS Studies Administration and with the lecturers and departments. This is important - especially because the processes have become more complicated after the merger, where we had to correlate several different working methods. It’s not something you just do...

You have worked as a study planner for 17 years. You must have seen a bit of everything?

I certainly have. I actually started in 1997 at the payroll office of the former Aarhus School of Business. Then, in 2001, I became part of the new planning office. Back then, you used posters and marker pens to schedule courses and exams - and this was doomed to fail. That’s why one of the first things we did was to introduce a computer-based system.

It was very nerve-wracking in the beginning, and I clearly remember that we had to lock our doors during the week leading up to the start of the semester so that we could finish on time. We also had our fair share of teething problems, so every morning when we came to work, there was a long queue of people in front of our office. Today, luckily the system is working as it should. When two lecturers turn up in the same room, it’s because they didn’t check the latest schedule. You should always remember to do that!

Are you as good at planning things at home as you are at work?

Haha, no, unfortunately not. In fact, my wife would probably say that I’m pretty unorganised. But I still think I’m quite good at planning - including at home. You have to be when you’ve got three boys aged 10, 15 and 18. The two oldest have ADHD and are also in the middle of their teens, so they keep us busy. Being organised helps a lot! 

What do you do when you want to take a break?

I go running and cycling when I have the time - it clears my mind and lets me recharge. I used to be a football coach and play both handball and football, but unfortunately I suffered a knee injury at a company football event in 2013. Fortunately I’ve come a long way towards a recovery, so today I go cycling once a week with a group of 12-14 men. We go cycling around the country, e.g. to Himmelbjerget. 

What do you like about working at Aarhus BSS?

We’ve been through a lot of major changes in recent years. We’ve become part of a much larger school, where many different cultures had to come together to make things work - including our systems. It’s not always easy, but I think we have a really good atmosphere here. I very much enjoy working with my colleagues at all levels of the school.

About the Aarhus BSS Studies Administration:

The Aarhus BSS Studies Administration is responsible for planning exams, course administration, student guidance, recruitment, information, case handling, quality assurance and board of studies support for degree programmes offered at Aarhus BSS.

Read more about the Aarhus BSS Studies Administration.

Medarbejderportrætter, Aarhus BSS
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