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Meet the team – Sylwia Zientek

Jane CharltonBy Jane Charlton
Category - Blog

Tuesday 15th October 2019

Sylwia joined our team as first line application support analyst back in July. Now a few months into the role, we thought it was time to get her on our blog! Have a read to find out more about Sylwia’s role, what she enjoys doing outside of work and what she thinks the future holds for OpenAthens. 

Tell us a little about your role at OpenAthens 

I work with the first line support team to answer emails and calls from our customers, predominantly our higher education institutions and publishers. They contact us if they’re experiencing technical issues or have any queries about accessing resources online. 

We mostly help our customers over email because sometimes the information we’re providing can be quite technical and it’s a great deal easier to communicate and digest this detail when it’s written down. 

What are your hobbies and interests? 

I love fitness and dance classes; I go to an Afro-Caribbean and Latin-inspired dance and aerobic workout in Bristol after work which is just fantastic. The classes are called ‘Carnival Fitness’ but it’s not just fitness; it’s dancing, the latest Latin music and amazing choreography too. 

Languages are also a passion of mine. I’m Polish and I speak English and Spanish, so I spend a lot of time practising and talking to as many people as I can. At university I took part in a study exchange programme and studied for a year in Granada and another year in Cadiz.  

What’s your proudest achievement?  

This job! I am very happy to be here as its my dream job and can honestly say that I’m in the right place for the first time in my life (even when it’s raining!). I love working as a technical support agent because troubleshooting is what fascinates me. 

What’s the best piece advice you’ve been given or could give? 

Be yourself’ is advice that works for everybody; sometimes people don’t have the courage to be themselves because they feel they are expected to be someone else, and this isn’t the way to achieve anything. 

Who inspires you? 

A previous colleague who speaks Spanish has been an inspiration to me. A few years ago I didn’t speak the language, and it’s thanks to her and her amazing Spanish that I do now. She was a mentor who helped international students back in Poland and I remember hearing her speak the language to someone even now, and that moment inspired me. 

In my role, the second line support team comprises people who inspire me. They just seem to know all the answers! In six months’ time, when I’ve been at OpenAthens for a little longer, I hope to know as much as they do. 

What do you think the future of the industry looks like? 

I think OpenAthens will continue to grow in popularity and that when people hear “library”, they will immediately think of us. 

In 10 years, I think we could be one of the biggest IT solutions providers with locations all over the world and a huge workforce; one of the most prominent companies truly helping people with digital access. 


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