Five Minutes With…Martina Holubcova

staff-awardsName, role and department:
Martina Holubcova, Service Desk Manager (i.e., Manager of the IT Helpline), Information Systems & Digital Services

How long have you been at Manchester Met:
Nearly 4 years. I was interviewed two days after arriving in the UK from a “gap year” travelling around the world.

Favourite thing about the University:
It’s so much more than just a workplace – it’s a vibrant, diverse community, full of opportunities to get involved, learn, and challenge yourself.
I love coming to work – I have a job I truly enjoy, in a great team, but I’m also a part-time postgraduate student in the Business School. I volunteer with the wonderful MMU Sport as a Zumba instructor, offering free fitness classes to staff and students. I recently delivered a guest lecture to share my experience of working in IT service management with our students. The opportunities here are limitless. If I had any time left I would probably join some of the language classes on offer, spend more time in the Library, take part in the Writing Project and participate in more sports activities.

A typical working day:
Everything I do aims to ensure that the IT Helpline (4646) provides a quick, round-the-clock, efficient and friendly service to all staff and students, that we work effectively with other areas of IT and that the people working on the IT Helpline have access to the right knowledge, tools, and are happy and engaged.  In practice, that involves operational planning, trying to understand our data, improving quality, speed and service, working with our suppliers, improving our toolset, overseeing major outages, participating in meetings with colleagues, one to one discussions with my team, driving recruitment and staff development, documenting and managing processes, and continually trying not to drown in my inbox. Above all, I’m surrounded by wonderful, upbeat, ambitious, bright individuals who make being at work a pleasure.

What is your ideal weekend:
One that involves a tent, long hikes, fresh air, spectacular views, a book, hot chocolate, sunset, sunrise and a very long sleep in between.

Interesting fact about you:elbrus-2013
I don’t go on “holidays” but on adventures in wild remote places, unguided and independent. In the last 5 years my partner and I have climbed some of the highest mountains around the world like Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc, Elbrus and Mount Rainier, hiked long distance trails like the West Coast Trail, Torres del Paine or Queen Charlotte Track, and sea-kayaked in very remote locations around the coasts of Canada and New Zealand.  People find it odd when we go on these trips without booking anything in advance, but that’s what I mean by an adventure rather than a holiday.

What are you reading, watching or listening to at the moment:
Reading – No Picnic on Mount Kenya: A very touching true story of three Italian prisoners-of-war, escaping a British POW camp, risking everything, not to regain freedom but only to climb Mount Kenya for 3 weeks with makeshift equipment and secretly stored food supplies, with the intention of turning themselves back in to the camp at the end of their epic expedition!
Listening – Latin-inspired rhythms, electro swing and world music in general, as I’m always looking for inspiration for my Zumba classes
Watching – no time left for that.

Favourite place in the region:
Tameside (home), especially the hilly rural areas around Uppermill, Saddleworth, Lydgate, Hartshead…and all of the Peak District.

Person you would most like to meet- past or present, real or fictional:
Rather than that, if I could bring all of my existing friends and family into one continent, one country, one place, even if just for one moment – that would be amazing.

What items would you take on a desert island and why:
Apart from food, drinking water and sunscreen – hiking boots, a sea kayak, hammock, our fabulous tent and a GoPro.