“IFMIF-DONES is made up of very competent people, both professionally and personally”

A Business Administration and Management graduate, Gloria Velasco Jiménez (Otura, Granada, 1992) emphasizes the coordination between the different project departments and the optimization of processes for the benefit of common objectives. She mainly looks forward to the team’s growth, which will continue in the coming months. For her, the role played by the ‘Women in DONES’ collective, which she is a member of, is fundamental.

– QUESTION (Q). IFMIF-DONES demands multidisciplinary professional profiles, not only scientific and technological personnel. You are an example of this diversity. How does it work in such a heterogeneous team?

– ANSWER (A). It is surprising how much harmony there is between such different profiles. The team comprises very competent people, both professionally and personally. My colleagues are dynamic, involved, adaptable, grateful and, most importantly, good people!

There is a great atmosphere, and you can enjoy a good conversation with anyone. In addition, sharing experiences with colleagues with more technical profiles allows you to learn surprising things that, if I hadn’t worked here, I would never have known. Since I joined the Consortium, the saying “You won’t go to bed without knowing one more thing” has become very meaningful.

– Q. Throughout your career, did you ever think you would end up working on the largest scientific project in Spain? What is your assessment?

– A. Not at all! I imagined myself doing a relatively routine job in some department or service but ended up on the opposite side. Everything here is very dynamic because the Consortium is growing, and I am very happy about that.

I am proud to be part of a project of this calibre, which will demand many challenges and opportunities for improvement. Moreover, to see it grow from so close, contributing my bit, is a tremendous personal satisfaction.

It was fascinating when I announced it to my family because they had already heard about the magnitude of the project and the great opportunity ahead of me.

– Q. You got a standing ovation when you explained the work you do in IFMIF-DONES during the meeting that the ‘Women in DONES (WID)’ collective, of which you are a member, held with Red Cross users. Why does WID play such an essential role in society?

– A. ‘Women in DONES’ is essential because it promotes the visibility of women working in the field of fusion energy and motivates more people (both men and women) to join and participate in the field and the world of science in general.

Specifically, in the talk with the Red Cross users, we raised awareness of the project and the employment opportunities that will be presented. I tried to convey to them that in the search for the job of their dreams, it’s OK if you get lost along the way or as many times as you get lost; the important thing is not to lose your enthusiasm, hope and, above all, motivation, because in the end everything comes and everything happens.

– Q. You work in a critical department for IFMIF-DONES: the administrative management and justification of the public funding it receives. Is the efficiency of this department one of the pillars on which the project’s solid growth is based?

– A. The Management and Administration department, of which I am a part, is very important to ensure that the Consortium acts efficiently, complies with regulations and laws, makes informed decisions, manages its human and financial resources effectively, and strategically plans.

However, I cannot claim that it is the pillar for the project’s solid growth, as it is no more important than any of the other departments. We all work together here, and everything that is done, regardless of which department it comes from, is essential for the solid growth of the Consortium.

There is synergy between the different departments because activities are coordinated, information flows continuously, processes are optimized, and ideas emerge that benefit us all.

I would put it in the mythical phrase of the three musketeers: “All for one and one for all”.

– Q. Which point in the life cycle of a funded project are you most attracted to: application, implementation or justification?

– A. Based on my previous work experience, after having been in the Vice-rectorate for Research and Transfer of the University of Granada, I can say that thanks to the advice of my former colleagues and the time I have spent, I have become quite fluent in the justification part of the project.

I am comfortable preparing all the required documentation to justify my actions, and I like doing it. The wide variety of tasks I do is one of the most routine ones, allowing me to disconnect and take a break from the day-to-day.

It is also very satisfying when, after the justification is submitted, you see that good work has been done throughout the project’s life cycle and all the expenses submitted are accepted.

– Q. The numerous recruitments that the IFMIF-DONES Consortium has been carrying out in recent months mean more workload and satisfaction from seeing how the project grows. How do you personally receive this challenge?

– A. Indeed, the new recruitments mean a considerable increase in the workload, as the process includes everything from preparing and publishing the call for applications, publishing lists, sending calls for applications to the selection board, conducting interviews, registering with the SEPE and preparing the contract documentation.

Fortunately, since I have been working in the Consortium, although there have been approximately 20 incorporations, these have taken place progressively, allowing me to learn little by little and gain fluency in its management.

The real challenge will come in a few months, as around 40 more vacancies are expected to be advertised. I am very motivated because I have been preparing models, my guide of good practices, and lessons learned so that everything will be more agile and straightforward when the time comes.

I am also looking forward to the arrival of these recruitments because it is tremendously exciting to see the applicants’ enthusiasm and eagerness to join the project.

Also, seeing the success of the recent recruitments, there are still many wonderful people to join our team.

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