‘I go to work with a smile from ear to ear’

| Michaela Nesvarova

We work next to each other almost every day, but how well do we really know our colleagues? U-Today is curious about the personal stories of the UT support and management staff and we bring you these stories in this series ‘On the spot’. In this episode we introduce Wim Koehorst, the UT’s beadle and a service desk employee.

Photo by: Arjan Reef

How long have you worked at the UT?

‘A long time. My main job is being a beadle (‘pedel’), but I also work at the service desk two days a week. On Mondays I’m at the Spiegel, on Tuesdays at ITC and the rest of the week I’m a beadle. I’ve been a service desk employee since May, before that I worked in the Faculty Club for 14 years. And before that I worked in the Drienerburght for over three years. So I guess I’ve been at the campus since 2000.’

Where do you live?

‘Now I live in Hengelo, but I was born and raised in Enschede.’

And which city is better?

‘Oh, I’m not answering that!’ (laughs)

What is your favorite book?

Earth’s Children, a series by Jean M. Auel. I love those books! I actually have one with me, right here. It’s set in prehistoric Europe, about 35.000 years ago. I love to read about history.’

What was the last movie you saw?

‘The new Jumanji movie. I saw it with my wife and kids on Christmas Day. It was great! So much fun.’

What is your favorite music?

‘I sing in a gospel choir. So I really like gospel and country, some 80’s and 90’s music. But country gospel is the closest to my heart. I’ve been in the choir for 16 years. We perform in churches or at concerts, sometimes even in people’s homes – especially in cases of people, who have troubles leaving the house, because they are old or disabled. I love to sing. I don’t have a great voice, but I love to sing.’

Any other hobbies?

‘I ride horses. I’ve been riding horses for 40 years now and I had my own horses until I was about 28. I bought them all myself. It cost me every penny I had. I got my first horse when I was 11 years old and at 16 years old I got a bigger horse and I began entering competitions. I won quite a lot, but it was the time when all the ‘big’ riders started and I simply couldn’t compete with them. I only had one horse at the time and I worked in a restaurant on weekends, so I didn’t have a lot of time.’

Did your parents have horses?

‘No, not at all. I’m a son of a baker. I didn’t grow up around horses. But since I can remember, I loved horses and I wanted to ride them one day. So I did. I used to buy horses, ‘break them’ – as they say, even though that is not a nice term -, and then sell them again. Now I only ride for fun together with my daughter. We are a very busy family.’

How many children do you have?

‘We have three children: two boys and a girl. They are 19, 17 and 15 years old. I’ve been married for 20 years. My wife actually also worked at the campus for a long time. Now she works in a crematorium.’

Do you have any pets?

‘We have a dog named Ranka. She is 12 years old now. She is a rescue dog. Before her, we had two other dogs. I’m definitely a dog person. A dog and a horse person.’

What is on your bucket list?

‘To travel. My dream is to travel through America with my whole family. I’ve never been there before. Actually, I haven’t travelled that much. I’ve been to Croatia, Austria, Italy… And Germany, of course. I’m half German, after all. My mother is from Cologne.’

What is the best thing about your job?

‘I absolutely love my job. It is the best job ever. Really. I feel good at the university. I honestly enjoy everything here – the students, my colleagues, my supervisors, just everything. There isn’t anything I don’t like. I always go to work with a smile from ear to ear.’