Panthers Of ISKL #32 - Krystle Van Dijk - The Events Specialist
This week, we sit down with Krystle Van Dijk, ISKL's Global Events Marketing Specialist from the Facilities Department.
Krystle had the daunting task of transforming and organizing most of ISKL's physical events and meetings virtually during the Movement Control Order, busily working behind the scenes with much aplomb.
A self-proclaimed 'third culture kid,' Krystle shares with us about her life growing up as a Dutch-Malaysian youth traveling and living between the two countries, why her husband, an ISKL alumnus, inspires her, what she loves about her job, and being a busy mom of one (soon to be two).
Here is her story.
“My husband, Gael Oliveres ('01), an ISKL alumnus, saw a job posting at ISKL for a Global Events Marketing Specialist a couple of years back and thought it would be the right fit for me! As a wife, I don't often say this to him, but he was right! Having been exposed to an international school environment from an early age and being able to relate to most of the students here, as well as being exposed to a diverse community, working for ISKL just felt right.
'I have many responsibilities at school, but my main one would be to support all the events that students, parents, teachers, and staff organize that helps deepen and enrich our ISKL culture, learning experience, and the ISKL community. This, in turn, makes ISKL such a wonderful and stimulating place to be in or be part of, especially when you know it's all about our students and how they can become socially responsible global citizens.
'I also really do love my job, for the most part - it's a lot of fun, and I get to help plan and arrange fun activities and events for the school. I also get to work closely with all walks of life, so it's a win-win situation. I think a Global Events Marketing Specialist is a unique role in itself at this school. My function allows me to be interwoven, like a spiderweb, but with various departments. I get to dibble and dabble in all kinds of work that make this school extra special.
'When COVID-19 hit the country, and the government decided to restrict our movement, it took a lot of adjusting to - managing family life at home and balancing it out with work life. It was a steep learning curve, as we transitioned from physical to online events. I watched a lot of tutorials and learned from colleagues on how to use Zoom.
'To be honest, the best way to learn was through experience, learning on the go. After all, we were all in the same boat, so whatever we were experiencing was always an opportunity to learn and improve for the next time. It has also been a team effort, sharing experiences and processes that we learned along the way and coming up with a model that could work across the board. Reflecting on it now, it just shows how resilient and adaptable we became as a whole school.
'The toughest part about my job is saying "No" to people. This is probably more of a "me" problem than anything else. It's just hard to say no because I want to help, but I have to be strategic and think is it our role, is it best for our team? Even if I have to say no, I will always help and see if it can be done differently. So I guess even then, I am not saying no - and it is something I am still working on!
'My best memorable moment working at ISKL so far may well be my first year in ISKL. I was blessed and lucky to be involved with the grand opening ceremony of ISKL at our new campus - our new home. Even though it was quite a setup, I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Grand Opening Committee - to help plan and develop activities that would entertain the whole school, who would not love a job like that!
'We started with the official ceremony, which included government ministers and important dignitaries, and ended with student music and dancing performances. It felt like a small festival - showcasing our very best talented students and faculty - it was a fantastic community event!
'Who inspires me, you ask? A lot of people, but I will go with my husband, Gael, on this one. As corny as it sounds, he does inspire me! There's something about him that makes me want to be a better person.
'The way Gael's mind works and absorbs information is always mind-boggling to me because he questions from all angles and goes all out in collecting the information he needs to satisfy his hungry curiosity. He becomes so knowledgeable and, in turn, he naturally becomes a helpful person. He's very resourceful to many people in his work and personal life. I've seen how many people call him every day with their challenges and advice, and his patience is unbelievable - he truly inspires me. He makes me want to be a better version of myself to help others, too but in my own way."
'Out of school life, I switch to the "mom" hat. I have a toddler I mostly take care of during my free time, together with my husband, and I also have another one on the way. I'm due in early October, so now, all my free time goes to nesting my home, getting ready for D-Day, and the new arrival.”
What does 'Be All You Are' mean to you?
"To me, "Be All You Are" means to be the best version of yourself - to be fully accepting of your faults and strengths, looking for ways to develop oneself to become a better person. Not only for your well-being and happiness but also for helping others and, in my case, being the best example I can be for my children."