Davina Luyten , Communications Officer
If you arrived at this page via our social media or newsletter, chances are you already met Davina Luyten, Communications Officer at Belnet. Content creation, however, is only one of the communication domains she focuses on within Belnet. Cybersecurity awareness is also one of her favourite subjects, for which Davina cooperates with international colleagues in order to exchange expertise. Lifelong learning? Yes, definitely!
Hello Davina, what does the job of a Communications Officer at Belnet entail?
"Within our MarCom team, we have each built up our own specialisation, or expertise over the years, and at the same time my job remains extremely varied. It ranges from content creation, such as news items for our website and social media, over employer branding to press and crisis communication. The specialisation on the one hand and the variety on the other are two of the advantages of my job: I like the fact that I can indicate in which areas I would like to develop and deepen myself further, and that I can count on the necessary training, support and enthusiasm within Belnet. This keeps me up-to-date with the dynamic discipline of communication!"
In addition, you are also Belnet's spokesperson during major incidents or crises, how do you experience this?
"That's right, in line with the press and crisis communication areas I am also the spokesperson for Belnet. I work with our external PR agency to maintain relations with the press, which works in both ways. We make sure that important announcements are pitched to the media, but I also answer their questions. In the case of major incidents on our network, being a spokesperson is a full-time job. After a breakdown of the network in 2016, we have also grown enormously in terms of crisis management and communication: for example, we developed an extensive crisis communication plan and I also follow a media training course every year. It remains exciting, but this way I am all the better prepared!"
Did you feel at home from the start within the IT sector in which Belnet operates?
"When I applied to Belnet, the field was still new to me, but the non-commercial character of the organisation appealed to me immediately. I am proud that we contribute to society with our services: being an IT-partner for research centres, universities and colleges in Belgium, I find that a very interesting target group. After a few years in the sector, the IT world also appeared to have a lot to offer that appealed more to me than initially thought. For example, I have been a member of the Cyber Security Coalition's Awareness working group for a number of years now: through this working group we try to raise awareness about cyber security, a subject that also fascinates me personally. On the same theme, I am also collaborating on an international project within the framework of GÉANT."
Can you tell us a bit more about this international cooperation with GÉANT?
"GÉANT is the pan-European research and education network to which Belnet is also connected. In addition to this connection, the various NRENs (national research and education networks) also work together to share knowledge and expertise, including in the areas of communication and awareness. One of these projects is, for example, the annual campaign for Cyber Security Month: the month of October dedicated to communication actions, tools and training in cyber security, specifically for our R&E (Research & Education) community. It's great to be able to work on this with colleagues from the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, etc."
That sounds like a very challenging and varied range of tasks. Do you feel you get enough flexibility to combine all this?
"Certainly, I experience the work-life balance at Belnet as very positive. Teleworking, for example, was already established when I started at Belnet, in 2014. In the meantime, the number of homeworking days has increased even more and for me that has effectively had a very positive effect on my work-life balance. The flexible working hours also ensure that I experience a lot of freedom in my job and daily schedule, a big plus as a Communications Officer!"