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10 19 2020

Meet David Thijs, Principal Analyst, Workstation Management, CSU Brussels

David Thijs demonstrated profound leadership skills when he took on a new role as Principal Analyst and leader of the workstation software management team at the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency in 2019.

In January 2020, Thijs volunteered for a troubleshooting task that was incredibly complicated.

Additionally, Thijs worked around the clock to make secure video conferencing possible for meetings of the NATO North Atlantic Council. This was a high profile accomplishment of a massive scale.

The NATO Secretary General recognized these contributions in July when he awarded Thijs with the Meritorious Service Medal for demonstrating exceptional and remarkable service to NATO.

We took the opportunity to ask Thijs a few questions.

Meet David Thijs, Principal Analyst, Workstation Management, CSU Brussels

What advice would you give to someone facing a project or task of incredible complexity or massive scale like you have done?

No matter how daunting a project or a task, keep in mind that you're never alone. The benefit of working in a big organization like the NCI Agency is the number of people you can turn to when needing help – no matter the subject. Dare to ask questions. There's knowledge and experience available everywhere.

What has your work on the two assignments you are being awarded for taught you so far both professionally and personally?

It has both taught and confirmed to me that within my team, and the Communications and Information Systems (CIS) Support Unit (CSU) Brussels, Belgium, people are always ready to support you. One would never be able to concentrate and work on such difficult assignments without the support of their colleagues. In order to be able to work the long days, I also needed the support at home. On a personal level, it's important to remain calm, stay positive and believe that you can make things happen. Just keep pushing and (re)searching for ways to reach your goal.

What do you like most about your work at the NCI Agency?

Every day of work at the NCI Agency is different. One day you are faced with an issue within the existing infrastructure that needs to be solved as quickly as possible, and the next day you need to be able to implement a completely new solution. I enjoy that when something new or unexpected falls onto our plate, my colleagues and I are able to tackle the issue together. It is important to trust in the capabilities of your colleagues and work together as a team. I love working in an international environment where people of different nationalities and cultures work together towards a common goal. I like to think that a sense of team spirit and good humour are also important components that help glue a group of colleagues together. CSU Brussels, and more in particular the team I'm part of, are prime examples of that.

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