“Working with NIRAS is a unique experience that offers a rich cultural exchange. It is inspiring both culturally and professionally to colloborate with colleagues from other countries and other parts of Colombia. Our staff members have acquired different professional, academic, and social experiences in many different contexts, and we have created an environment for shared and continuous learning,” says Damaris Rozo.
Having studied her BA in Spanish language and institution management in the city of Ibague, Damaris has swapped Colombia's coffee lands for NIRAS’s office in Bogotá. Here, she manages the human resources area of NIRAS in Colombia, where she is also in charge of relations with suppliers, logistical support, and accounting assistance.
“I am passionate about expanding my field of knowledge, and in my work I am able to do just that by collaborating with my colleagues in areas such as administration, accounting, treasury, human resources, management, and logistics. This helps to complement and strengthen my education,” Damaris explains.
The work environment in NIRAS is excellent. The strengths of each team member are valued and recognised, and we can freely express our suggestions, which allows us to obtain greater achievements and better results.
Efficient energy management on Caribbean islands
Until now, Damaris has mainly been involved in a project that promotes efficient energy management on the three Caribbean islands of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, which are located more than 700 kilometers from mainland Colombia and some 200 kilometers off the coast of Nicaragua.
“The project consists of designing and implementing several communication strategies and pedagogical campaigns in an effort to raise awareness among the islanders to optimise the use of energy. Likewise, we raise awareness about the different tools that the Colombian government is providing to the archipelago’s population and authorities in order to reduce public and private energy consumption,” says Damaris Rozo.
She explains that due to its remote location, all the energy on the three islands comes from fossil fuels, which implies a high transportation cost. Once completed, the project aims to bring down energy costs by 4.4 million USD every year. The project also seeks to promote an environmental movement among both children and adults on the islands in order to protect local wildlife. Additionally, the project contributes to lowering CO2 emissions and thereby also combating global warming.
Overcoming challenges by learning
Among the daily challenges Damaris faces, one is to make sure that the local experts at community and grassroots level deliver monthly documentation for expenses and other administrative issues. Even though bookkeeping is not part of her educational background, she is also managing accounting programmes, but she sees every fresh challenge as an opportunity to learn something new.
“In order to get the documentation from the projects on time, I have made sure to create good lines of communications with the experts, and I keep strengthening them regularly. In regards to accounting, I am taking advantage of the learning and training opportunity that is being offered by NIRAS through interaction and teamwork with NIRAS’s permanent accountant,” she explains.
Damaris's versatility is also reflected in her spare time, where she plays both piano and drums and sings in a church choir. But she is also into more dramatic endeavors: “I am very interested in adventure sports. My next big challenge will be to paraglide,” she explains.
Excellent work environment
In Damaris's opinion, one of the best aspects of working at NIRAS is that the company manages to emphasise the importance of excellence without creating a hostile or competitive environment.
“The work environment in NIRAS is excellent. The strengths of each team member are valued and recognised, and we can freely express our suggestions, which allows us to obtain greater achievements and better results,” she says, and ads:
“We have the advantage that the managers care about the collective and individual welfare of the employees. For instance, we are allowed flexibility in both time schedules and work locations. So we feel like part of a large family.”