Although Sophia Egelser has been working at Telecom Namibia for 30 years, she still gets excited about her job as she was on her first day for there’s always a learning opportunity there every single day.
Being one of the longest-serving employees at Telecom Namibia, Egelser’s journey, which she describes as ever thrilling, started at the telecommunications company in 1983. She first became a switchboard operator and registry clerk. Today, she occupies the position of a co-ordinator account manager.
“My career at Telecom Namibia has been a challenging one. I do not regret all the years I have spent here because it has been interesting, exciting and a great source of knowledge, as well as experience. I have grown with the company,” she says.
In her current position, she does not only oversee the improvement and maintenance of sustainable relationships with the company’s customers but she is also responsible for the co-ordination of all the account managers in the Khomas Region.
Landing a job at Telecom Namibia happened as a change of Egelser’s fate, following Government’s decision to assign all telecommunication services to Post & Telecommunication. This occurred whilst she was still employed by Water Affairs as a switchboard operator and registry clerk, thus her services were transferred under her current employer.
During the formation of Telecom Namibia [in 1992], all functions and staff members of the then Post & Telecommunication department, particularly the telecommunication services, were inherited by Telecom Namibia while the postal services were taken over by Namibia Post Limited.
From the switchboard operator, Egelser became the switchboard supervisor in 1985. In 1989, she became the training supervisor on the automation of exchanges and switchboard, which required her to travel throughout the country to train staff members at various switchboards.
Ambitious to make it to the top, she became a retail and distribution supervisor in 2008. This position required planning, implementing, maintaining and improving activities related to operational customer services, executive client service delivery, statistical reporting, electronic sales and commercial services, revenue reconciliations and related administrative and organisational tasks.
Climbing the ladder within the company meant that she had to keep studying further to meet the ever changing job requirements.
Luckily, her employer supported her studies, which according to her, was a way of awarding her for her ambitious achievements and hard work within the company.
With that opportunity, she attained a diploma course in Commerce in 2004; a Bachelor of Technology in Business Administration in 2006 and a Masters in International Business in 2012 - all from the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN).
She further undertook various short courses and trainings related to her job from which she acquired a number of certificates. She also did labour related training programmes as a shop steward through the Namibia Public Workers’ Union (NAPWU).
Learning did not stop there as she kept upgrading her communication, negotiation, computer, organisational and supervisory skills to ensure that she gave her best in her services.
In a world where youngsters seem to cruise through different jobs every second year, Egelser has managed to stay passionate and loyal to the same company for three decades.
“Working conditions have always been favourable for me at Telecom Namibia. The telecommunications industry is close to my heart because of its rapid expansions as far as new technologies and innovations are concerned, which is an exciting experience,” she submits.
The grass is not always greener the other side, she warns. Youngsters need to take their jobs seriously and should they wish to enter the telecommunications industry, they must know that it is a thrilling, yet a challenging one, which they would not keep up with unless they grow to be really fond of it, she adds.
“Youngster need to constantly pursue further studies, for no one would take away the acquired knowledge from them,” she urges.
With the telecommunications world fast evolving into an advanced digital era, Egelser notes that Telecom Namibia has positioned itself as a role player in the industry through the introduction of advanced technology services. As such, it can now compete with the best of the world. PF