The EAN Head Office in Vienna, Austria, is the nerve centre of the European Academy of Neurology, serving as the main base of EAN activity, with various personnel also operating from elsewhere around Europe. With so many of our staff interacting with EAN Members from a distance, but relatively few chances to meet in person, we decided to use this platform to introduce the team behind the scenes. Each month, we aim to present two of our faithful crew. This time it’s Maria from the Scientific Department, and Immanuel from the Congress Department.
Name: Maria Konti
Role: Research and Scientific Projects Coordinator
Joined: August 2022
My journey working at the EAN started by… working with the EAN! Just before my summer holidays in June 2022, I had the chance to work at the EAN Congress in Vienna, helping the participants with their onsite registration and the CME/Congress evaluation. From the first moment I was surprised by how professional but also kind, helpful and approachable the members of the Congress and IT team were. To my surprise, on the last day of the congress, Florian, the Head of the Office Department approached me and asked me whether I would be interested in emailing him my CV as there might be a position for me at the EAN. Long story short, after a month, on 1 August, I joined the EAN Scientific Department as a project coordinator, where my work revolves around the scientific projects of the EAN (Economic Burden of Neurological diseases in Europe, The Burden of Sleep/Wake Disorders, EAN NEuro-covid ReGistrY (ENERGY))! As a mathematician, I find my problem-solving skills quite fitting to the challenges the EAN has to offer, and I must say that one of the best things about working at the EAN is the amazing and wonderful people I have met there.
My other big journey; the one which started with the decision of moving to Vienna from Athens where I come from, started in October 2017, and although I hold a diploma in applied mathematics, I still think that I have been living in Vienna for four years. Probably the time passes by a bit slower in this dazzling city 😊. After finishing my studies at the Technical University of Athens, I decided to join my then-partner who lived in Vienna and I started studying Automation Technology at the Technical University of Vienna. But as the famous quote goes, “life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” and for me it meant that the COVID-19 pandemic would make me rethink my decision of studying but would lead to a great opportunity for me to work as a junior data analyst in a research center, and then in Austria’s biggest COVID vaccination centre.
A few interesting facts about me: my last name ‘Konti’ means short in Greek, if you are interested in horses and riding we will instantly become best friends; my second most beloved activity after horse riding, is yoga and one of my biggest dreams would be one day to be a woodworker and make my own furniture.
Name: Immanuel Wicaksono
Role: Congress Department Assistant
Joined: August 2022
My journey with the EAN began at the annual congress in the summer of 2022, where I started as a volunteer, supporting the congress team. Having studied International Business and my current pursuit of an MSc in Marketing, I had a strong desire to explore the organisational aspects of event and congress management. It wasn’t long before I decided to apply at the EAN as a full-time member of the Congress Department team.
My primary focus here centres around the management of abstracts for the annual congress. I take on the responsibility of overseeing and serving as the contact point for abstract presenters, addressing their inquiries, and guiding them through the operational aspects of their presentations during the event. I am also involved in gathering and organising the content of the Abstract Book for publication in the European Journal of Neurology.
Stepping into the events industry for the first time, I find myself immensely grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with a warm and encouraging group of individuals. They have not only helped me navigate through the challenges but have also helped me get the most out of the steep learning process that came along.
Outside of the office, I spend my time doing things I love and am passionate about. I love spending quality time with my friends, cooking, catching live music shows, exploring new dining spots, and turning up on game or karaoke nights.
Basketball is one of my passions. A significant portion of my spare time is spent playing basketball with a team in preparation for weekend games in the Wiener Basketballverband and for the Summer 3×3 Streetball Euro tour. I enjoy the thrill of competing, improving, winning, and travelling with a group of people that share the same passion. Any precious minute I have left, I set aside jamming out on the piano, shredding the guitar, and making covers of Earth’s greatest hits.
After a year of collaborating with the dedicated EAN team and witnessing the entire journey of organising the annual congress, I can genuinely affirm that the EAN Congress Department is one of the most welcoming and motivated teams I’ve ever had the privilege of being a part of.