Humans of Jacobs: Joana Ferreira Vieira
When Joana comes to work every morning, she has only one goal for the day – to make the Coffee Bar a safe space for everyone at Jacobs University, no matter what it takes. Day in, day out, through sun and through rain, she tries to adhere to this, be it by engaging in casual banter with the students or by distributing free Chai Latte just because she felt like it.
Originally from Portugal, Joana has been living in Germany for six years and has been a part of Jacobs University’s Coffee Bar for the last four. “I don’t have my family here, and neither do the students; nobody gets to see their family for long periods of time, but when everyone comes to the Coffee Bar, it makes me feel like we’re all one big family,” said Joana, self-declared mother, sister, best-friend, and brother to everyone at Jacobs. It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, Joana is always brimming with energy and a very heart-warming enthusiasm. She credits her jovial spirits to the students, saying “it’s a teamwork you know? I only reciprocate what they give me. If they are happy, I’m happy!”
Although an employee of the Apetito Catering service, Joana likes to believe that she belongs only to the Coffee Bar. “It’s my Coffee Bar, everything I do is for the place to be better with each passing day,” she mentioned. The most rewarding part of her otherwise demanding job is the multitude of smiles she receives every day. “At Jacobs, everyone is different, but in the Coffee Bar, we are all one and I like to see everyone’s different smiles.” Last year, when her car was vandalised, students at Jacobs came together to start a donation drive to help her with the repairs (which was successful). When asked how she felt about this, Joana almost cried of happiness. “It made me feel so loved, it made me feel so special,” she said, a grin playing at her face.
Outside of work, Joana likes to learn about and explore photography; she experiments with her camera at every opportunity she gets, and often, the “food in the Coffee Bar” is the subject of her experimentation. She also tries to take out some time every day to read and paint because she enjoys all kinds of art (which includes decorating the Coffee Bar!).
The Jacobs Community wouldn’t be the same without Joana and her immense commitment towards making everyone’s day a little better. In her crammed daily to-do list, her top priority is to tell students to look at the bright side of things – at the good things in life. And in case there is a lack of positivity and bright things, she wants them to look forward to coming to the Coffee Bar!
More power to you Joana, and thank you for spreading all the Jacobs love!