Welcoming Maria Claudia Romero, our new Executive Director, Shared Services


This week sees us reaching a major milestone in the Operating Plan, with the commencement of Maria Claudia Romero as the University’s new Executive Director of Shared Services, taking on responsibility for the delivery of first-class services to our students and staff.

Informed by the extensive staff and student consultation undertaken in the Professional Services Transformation (Ways of Working area of focus), Maria Claudia will draw on her impressive background in service delivery – and expertise in systems technology – to lead and inspire a consolidated services unit whose focus will be on customer experience and continuous process and service culture improvement.

We spoke with the Bogota-born, self-confessed tech-head to find out what makes her tick.

You’ve built an impressive career in service delivery, most recently as Executive Director of Shared Services at the NSW Department of Education. What have you learned about what it takes to deliver service excellence at organisations like Macquarie?
The most important lesson I’ve learned is that it’s all about people.  People are at the heart of  modern shared services, and service excellence is a mindset – having the empathy to engage customers and stakeholders, the curiosity to explore what we do and how we do it, and the courage and the vulnerability to transform ourselves and our services.  No technology can do that.

What are you most looking forward to about implementing a shared services model at Macquarie?
Modern shared services are people-powered organisations that thrive on an information- and automation-rich environment.  Our new model must balance this tension, as the power of data analytics and automation can’t be realised unless you also have a solid customer-centric and service excellence culture, as well as staff skilled and empowered to implement new practices and continually improve the service experience.

What has impressed you about Macquarie?
In my brief exposure to the team, I have been impressed with the University’s ethos.  I have experienced a cohesive and engaged team, driving transformation in an environment of ever-increasing complexity, as the pace of change in education continues to accelerate.  This is a time of uncertainty, but also a time for opportunity.  I’m very excited to be joining Macquarie to help realise the potential of a modern and agile Shared Services function.

How would you describe yourself as a leader?
I would describe my leadership style as inclusive, resilient and adaptable.  I ask lots of questions, as I value collaboration and thrive in an environment where success is achieved by mashing different perspectives.

The qualities and values I encourage in my teams are agility, clarity, accountability and discipline delivery. The most important part, however, is that we learn and grow together and find the time to celebrate and have fun.

You’re originally from Colombia, and completed a bachelor degree in computer science and a masters in database design at the Universidad de Los Andes. How has your background influenced your approach to life and work?
My career in technology gave me the opportunity to travel the world – a dream come true for a geeky girl from Bogota.  As I worked with technology, I learned that success in my projects was solely dependent on the people I worked with and the people I delivered solutions to.  I started to pivot from worshiping technology to embracing the power of people.

As I travelled the world, I also learned that distance was not an obstacle to staying connected to my family – technology allows me to have regular video calls with my mum and virtual parties with family members in different countries.   Technology and people in a finely-tuned balance – it’s what’s made me who I am.





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