My Ellucian Life as a Globetrotter

My Ellucian Life as a Globetrotter

Key takeaways

  • Gideon works with partners and teams around the world to enhance the customer and employee experience
  • Experiencing different cultures and customs—while also recognizing our similarities—have helped him grow both as a person and as a professional at Ellucian

Working at Ellucian has taken me to many different places around the globe. While it isn’t for everyone, for me it’s something I truly enjoy. I believe I’m predisposed this way.
Let’s start with my travel bug backstory. I grew up in the Netherlands for the first 19 years of my life, about 30 miles outside of Amsterdam. I then spent the next four years near the German border in the city of Enschede pursuing a bachelor’s of science degree. Right after finishing that degree, I had an opportunity to study in the United States for a year to pursue a master’s of science degree at a sister university of my university in Holland.
Now, by this time I was already conditioned to travel. As part of growing up in the Netherlands, my parents, older brother, and I had travelled each summer holiday throughout most of Europe, and I had been backpacking as well. After all of that, America no longer seemed that far away.

While studying in the U.S.A., I met my future wife, who was studying at the same university—Ferris State. She had come all the way from Japan! We now travel to Japan frequently as a family; thus, the travel flame has been lit in our two boys as well. We love to explore new places, eating our way around the world and experiencing the people, culture, and local delicacies. We are fortunate that Ellucian provides sufficient vacation days to make our lifestyle work and has a commitment to have its employees actually take their vacation.
Fast forward to today, to an exciting role driving digital transformation for our current and prospective institutions, as well as internally to Ellucian. 

Driving digital transformation for our current and prospective institutions

Looking back on the last few years at Ellucian, my tenure here has enabled me to work in many different areas of the company. That’s the part that is great about working here—there are so many facets you can focus on. Some examples include having led our North American technical consultant team of 130 strong, as well as leading company-wide initiatives with our global partners. The last exciting project I worked on was the architecting effort, as well as leading the Ellucian Banner 9 initiative—making sure our customers had a clear path from Banner 8 to Banner 9, with a global support team of consultants in LAC, EMEA, and APAC. Our partners were located in Lisbon, Portugal; Bangalore, India; and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia—and I had a chance to visit, share a meal, and build a true partnership in delivery with all of them. 

Experiencing different cultures and customs—and also recognizing our similarities—have grown me as a person. But maybe even more important, breaking bread and sharing a meal together have helped me build bridges, friendships, and strong relationships.

Life globetrotter
About the Author
Gideon Sanstra
Gideon Sanstra
Senior Director Digital Transformation & Enterprise Architecture

Gideon Sanstra is a Senior Director on the Ellucian Digital Transformation team, enabling system-, state-, and country-wide transformation through the adoption of the Ellucian solution set and an enterprise architecture lens.