After studying music and then teaching music for four years, Ilse Assmann took up a post at the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) in 1985 as Assistant Archivist in the Sound Archives, collecting and cataloguing South African contemporary music. She accepted a position as Manager for the Radio Archives in 1996 and as Manager for the Media Libraries in 2004. In 2013 she was tasked to oversee the Television News Resources which included the TV News Archives. In 2013 Ilse accepted a position at M-Net, a South African subscription Television Broadcaster, to head the Television Archives and Video Library until 2018 when she retired.
She gained her M.Com Degree (Information and Knowledge Management) in 2013. Her mini dissertation focussed on the Public Service Broadcast Archives in Southern Africa.
Ilse has served on various committees and boards, and is currently Immediate Past President of IASA (International Association for Sound and Audiovisual Archives) and is a SACIA Certified Broadcast & Communications Technology Professional.