After secondary school, I studied social work for one year but didn't really see myself in that profession for the rest of my life. So, I decided to change my career path and transferred to Schoevers to study to be an Executive Secretary. I joined Uniqema in 2000 as a secretary for the Regional HR Manager Europe and the European Finance Manager. I also worked as HR Assistant for the International HR department. I gained a lot of experience and was asked to become the Personal Assistant to the European HR director in 2002. I started in this role very enthusiastically, but found out after a few months that the main part of the job was very much the secretarial work and I missed the operational HR work. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to move back to the HR department as HR Officer and was thrilled as I enjoyed that job very much!
In 2007, just as I was about to go on maternity leave, Croda acquired Uniqema. Unfortunately, the international HR department of Uniqema would cease to exist. However, the Gouda Management Team decided to keep me on board as we would still need HR knowledge of the career histories of our colleagues who would transfer to the new business. After returning from maternity leave, I became HR Officer for the Gouda site organisation and developed my knowledge on HR matters further. I also had to work on getting to know all 300 employees of the Gouda site!
In 2011, I became HR Manager for the Gouda site, responsible for Operational HR, including payroll and training. This was my first experience with managing a team, and I really enjoyed it. And, although I was much younger than my team members, it all went very well and it still does!
I am responsible for Human Resources in Gouda. Together with my team I work on a variety of HR issues from training and education to recruitment, talent management and payroll. I am also responsible for the strategic HR issues for which I work closely with our local Management Team and the International HR department. What I like most about my job is to be in contact with all employees at our location, managing my team and my responsibility on the strategic HR topics. For the coming year my professional focus will specifically be on diversity within our company and on employee development.