Last month, I joined the Marketing and Admissions Team at BIS Abu Dhabi as the new Events Coordinator. I have been warmly welcomed into the BIS Abu Dhabi family and I have already had a chance to meet many new colleagues and parents. I look forward to meeting all of you and working together to organise many fun and inspiring events for the BIS Abu Dhabi community in the coming years!
I was born and raised in the Netherlands. I studied Business Administration at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. During my studies, I had the opportunity to participate in the Community of European Management Schools Programme (CEMS) to pursue an additional degree in International Management. As part of this programme, I studied in St. Gallen in Switzerland and did an internship in Hamburg, Germany. Moving away from home to a completely new environment felt terrifying at times, but also very enriching and fulfilling. My desire to try new things, pursue adventures and grow as a person was born. After my studies, I went to Malaga, Spain to learn Spanish, then found a job at Randstad, an employment/recruitment agency.
I loved working at this people-oriented company. I started as Staffing Consultant, then Regional Manager, then Process Manager and worked in different regions of the Netherlands.
After 5 years into our careers, my husband and I decided we wanted to have a career pause and think about our future steps.
We decided to go on a 6-month world trip. A highlight of this trip was a 4 week-self-supporting kayaking trip on the North Pacific Ocean alongside the island rich coastline of South-West Alaska. We were offered this opportunity by an American/Canadian couple we met earlier during our trip to Bolivia. It was the toughest but also most special adventure of our lifetime.
Wowed by being surrounded by enormous humpback whales, tens of otters and baby otters crunching on a shellfish breakfast, catching and eating wild salmon off the BBQ, getting stuck due to low tide and needing to carry all kayaks and equipment across a wood full of bear tracks, seeing a young bear crossing the river towards our campsite overnight and being charged by not so tiny sea lions, were some experiences I will never forget.
After our trip we decided to pursue a career abroad. My husband joined a subsidiary of his Dutch company in Doha, Qatar. We took the leap and moved to the Middle East. I found a job as Project Manager in HR at Shell, and had the opportunity to work on some very interesting projects, such as the start up of the Pearl Gas to Liquids factory in Ras Laffan. Our 2 beautiful sons Cas and Morris were born there in 2011 and 2013.
In 2014 we changed course again. We moved to Spain initially to enjoy a sabbatical break but we ended up staying there for 5 years. The children were happy at the local Spanish school and we set up and worked in our own company.
Though living on the beautiful coast of the Costa Blanca was fantastic, we missed living in the city and working in a professional environment of a large company. My husband had the opportunity to rejoin his former employer in Abu Dhabi, so here we are, back in the Middle East :-). We love it so far and look forward to exploring more of our new country in the coming years!