• Nationality: Colombian & Italian
  • Age: 38
  • Field of study: Sanitary Engineering
  • Current employer: Ecolab
  • Current position: Industrial Technical Consultant

Why I started my career in the Netherlands 

I am a former recipient of a Nuffic scholarship which was granted in 2004 when I first came to the Netherlands to study a Master of Science in Sanitary Engineering in Delft. Apart from having an amazing international study experience I met my husband who had started his master studies as well. After having lived in Italy for some months we decided to come back to the Netherlands to look for career opportunities. We both like the Netherlands international and multicultural environment and the chance of many more opportunities in the Dutch job market.

A typical work week 

I work as a consultant to European industries around water- wastewater reduction, reuse and recycle.  You can imagine that in most of the cases I am in the middle of the action, so I travel around Europe. A business trip week usually involves:

-        Getting up quite early to catch an early morning flight

-        Face to face meetings with my colleagues in their home country or with the team that is involved with the customer 

-        Travelling to site; meeting the customer. These discussions usually involve understanding their situation, goals, expectations and defining the week-plan

-        Start the week-work involving site visits, audits, data collection, data analysis, testing of improvements. Sometimes long days!

-        Returning back home

-        Working on follow-up actions with the team 

I do try to manage my time as best as I possibly can. I am a mother as well, so I look to have a good balance between work and family. 

Cool projects 

If I reflect on the projects I am involved with, they all share a common ground, which I believe is very cool: To improve customer operations while minimizing the negative impact on the environment. Examples: water usage minimization; cleaner water emissions; efficient energy usage; reduction of industrial waste. 

Another cool aspect of my job is getting to know so many different people; many different cultural and social aspects; learning from each other and sharing our experiences: The story that we do not tell does not really count!

What I like about the Dutch work mentality

I like in general the flexibility of the Dutch mentality: being organized and using wisely your time to accomplish the business goals.  

I also like very much that hierarchy is not very important or very relevant in the way you can get along with people in the company. A senior or junior title does not define who you are or does not define how to approach each other. 

Additionally, for me it is very important that the in general the Dutch give family and personal time as much importance as working time.

My career advice to you

Networking, Networking and Networking: Establishing connections, getting to know what people’s work entitles and also what the company stands for is an important aspect for your working life. 

Be open and listen carefully: sometimes there are projects or opportunities in which you could get involved even if such imply getting out of your comfort zone.

Want to connect?!

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 Do not hesitate to reach out. I have become a Holland Career Ambassadors because I want to support and engage with international students in the Netherlands to make their current and perhaps future staying a more rewarding one. Additionally, getting to know new people and building new relationships is for me very rewarding!