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Inspiring Journey Video with Hellen Boering

We provide life-changing growth strategies for our clients and our candidates. Our Inspiring Journeys series features amazing individuals who tell their story of when they faced a mountain and how they climbed it. Watch our latest inspiring journey video with Hellen Boering below.

Video Transcription:

My journey started when I studied human movement sciences and suddenly I was asked to apply for a job in the pharmaceutical industry which I didn’t know anything about. So a new world opened for me. I’m not sure whether it would be a world that I would deliberately choose to be in, but when I was in there it was really interesting to see the whole process of getting a drug to market and how much effort you need to put in and what small steps you have to make before a product is to be used for humans. I did a lot of things there, but before I knew it I was pulled back in the water going for the Olympics in 2000. So I spend one year being a professional water polo player. When the Olympics were over I was like, okay, so I need to find a job again and started at Genzyme. After already a few months, I started there as a project manager, I discovered that I learned from the Olympics that it’s not about systems, it’s not about processes. But, in the end it’s the humans, it’s the people that make it happen and are the most important asset in the process.

Taking that sidestep helped me realizing that things that I like to do as part of my job are not necessarily the things that I like to do full-time. And I think that’s maybe the same experience I had when I played water polo full-time. It’s nice to play water polo besides a job and a normal life, but if you are a full-time professional, I was bored. I think the most important things is persisting. You have to train a lot. You have to have a focus. I think people who want to make a change or finding their first job think you have to pursue what your wishes or your ambition, but also keep in mind that it can be a disappointment. It’s always possible that people see your talent, but don’t pick you and don’t see that as a personal failure, but as a result of that there are so many choices and there might also be people who have just a little bit more experience. And if you are still open to find ways which are not exactly your ambition, but a little bit, you get there in the end. Again, to do the parallel with water polo, my ambition was to be an Olympic champion and I earned fourth. It took a while to kind of learn from that and give it a place. I know it sounds weird, but they compare that kind of thing with losing somebody or you know and worse thing in life and I know that I lived in kind of an unconscious for the next six months.

It’s the best learning experience and it’s not learning from your mistakes, but it’s learning because you follow your ambition. I think the worst thing is doing nothing because you can’t make mistakes, but you don’t learn anything. So do what your ambition is. Do what you want to do. Go for it even if you don’t think that you have the talent or you have the competencies. Go for it and then in the end be happy with the things that you achieved.

Hellen Boering is a highly-experienced Country Manager at Chiltern

Seuss Recruitment is a pharma-recruitment specialist that finds synergistic fits between life-science superheroes and forward-thinking pharma, biotech and clinical research companies using the art of match-making with a modern twist. Call us at +31 (0) 20 29 00 016 or email us to have an engaging conversation about how to transform your career or company.


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