Alfred de Vries - Arnhem

A new directorial structure was announced in the organization where Alfred was employed. For him, this was a logical moment to start looking for a different work environment. When a golden opportunity arose, Van Ede & Partners helped him seize it.

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It was okay to let go of my Dutch modesty.

Name Alfred de Vries
Challenge I wanted to make the right decision, not just say yes to anything.
Previous position Director of Operations & Development at CRV, a cooperative in the field of cattle breeding.
New position Senior Program Officer R&D animal production at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle.
Coach Tim Arends

I had a strong desire to do something different, to utilize my knowledge and experience in a different environment. But I did want to make the right decision, not just say yes to anything. I wanted to make a conscious choice. The HR-manager from my previous employer gave me the tip to follow a career program at Van Ede & Partners.

This turned out to be an excellent piece of advice. At Van Ede & Partners I was tasked with writing a self-analysis. Also, the sessions with the psychologist and coach helped to kickstart the process of reflection: who am I, what drives me? What do I have to offer and what do I want? I found the one-on-one conversations to be both enjoyable and useful. The group sessions have their unique added value as well; the various stories and backgrounds widen your vision, and I was touched by the openness of others.

Before long, various new, interesting opportunities appeared on the horizon, for example a fantastic role at the Gates Foundation. From that moment on, the emphasis of my program shifted to job interviews. The interview procedure was extremely comprehensive, and it was important to work on my professional appearance. Having this is a bit more important in the United States than in the Netherlands.

My coach emphasized the importance of solid preparation for every interview: who are you speaking with? Who are you dealing with? What is their culture? What do they find important and how can you use this to your advantage? The thorough preparation offered immense value. It gave me confidence and allowed for the various interviews throughout the numerous rounds to go smoothly. My coach helped me realize I really wanted this! He showed me this was a golden opportunity and that it was okay to let go of my Dutch modesty.

In the end it all worked out. I am now Senior Program Officer R&D Animal Production at the Gates Foundation. It is a role where I can make good use of the knowledge and I gained in academics and the corporate world, to then apply this to developing nations. The Gates Foundation facilitates, but the demand must increase from the developing nations themselves. For me this is the right job at the right time; it is the kind of work I fully stand behind.

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Tim Arends 171203 016 HR

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Tim Arends

Alfred is an A-Player who was insufficiently aware of his own value. This translated in the way he presented and carried himself. He was too modest.

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