“Every day, I challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone and inspire others to do the same.”
Customer Experience Manager, Cepheid
Global Executive MBA 2018
In three sentences or less, could you tell us a little more about yourself?
I am passionate about innovating in the healthcare sector. I’ve held several roles from business development to product management and worked on several meaningful innovations across the world that contributed to better patient outcomes or patient experience.
I am Dutch, have lived in Singapore for the last five years and will be based in Dubai as of early 2021, and I feel excited about what is next!
Any fun facts?
Many years ago, during our honeymoon in Japan, my husband and I married for the second time in the same month, but this time I wasn’t in a white dress in a church but in a red kimono in a shrine in Kyoto!
Why did you choose INSEAD?
I chose INSEAD for the ability to study on three campuses, as well as the people and the amazing INSEAD alumni I met! Moreover, INSEAD’s focus on inclusion and diversity, as well as women empowerment is very important to me personally, so there was a strong alignment in values.
The Global Executive MBA appealed to me because I could combine it with my existing job and because of its focus on entrepreneurship.
How would you describe your INSEAD experience?
It was a truly international experience where I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many people with so many cultures and backgrounds. It was a lot of fun but could also be overwhelming at times, and I was humbled and inspired to learn more.
Very importantly, it has been only the beginning of a lifelong learning experience, and I very much enjoy being part of the INSEAD alumni family which is a fantastic network, along with great events organised by the alumni associations.
Was there an encounter that left you with a deep impression?
I’ve had quite a few such encounters.
One of my classmates suddenly passed away during the programme, which had a deep impact on me. I was shocked and it was hard to understand since I had just spent time with him during our Key Management Challenge in Abu Dhabi. On the other hand, it was good to see how well the class was taking care of each other during this difficult time.
This event reminded me to appreciate and celebrate everything we have already achieved (instead of only focusing on the future) and to be grateful for every day.
In Uncertainty, Data and Judgement (a statistics course), we did an exercise where I realised that hiring for diversity does not always equal hiring the best candidate, but the candidate who adds most in terms of diversity. This was an ‘aha moment’ for me.
And lastly, sharing a house in Fontainebleau during our summer module with six women all from different countries (India, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, France, and the Netherlands) was so much fun and also challenging at times, as we really got to know each other at a deeper level. This experience deepened our relationships and we are still in touch with each other today.
What was the greatest challenge you faced at work, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest challenge so far has been to take on a new role for a category with little company awareness and focus. I built up a vision and strategy for the category based on thorough analysis, and then generated awareness and mobilised resources to bring these concepts to life.
With my passion and positive energy, I managed to get buy-in for the plan on all levels of the organisation by walking the talk and convincing the C-suite including the CEO with a strong data-driven approach.
What do you love about yourself?
My love of learning, curiosity, adventurousness and courage to speak my mind to challenge the status quo.
What do you really want to know?
I really wish I had a crystal ball to know how to solve some of the world’s biggest problems including global warming, poverty, inaccessibility of healthcare and discrimination including gender inequality.
Another problem I would love to solve is how to achieve more unity in the world.
What is your greatest fear?
Not getting the maximum out of my life. To stop learning and growing, staying too long in my comfort zone. Not following my heart enough and realising that I haven’t lived my life in the way I wanted when I retire.
What does it mean to you to be limitless?
To me, limitless means to continuously expose myself to new experiences in life. To push myself out of my comfort zone and learn something new every day. To be fearless and do all to get the most out of myself to serve the world. To never give up and be persistent.