In a world of social distancing, where everyone is working from home, and the chance to start a new position and meet new colleagues can be challenging. We sat down with Eline Antonissen, the new Project Coordinator for Seuss+, to talk about not only the challenges of a virtual onboarding but also to discover more about her in the latest Meet the Team installment.
Hi Eline, and welcome to the team! Tell us more about you.
I am Eline, and just joined the team as the new Project Coordinator. I graduated as a physiotherapist but also have a bachelor’s degree in Human Movement Sciences.
I’ve been living in Amsterdam for five years, but originally I’m from a small town near Rotterdam. In my spare time, I love playing water polo. But as it happened to many of us, my hobbies have now changed due to Corona. We all have to be more creative now to fill our extra time, so I enjoy taking a walk, playing volleyball with my roommate, and try out new recipes.
Before the crisis, I had just started working as a physiotherapist, but also had the aim to find a part-time position as well. I love working with patients, but I also like a broad playing field. This helps to sharpen my skills in different areas, so this position was a real bonus. As well as this, I have my own company called SmartPaddle, which is a very niche market, but it helps merge my studies with my entrepreneurial spirit!
How did you learn about Seuss+?
I’ve been playing water-polo with Hellen for around three years now, so when she mentioned that a position was vacant at Seuss+, it sparked my interest. As I researched the company, I felt drawn to it and felt energized by what I found out.
I’m a new job seeker, and I’m still finding my feet in the working world, but this is an opportunity to work in the life sciences. I enjoy working with patients, but I also like the challenge of fast, innovative commercial work, efficient work practices, and taking care of business. I know that this position will undoubtedly bring me all this and more.
Tell us more about the Virtual Onboarding experience.
What an exciting and great experience it was! Virtual Onboarding could have been so different, but it still felt personal.
On my first day, I went to the office and met Susan to get all my work equipment. Sharon was also there, and they both were so lovely and welcoming. Of course, we had social distancing, but I still felt like I was part of the team right away.
After this, I set up my workspace at home, and the rest of the onboarding was virtual. I met many people that day, just using Microsoft Teams.
The benefit of this was having these planned sessions because I felt like this was a particular time that I could ask my questions and not interrupt anyone’s workday. As we are all working from home, you obviously don’t have regular office interaction, walking by someone’s desk or meeting colleagues at the coffee machine. To get around this, we just scheduled in virtual coffee breaks to get to know each other better.
I love using MS Teams, as you can see if someone is available and chat easily if I need them. And with the bonuses of meetings, the Care & Share sessions, and the virtual drinks each week, I feel like I’ve been part of the Team for much longer.
What is your biggest learning from Virtual Onboarding, and do you feel like it prepared you for your role, as well as the company and the culture?
The biggest thing I’ve learned so far is that it’s okay to make mistakes and ask questions. The company atmosphere is welcoming, and from day 1, I was encouraged to start working on projects.
In my first two days, I was already helping with two projects. For me, that is a big sign of trust, but they reassured me that they had confidence in my abilities, that it was okay to be nervous, and that they trusted me to do it.
I really feel prepared for this role. From my degree in Human Movement Science, I have a background in research, but I was given more information about the industry to help understand further this part of my role. And if I have problems or questions, I can quickly contact someone for assistance.
On my first day, I had a presentation introducing me to company history, culture, and it’s future goals. That helped so much, and I can see this coming out in my interactions with colleagues.
Tell us about your role with Seuss+
I’m in the Project Coordinator role. It’s a new position, and it means that I can help the consulting team and the marketing team coordinate projects efficiently. My part is to arrange the tasks so people can focus on their portion of projects, and the content. The position is new, which means that I get to help create the role and how it functions within the company.
What are you excited to learn? What would you like to achieve with Seuss+?
There are many things I want to learn, especially about the commercial side of business. Seuss+ has much knowledge about building a business, and I want to harness this.
I also want to learn how to work as a team to host workshops and serve clients efficiently. But what’s important to me is learning from everyone around me: How they tackle problems, the different perspectives, and what drives them.
It’s also a learning experience for me – I want to sharpen my time management skills but also maintain quality and fun!
Eline, we’re so happy to meet you virtually and are looking forward to meeting you in person soon. Thank you for sharing your story and giving us insight into your virtual onboarding experience. Want to meet the rest of the Seuss+ Team? Find us here.