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Marisa's 25-Year Journey with iPS

30 April 2024


5 min

Marisa, who joined iPS in 1999, is passionate about reading in her spare time, particularly literary thrillers and historical novels. Her unexpected start at iPS began with a job opening through a friend of her father, which led to a phone call with her future director on a Saturday. Since then, Marisa has held various roles, from secretary to Global HR Manager in 2017, the role she continues to hold today. She especially values the focus on employee development within iPS and describes the company culture as informal and collaborative. She looks optimistically towards the future and remains dedicated to her role as a team player at iPS.


25 years ago, you applied to iPS or got in touch, how did that happen?

Marisa: “It actually happened quite remarkably. At that time, I wasn’t really looking for a new job. Through a friend of my father, I heard that his daughter’s workplace was still looking for a secretary. They just couldn’t fill the vacancy. ‘Is that maybe something for you?’ he asked me. So, I made the call and got my future director on the line. It was on a Friday, I remember it well. Coincidentally, he lived in the same village as I did. He said, ‘You know what? I’ll pick you up tomorrow, and we’ll drive to the office together.’ So, I actually applied on a Saturday.” “We were located in the old building on the first street back then. And immediately, I felt a connection. That Monday, I quit my job at the time, and then everything happened very quickly.”


That’s indeed a long time. Are there any special moments or experiences in those 25 years at iPS that you think of, things that people might not believe or that you’d like to share?

Marisa: “Maybe something about my first days here. I still remember my very first day vividly. I stepped in, and there was only one consultant present, busy on the phone. He just pointed to a spot and said, ‘This will be your workspace.’ So, I sat down, and then the rest of the team started to trickle in slowly. We were a small group back then, with only 6 or 7 people. I got my login details and a pile of work and was told, ‘This is it, get started.'”


How did you experience that ‘just get going’ attitude?

Marisa: “At first, I had some doubts and even thought I regretted quitting my previous job. That lasted a few weeks, but then I found my own routine and started to feel more comfortable. The freedom I had was actually quite nice. But compared to now, with all the support we provide to new employees, like the iPS buddies and a three-month induction program, that wasn’t available back then.”


What roles have you held during these 25 years at iPS?

Marisa: “I started as a secretary, which also included reception and the switchboard at the time. I had to manually transfer calls. That was all part of it. Also, it was the secretary’s task to draw up contracts for the temporary staff, and that’s what I specialized in. Years later, when it got very busy and I was on leave, they had a problem. No one could take over my tasks. Until Sarina was hired in 2008, and the contract team was formed.” “That’s when we also got a different database, which allowed us to process things much faster. Before, we had to send everything by post, and then I had to go to the post office with a stack of letters at the end of the day.”


Since when have you been in the role you currently hold?

Marisa: “In between, I also handled contracts and insurance. That was the position of Operations Assistant. Then I became manager of the commercial back office, alongside the role of HR Officer. In 2017, I became Global HR Manager.”


What do you currently enjoy most about your work?

Marisa: “I like that we now have a real HR team. The employee is central in an organization. It’s not just about the numbers, but also about the people, their growth, where they want to be in a few years, the opportunity for promotion, for training. That people have a budget to develop themselves.”


What do you consider the most significant changes within iPS?

Marisa: “When I started, our office was the second one, with the headquarters in Leiden. In Leiden, they did search and selection, which was actually the precursor to Select. In our Capelle office, we only had the maritime department back then. But look at what has been added over the years. The strength of iPS is that we think proactively.”


What have you learned in these 25 years at iPS, and what would you like to convey to new employees?

Marisa: “Even when things get tough or you hit a roadblock, don’t give up and talk about it. There’s always room for improvement.”


What still motivates you in your work?

Marisa: “It’s never boring; every day is different. I love the variety.”

“Some friends sometimes say, ‘Have you been with the same employer for 25 years?’ And then I tell them that during that time, we’ve moved a few times, there’s been turnover of colleagues, and it’s never dull. It’s never the same. Many people don’t stay with the same company for so long nowadays.”


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