Geertje Janssen & Lisette Spoelder

“When I understand the smallest building blocks of the world we live in, I will better understand the bigger picture.” With this hypothesis in mind, Geertje Janssen started to study chemistry in 2002 and continued with a PhD in biophysical chemistry. In the final year of her project her first daughter was born, motivating Geertje to think of career options outside academia. She first joined People in Science in 2012. In addition, she worked as Director Business Development for a CRO, selling research services to the pharmaceutical industry, and as strategy consultant for (semi)governmental organizations. In 2016, Geertje completed the BSc in recruitment, welcomed her second daughter and started the training program “3-steps to a career in industry for PhD’s and Postdocs”. She loves the dynamic environment of recruitment and to witness the positive impact career advice and new job opportunities have on people’s lives.

From a young age Lisette Spoelder wanted to work as a nurse, as she likes to help people. She accomplished that dream and has worked in nursing for 15 years. After being a Head nurse obstetrics for years, she decided to make the step towards business and became a Business Unit Manager at a division of Randstad Healthcare for temporary jobs. After that, she started working for a recruitment agency for the Pharmaceutical sector, where her love for recruitment comes from (again: “helping people”). Lisette wanted to build out her commercial talents in a direct sales position and started to work for a company which sells laboratory equipment. Among others, her task was to introduce a diagnostic test. Besides that, she also sold equipment which sparked her interest for the sector. Lisette likes to work with people and the large amount of knowledge of professionals within science, combined with a no-nonsense attitude, appeals to her. That made her decide to start up her own recruitment agency. The company first focused on recruiting laboratory staff. Later on, Lisette felt that academic professionals found it difficult to show their talents to the industry and the other way around; the industry was searching for academic talents yet could not find them. My colleague Geertje Janssen developed a course especially for PhD’s to help them define their talents to find a job in the industry.


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