Denise van Kemenade
If there's one thing that gets me excited, it's the human body and the intelligence of nature. Everything fits together, and when we have a deep understanding of this, we can influence things in such a way that they become even better or more effective. Making the impossible possible? I believe that can be done by respectfully combining our technical knowledge with the wisdom of nature. To me, that means working with a touch of magic!
My technical foundation is built on knowledge of subjects such as mathematics, physics, and computer science. However, in my opinion, the most essential component is analytical insight. Because of that, I am able to observe, evaluate, and ask the right questions in a critical manner.
The challenging aspect in technology is that, apart from general ways of thinking, there are numerous different specifications. Fortunately, it’s in my nature to fully comprehend things. I embark on investigations patiently, seek the right advice, and consult my best friend Google until I understand something down to the smallest detail.
During my study, I was engaged in organizational activities through committees. Not only did this energize me immensely, but I also discovered that I have a knack for both aspects. In a technical team, I enjoy focusing on the human element, ensuring that everyone can showcase their strengths and we work together as a strong team.
I appreciate it when people around me are empowered and when a team is collaborating harmoniously. Still, this does not prevent me from standing up for myself assertively. Through my research and observations, I know what I believe and what I want. I share my well-considered opinion kindly and modestly, but always in a clear way.
Denise is curious about…
No matter what the subject is, I want to understand how it works and figure out where it comes from. During training sessions and at work, I always have an internet page with Google at hand, so I can research things immediately when needed. Even when I am watching series and TV shows, opening a Wikipedia page is a standard practice.
I have worked on this assignment…
Prospect Researcher at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Foundation
The Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Foundation (ALVF) funds scientific cancer research at the AVL and has experienced significant growth in recent years. This created the need for someone to identify and research new sponsors: The Prospect Researcher. I quickly came to the conclusion that most new donors have often donated before, so having a good database and CRM system is crucial. Through many consultations with my team of relationship managers and the software systems administrators at both AVL and KWF, I succeeded in setting up this database and associated workflow and in ensuring that it remains the basis for the future. In addition to this change project, I also did preliminary research on major donors, wealth foundations and corporations to look for a potential match in policy, goals and budget to make requests to support specific research. When I started, there was very little at all. I am proud of how I managed to see opportunities and needs for this position and turn it into an addition within the Foundation. I thought it was really cool to see up close how this whole organization is so passionate about their work, to help as many people as possible through cancer research. This motivated me tremendously.
I considered the idea of a big solo backpacking trip to the other side of the world, but in terms of time, money, and planning, that is quite an undertaking. On the other hand, not going on a solo trip felt like the complete opposite, so I decided to go on solo city trips instead. I can highly recommend this, because you still get to explore on your own and do exactly what you feel like doing. The great advantage is that if you don’t enjoy it, you can be back home in no time! It just goes to show that there are many possibilities that are in between going all-in and not going at all.
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