“I’m fascinated by cultural differences and how people work together. My job at NLO gives me all that. I support patent attorneys, which brings me into contact with agents and clients all over the world. It’s responsible and precise work, given the strict deadlines and major interests at stake. There is no room for errors and clients everywhere are becoming more demanding. I thrive on that pressure, but as soon as I walk out of the office I can leave it all behind me. Especially now that I’ve had a baby son; he’s obviously become my number one priority.
A couple of years ago I was looking for a new challenge. My personal life and career were on track and I was keen to find a new outlet. I realised that being in such a position was something of a privilege, so I decided to look for volunteer work. I wanted to ‘give back’, and looked at different types of vacancies for voluntary work. This is how I ended up working for the animal rescue centre in Vlaardingen, where you’ll now find me every Saturday morning, cleaning out cages, administering medicines and above all cuddling and playing with the animals. Just giving them some love, really.
To be honest, before I started work there I had some preconceptions about the kind of people who worked in animal rescue centres. I expected them to be older, with too much time on their hands. But many are young and highly sociable. They’re all very different, but share the same motives and outlook on life. Animals don’t judge you, they accept you as you are, which is something we all appreciate. We volunteers also have lots of fun together.
And because it’s such a different world to where I work, it’s a great counterbalance to my regular job. At the rescue centre, you never think about yourself. I’ve always been struck by the fact that it’s the people who have the least who often do the most for others. For instance, someone who’s on a basic income will frequently spend a lot on providing help for animals in need.
This makes it easier for me to put situations at work into perspective. We should count ourselves lucky, I often think. I’m glad to say that I’ve got some great colleagues. That, together with the excitement and dynamic environment I find at NLO, makes working there very interesting. So although my work and hobby represent completely different worlds, I leave my house in the morning looking forward to both.”
2018 was a special year as it’s the year NLO celebrated its 130th anniversary. Over all those years, there’s one specific element that really forms the core of our firm; our people. Professionals who put all their effort in helping clients in any way they can. However, they are far more than IP professionals. We would like to give you some insight in the real people behind NLO. We proudly introduce to you some of our colleagues. This Thursday: Andrea Strijbos.