Prof. dr. Isabel Arends is Full Professor and group leader biocatalysis and organic chemistry at Delft University of Technology.
“We asked Aletta to develop a personalized training program for a group of young scientists. We offer teachers who are ambitious and want to take the next step in their careers a program focused on personal development. It entails both group sessions and one-to-one coaching.
A program of this kind is very valuable to young scientists who experience serious pressure every day. They're expected to strive for excellence when it comes to education and research, but they are also required to be good networkers and to reach out to companies and other organizations. These professionals are usually experts in their discipline, but their education may not have included other competences and skills. Once in their positions, however, it's important for them to work on becoming leaders and developing a certain level of authority. In the complex environment they operate in, speed and pressure make it difficult to make the time to work on their development. This program provides them the opportunity to discover who they are and what they stand for.
I've personally noticed that the participants value the program highly. Initially, they might be a bit skeptical, but because the program is custom-made to their needs, their skepticism is quickly replaced by trust. The personal attention alone does a lot for them; I can see the sparkle in their eyes when they tell me about the sessions! People often underestimate how much we need this kind of support. The academic world is a tough place where people are required to fend for themselves, but with just a little bit of help, they can take huge steps. That not only enriches the participants but also improves the academic world as a whole.”