Careerpath - Project Leader

Arno Wegkamp

Arno Wegkamp

Job title: Project leader
Company: Royal CSK
Highest level of education: PhD

Introduction
Royal CSK is an innovative company that delivers ingredients for the dairy industry. The focus is on starter cultures for fermented milk products and cheeses. As a mid-size company we have a lot of impact in the industry. Cheesemakers are relying on our cultures and expertise. I am responsible for Research and Development related to how well our starter culture (lactic acid bacteria) perform at our customers. With a specific focus on how well our starter cultures grow on the milk. While the main focus is on the growth of our starter cultures on milk, I am also responsible for setting up new and improved high throughput screening methods, here the focus is on increasing the chance of selecting the most useful lactic acid bacteria from a whole range of lactic acid bacteria. I like that every day is different. Since CSK is a relatively small company (<200 persons) it prevents me from becoming a super specialist and therefore it is easy to learn a lot from different fields. This makes interacting with people inside our company very natural. As a R&D project leader within the scientific community it is important to be curious while never forgetting that only the most potent things can be executed.

How did you encounter this position?
Via a previous employer I had the opportunity to perform some projects for CSK and this gave me a positive feeling about CSK. When a position became available I applied for it.

Can you tell a little bit about the application process you went through?
After sending my CV and motivation letter I was invited for a first interview, after which a second interview followed.

What was challenging for you when you started in this position?
Everything! That why I love my job so much.

Do you have any tips for career seekers in your field?
Never work within your comfort zone. Always seek the borders of your knowledge and occasionally challenge yourself to go beyond these borders.

 


 

Irma van Rijswijck

Irma van Rijswijck

Job title: Postdoc / Project leader
Company: Royal CSK
Highest level of education: PhD

Introduction
My main responsibility for CSK is to manage fundamental and applied research projects in my field of expertise. What I enjoy is the combination of fundamental and applied research in a mid-size company in a working environment that suits my core values. Some important skills to be successful are: project management, scientific knowledge, entrepreneurialism, open, together, responsible and authentic.

How did you encounter this position?
Networking. About 10 years ago I worked at CSK as an internship student and fulfilled some temporary positions in between courses.

Can you tell a little bit about the application process you went through?
After sending my CV and motivation letter I was invited for a first interview, after which a second interview followed. It helped that I had previously worked before at CSK. But this time in a different position.

Do you have any tips for career seekers in your field?
Use your network and look for a company that matches your core values.

 

 

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