“You are crazy to leave Stanford” they said, “Why dont you join one of the big companies in the Bay Area?” they said… I still remember the day Michel called me to his office & said “I’m considering moving to Maastricht”. To which my reaction was “Where’s Maastricht?!” He shared his ideas & vision (which attracted me the most) & offered me a position at this new Institute of Data Science. After carefully weighing all my options and convincing my parents & sister that it was a good academic move for me for my future, I decided to move to Maastricht.
Fast forward two years later, I definitely am glad I made this move and have had the opportunity to witness & play my small part of setting up an institute. Being the first employee Ive seen it grow from 3 to 24 (& still growing) in 2 years (also have been part of the hiring process). Ive been impressed by all the diverse backgrounds & expertise my colleagues have, which have been crucial to realize the vision of our institute – which makes our institute unique – to be truly interdisciplinary! Heck, Im collaborating with Professors from the Department of Law!
Of course there have been hard times – it has been quite a steep learning curve of fitting in and collaborating with colleagues with diverse backgrounds & cultures and (yes I will always complain about this) I miss the Californian weather plus the struggle of managing all my roles & responsibilities. I did (& still am) learn(ing) a lot from all of these experiences & hope to continue learning to deal with them!
That said, I truly enjoy Michel & my conversations about the future of this institute, which I am looking forward to see crystallized. Plus, I am working towards my personal goals, dreams & an even more successful 2019 – Im looking forward to all the challenges it brings on!