Michaela has been working at LetsGrow.com since 2022.
Before moving to the Netherlands to be with my partner Esther in February 2022, I had my 'dream job' as a scientific advisor in the US Senate. Part of my job included attending constituency meetings on agriculture and the environment. One such meeting was with a group of cheese importers, one of whom (Gert) was from FrieslandCampina, whose headquarters is in Amersfoort (Esther's town, now also my town).
I emailed Gert after the meeting and explained my situation - I was going to move to the Netherlands as soon as my postgraduate fellowship ended, and I was looking for a meaningful job where I could regularly learn new things and feel like I was making a difference to the planet. Gert was incredibly kind and put me in touch with his contact Caroline at the Dutch embassy in Washington, D.C., who introduced me to her colleagues.
We talked about what my next 'dream job' would be, and I described my desire to work on large-scale food production as a researcher at an innovative company. Without knowing it, I described LetsGrow.com as my 'dream company', and was introduced to Pieter (Kwakernaak), who introduced me to Ron (Saris) and Ilva (Stijnen). Now I have the best job ever!
I described my desire to work on large-scale food production as a researcher at an innovative company. Without knowing it, I described LetsGrow.com as my 'dream company'.
Working in horticultural technology, especially at a company like LetsGrow.com, with creative, brilliant and fun colleagues, lights up my world. After I left the US Senate, I never thought I would find something so professionally satisfying; I am happy to have been proven wrong.
I really like my colleagues! The only colleagues I've spent time with outside work are Teddy (Prayoga), because he lives in Utrecht and we met at a co-working space there, Heleen (Lugt), because Esther and I got our two sweet cats Elmo and Delicata (and a pumpkin) from her parents' farm in Putten, and Evripidis (Papadopoulos), because he brought me home once! I would love to spend time with other colleagues outside work, but I live a bit too far for that to happen regularly.
Working in horticultural technology, especially at a company like LetsGrow.com with creative, brilliant and fun colleagues, lights up my world.
My colleague Ilva recently organised an event for our Knowledge team called 'happy hours', which basically meant a co-working party. She brought us snacks and drinks, and asked us to work on something we had wanted to do for a while, but had not yet found time for. There was only one 'rule': don't work on something you would 'normally' work on. I enjoyed working on the development of a weighted composite scoring system for the sensors that LetsGrow.com currently uses for our data-driven growing clients, based on the data-driven growing team's opinion on which measures of 'correctness' of the sensors were most important. I was proud and happy to focus on a meaningful mathematical problem that interested me personally, was also applicable to my work, and was just complicated enough to make it extra interesting.