• Ellen Kosters

    I am pleased to get the opportunity to introduce myself, being new to IMA.
    I am overwhelmed by the warm welcome I get, and I am so much looking forward to getting to know you all and learning from eachother, sharing experiences and having fun together!

    I work as Executive Assistant to 2 Vice Presidents/General Managers of 2 different Business Units within Thermo Fisher Scientific: Life Sciences and Materials Science. My 2 Execs are both female Americans, and each leads a Global Team, with members based in 5 or 6 different time zones. Working globally is a challenge that I do appreciate most about my role. Building bridges between different cultures.

    In my previous role at a start-up, I felt privileged to have the opportunity to travel a lot, as the CEO who I supported was based in Switzerland, where we had a small office, and I was based in The Netherlands, where our main activities were organized. We learned to collaborate remotely andfound ways to stay connected even based in different countries. Once every two months the CEO cameto Eindhoven and the other months I travelled to Zurich, to spend 4 days at the office over there. It was the best experience ever, which unfortunately came to an end when investors forced the company to close the office in Zurich and my CEO was let go.

    I was offered the opportunity to support the new CEO but at the same time there was a possibility that the company would be acquired and would move out of The Netherlands, I decided to accept another offer and started my current job. The big advantage of my current role is that we have lots of holidays, in total 40 days/year (incl “ATV”) which I spend on one of my time-consuming hobbies: organizing (city) trips to Thessaloniki, Greece.

    Together with my best friend, who lives in Greece, we arrange trips for (small) groups, and we also organize trips on demand for private groups.

    We are not an official tour operator, meaning we advise on flights, but participants have to purchase their own ticket, and we work together with hotels where people can book at a reduced rate when they participate in our trips. We arrange the daily programs, excursions, workshops, transfers and so on.

    Our speciality is culinary tours. Visits to wineries, wine tasting sessions, visit an olive oil factory, cooking workshops and every day delicious meals in nice traditional restaurants.

    Due to the pandemic, we have not been able to organize any trips in 2020. We cross our fingers that two scheduled trips in October 2021 can take place. To develop myself, I am currently studying Modern Greek. Thanks to the lockdown I have more time to spend on my study, as all lessons are online. Every disadvantage has its advantage, so to say.

    Looking forward to the IMA activities!

    All the best, Ellen  

  • Corien Zeeman

    In my spare time I love to read, and Isabel Allende is one of my favourite writers. Next to that I like to be outdoors for hiking & cycling. My favourite season is spring, and I am counting the days to sit in my garden and enjoy a cup of tea.

    In June 2019 I started to work for Dura-Line as Management Assistant Europe. In this role I provide management support to the Global VP Sales & Marketing, Global VP People and Head of People Europe. Dura-Line is a leading global manufacturer and distributor of conduit, with HQ based in Knoxville USA. We are serving a wide variety of markets including telecommunications, enterprise networking, energy and transportation. Dura-Line is part of Orbia, a community of companies working together to tackle some of the world’s most complex challenges. We are bound by a common purpose: To Advance Life Around the World.
    I have over 25 years of experience as Management Assistant at international companies, spanning various disciplines and industries.

    The choice to become member of IMA is quite simple:

    I want to broaden my horizon and share ideas & knowledge with peers in an international setting.

    Although it seems that we will have online contact for the time being, I would love to meet you all in person one day.

    For sure this will happen!

    Until than!


  • Krista van den Boogaart

    Hello dear IMA ‘colleagues’,

    Because I recently joined your association, an opportunity presented itself to introduce myself.

    My name is Krista van den Boogaart, I am 42 years old and have worked as a management assistant for 23 years. How time flies… I live in Son &Breugel (Netherlands) with the love of my life, Peter, my 15-year-old son and my 13-year-old daughter. I love playing tennis, though I can’t say I’m talented. And 3 years ago I started with piano lessons. This hobby is a real brainteaser, however, I make progress slowly but steadily.

    For 13 years I am also a member of a national management assistants association in the Netherlands, called NVD. As some of you might have experienced, IMA Netherlands and NVD have organized a virtual session series with Charles Ruffolo about networking earlier this year. And what got me enthusiastic was the warm and friendly contact between the IMA members shortly before the session started and even during the sessions, there was a lot of interaction.

    1½ years ago I started at a new employer, called ASML. Quite a big and fast-growing company. One of my targets is sharing my ‘lessons learned’ outside the company with about 130 management assistants. That also made me decide to join a second management assistants association. I hope the IMA activities inspire me to explore the many opportunities that our profession can provide.
    What I love about working at ASML, is that the management assistants form a community together. All professionals with the same DNA: willing to keep on developing and always helpful to each other.

    We all have our experiences and knowledge. When you share this with your co-assistants, we take each other to a higher level. Knowledge sharing is what I really love to do. I have experienced in my career that more and more of my tasks are automated, and alternative tasks showed up. I like this development because what can be automated are not the most challenging activities. The activities that remain or come up are more challenging. They require wisdom, empathy and flexibility.
    The world still needs smart ladies (and some gents) like us who are willing to make the life of the managers we support a bit easier. I see our profession as the sport curling: we pave the path for our managers to focus on his/her goal. Meanwhile, we can be the glue between the manager and its direct reports on a relation level. One of my motto is: the only constant in life is change. It’s not the strongest who will survive, but who is best in adapting to new circumstances.

    I trust my membership in your beautiful association can help me adapt to those new circumstances.

    I am looking forward to getting to know you! Krista