At Hospitainer, our team is made up out of all sorts of people. Some of them were just getting their careers started when they joined Hospitainer, while others already had a wealth of experience. Take Petra, for example.
After obtaining a degree as an executive secretary and another in marketing, Petra spent many years working as the executive secretary to both presidents of the international criminal bar. That wasn’t her only position involving legal matters either, as she later became the executive assistant to the dean of the Dutch National Bar Association (NOVA) and she even took notes for the advisory panel during the Yugoslavia tribunal.
Petra eventually transitioned out of the legal field and began working for an organization which provided care to people with a disability. After eight years she was ready for a new challenge, though, and she soon found one when she received a phone call from Hospitainer.
Petra attended the same church as a number of other Hospitainer team members, including the CEO Rolof Mulder. She had heard of Rolof and Hospitainer and, though she didn’t mention it at the time, she felt it seemed like an interesting company to work for. However, Rolof was looking for an executive assistant at the time and was at least somewhat familiar with Petra and her work through the church. Only a few days after being interviewed for the position, Petra found herself welcoming Korean delegates as a part of Hospitainer’s team.
It wasn’t long before Petra started taking on more work. She became Hospitainer’s HR and back office manager and eventually got involved with transport as well, helping to ensure our mobile hospitals actually arrive when and where they need to.
Petra has been with Hospitainer for about four years now and, when asked what she enjoyed the most, she mentioned the variety in her work. Being able to have a variety of tasks to pick form keeps thing interesting for her, she explained. However, Petra also mentioned that she enjoys the atmosphere at Hospitainer, particularly when we get an order with a tight deadline. While people are often very busy during those times, Petra mentioned that she feels it brings out the best in our team members.
“You can almost feel it in the air. Everyone’s working, everyone’s busy and we’re all working together once again to ensure we finish things in time. I think that’s very cool.”
When asked about what it takes to work for Hospitainer, Petra said she felt it requires inventiveness, a fondness for teamwork but most of all it requires both passion and flexibility. She explained that she felt it was vital for potential new team members to be passionate about Hospitainer’s mission and that they be willing to work hard to help the team to achieve it. However, Petra also highlighted the importance of remaining flexible in how you approach your work. Things can be somewhat slow at Hospitainer one moment and then very busy the next if an order with a tight deadline comes in. Not to mention that problems with transport, local tensions and difficulties in obtaining certain parts or equipment can all affect our work.
One of Petra’s most memorable experiences with Hospitainer serves as a great example of why this flexibility is so important. Petra had been to a number of conferences and trade shows to represent Hospitainer before but, during a trip to Abu Dhabi, Rolof fell ill and couldn’t give the presentation. The team quickly prepared so that a colleague could take over, but they soon learned that only Rolof had the proper credentials and nobody else would be allowed to handle the presentation. In the end, they realised that they could still have Rolof give the presentation, in a way. Rather than the presentation they had prepared for, they simply put on the video of a Tedx talk Rolof had given some time ago which outlined Hospitainer’s origin and philosophy.
“It was obviously very different from the other presentations, which were all about numbers and statistics. However, people responded very positively, and we received a number of comments from attendants who stated that they hoped that more businesses would focus on their company’s goals and motivations in their presentations.”