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Today, in our series “Consultants tell their stories”, we have Philippe Van Meel. Philippe has been working at Pauwels Consulting since April 2012. He is currently working as a laboratory technician in a large pharmaceutical company in the Antwerp area.
“I was really able to hit the ground running as a laboratory technician.”
Philippe, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Philippe Van Meel and I’ve been working at Pauwels Consulting since early 2012.
After college, I started studying at the chemistry department at the university of applied sciences in Geel. However, I noticed that certain subjects didn’t really interest me that much. That’s why I stopped my studies.
Despite the fact that I didn’t have a higher degree, I was still able to start as microbiological lab assistant at a medium-sized pharmaceutical company in the Kempen area pretty quickly. After half a year I moved up to lab technician in the materials department.
In this department I gained a lot of experience with a variety of analytical techniques and software that are used specifically in the pharmaceutical industry. At the same time, I also took night school classes in order to get my degree as soon as possible.
After 4.5 years, I finally switched to a large chemical company in the port of Antwerp. There I first worked in the laboratory and later in the production department.
“Pauwels Consulting offers a wide range of outstanding vacancies within the pharmaceutical sector, and they are very well organized.”
How did you learn about Pauwels Consulting?
When I started at that chemical company, I quickly came to the conclusion that the company’s culture didn’t meet my expectations. During my search for another job, I discovered Pauwels Consulting.
At that time, Pauwels Consulting was looking for a laboratory technician for a pharmaceutical company in the Antwerp area. The interviews went extremely smoothly and swiftly. They contacted me the very next day after I submited my candidacy. I immediately felt that this was a good sign.
Why did you choose Pauwels Consulting?
I chose Pauwels Consulting because the outstanding vacancy for a pharma lab technician appealed to me greatly, and since I already had experience in the sector.
Getting up to speed as a consultant was fun and came naturally to me. As a consultant, you always have the possibility to switch to another project or company after a while to continue to grow.
However, I would also have started directly with the client if the open vacancy were with them. It’s a great company to work for and I feel at ease in their culture. The combination of Pauwels Consulting and the client I work for is ideal.
As long as there are projects and they need a lab technician, I can keep working for my current client. At the same time, I’m not ruling out the possibility of taking on a new challenge. Pauwels Consulting offers a wide range of outstanding vacancies within the pharmaceutical sector, and with them everything is always well organized.
“Don’t be put off by consultancy.”
What do you like about your project?
I’ve been working with about 18 colleagues in a lab since April 2012 where we perform analyses on growth hormone. Our centre also monitors on-going projects. Some of the analysis techniques we use include HPLC, electrophoresis, water testing etc.
It’s a job with lots of change and a wide variety of different analyses and analysis techniques. But working in a team is also important to me. Thinking and finding solutions in teams is strongly encouraged.
What are your future plans?
I can’t really formulate an answer to that question. I enjoy my work and I feel at home in a lab. Maybe in a few years I’ll want to do more project work, but I haven’t decided yet.
Do you have tips for new colleagues?
Don’t be put off by consultancy. As a consultant, you do work as an outsider, but at the same time as a direct colleague at the clients where you’ll be working.
It’s nice work. As a consultant, you probably have a greater and more frequent chance to switch to another project or another client to gain new experiences.
Philippe has been working at Pauwels Consulting since April 2012. He is currently working as a laboratory technician in a large pharmaceutical company in the Antwerp area.
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