Let’s meet Mandy!
Let’s meet Mandy!
Today we are meeting the captain behind the steering wheel of The Hague International Centre. Mandy is a long-time member of the centre and has been orchestrating the collective effort in leading the organisation to where it is today.
“I’ve started my career here three years ago”, she tells. At the beginning The Hague International Centre was an office offering municipal registration for internationals, just a part of another governmental unit. Soon after, Mandy has noticed a real potential for growth this led to a research, identifying new goals for the centre and a new vision for the team. For two years now The Hague International Centre is aiming for four objectives: to track internationals’ needs, both from and individual and a corporate perspective; to play a role in attracting and retaining international talent; to expand our partners list to offer a more complete service package; and to work on improving our brand.
Attracting people and organisations to The Hague
Managing the centre, Mandy deals with a lot of strategic questions: “Some of the usual issues we deal with would be figuring out how we can play a role to attract people to come and stay in The Hague. In cooperation with our investment partners like IQ and THBA, we explore what makes The Hague region attractive for both international organisations and international talent, and inquire into possible ways to improve it. We want internationals to find The Hague plenteous to satisfy their aspirations, career ambitions and passions in life”. This includes probably the most challenging aspect of Mandy’s job – establishing a common ground with all the governmental departments, all the different services and rules. “Internationals should be able to feel like they’re taking just a single journey, while all the departments work together to assist in their specific touchpoints”.
Moving onto the gratification found from the career at The Hague International Centre, Mandy smiles thinking about the stimulating work environment. “My favourite part about my job here is contributing to this transition and working with a great team. The opportunity to deal with all the organisation coming together to build this service is just so exciting. I also love that we have such a strong base for it [referring to the relationship with ACCESS and IND]”.
Tips to prevent loneliness
Outside of work Mandy likes to keep herself busy with sports. “I love handball, even used to be on the national team at one point! Running, gym, beach - are all great ways to spend time. That’s where most of my friends came from, both Dutch and international”. She then notes how shared activities can make a crucial contribution to finding friends and establishing oneself socially, “Loneliness can be a real issue, and getting to know the Dutch community, or even any community can be difficult. We try to tackle this with our CONNECT and Welcome to The Hague events, but joining some of our international clubs and networks is a very good way to start”. Whether you’re looking to make a difference or to make friends, consider volunteering – ACCESS and Volunteer in The Hague are both excellent places to start. If you like any games, active or other, sports and hobby clubs are a brilliant situation to meet people. Mandy shares a final tip as we finish the interview, “If you’re staying here, make sure to attend Dutch festivals, they’re amazing”.