In this article, we talk to Nefeli Georgaka, Product Development Technologist at Nutricia Research, about her role at Danone. We find out why the Netherlands, and working at Danone were the top choices for developing her career.
What made you decide to work with Danone and to move to the Netherlands?
Danone is a really diverse and caring organization. Everyone is really happy to share their knowledge, no matter what level they are. There’s plenty of opportunities to use a wide range of skills which is very energizing and inspiring. I’m exposed to lots of different topics which helps me grow as a product technologist and keeps my approach fresh and creative. This isn’t something I have experienced in Greece or Italy. Even if you have a lot of projects to do and deadlines to meet you always feel supported.
I wanted to move to the Netherlands as it’s one of the most important countries for the agricultural and food sector and has one of the best universities in the world. It’s the perfect place for me to invest in my career, long-term. As a country, the Netherlands is very welcoming to expats, which is important to me.
There’s plenty of opportunities to use a wide range of skills which is very energizing and inspiring.
What were your first impressions of Danone?
I arrived in the Netherlands around 10 months ago, directly from Greece, my home country. It was my first time away from home and I was really impressed by how approachable everyone was, no matter what level of seniority. I saw straight away that it’s a very diverse environment with lots of different cultures and people of different nationalities.
Was it what you expected?
It was more than I expected! In other companies, you can find some of the benefits that Danone offers, such as high skill levels. Danone has this and combines it with a great workplace culture and a genuine focus on work/life balance. The management team is really supportive and makes sure you aren’t overloaded with work.
Tell us a little about your team
We are a very diverse group with lots of different nationalities. It is a new team so we’re able to start from scratch and build the team together. People are very creative and open to collaboration. We have lots of interesting discussions over coffee and are there to help each other, whenever we need it.
A recent project I and my team enjoyed recently was working on updating a large number of products in our Mivas range to meet new legislative requirements. The project involved working with a really wide variety of different Danone employees, which gave us really interesting insights into Danone’s operations. We loved the knowledge sharing and collaboration. Naturally, obstacles arose, and there were strict deadlines to meet, but we confronted them together so there’s a real sense of comradeship and working towards a shared goal.
We love the diversity and feeling of inclusion that Danone offers.
Why is Danone is a great employer for your field of expertise?
Danone is perfect for me as I am able to specialize in my particular field, which is gut health. I also get to work with other teams, such as Life Sciences, on projects that allow me to contribute to wider fields of study.
Before coming to Danone, I worked for smaller, family-run companies. I prefer working at a company like Danone where there are more opportunities to grow and learn and work with talented people from all over the world. I think everyone on my team feels the same. We love the diversity and feeling of inclusion that Danone offers.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
I am fulfilling my career ambitions and have the opportunity to work on innovative projects in a supportive environment. I always feel free to express my opinions.