Under the Nobi lamp with… Conny Struylaart
In our ‘Under the Nobi lamp with…’ column, Nobi likes to put all our valuable team members in the spotlight. Today Nobi proudly presents: Conny, HR, admin and project management lead at Nobi.
You have a very interesting background. Could you shine a light on your resume?
Well, the initial plan was to become a journalist so I studied communication science. I’m very curious by nature, which explains why I want to know everything about the company I work for. I applied for a job at Kinepolis as I loved going to the movies. I ended up working there for about 11 years, holding several positions throughout that time. I started off in the HR department and went on to sales and events, and eventually became the PA to the General Manager. An interesting thing happens when you work for a company for such a long time:
people tend to gravitate towards the person who is most familiar with the company. This only goes to show that no matter what you do professionally, it always boils down to people. I love that.
Were you ready for a career switch after 11 years of working at Kinepolis?
I wanted to know what I was worth, independently from the company. So I went looking for another job and eventually started working as HR Assistant for Renault Trucks, where I stayed for about one year and a half. An ex-colleague then called me to tell me about a job at Planet Talent, a consultancy agency for graduates looking for jobs in IT, sales and management. I stayed there for about nine years: started as HR Assistant and ended as Operation Manager. I got to combine office management, HR and Operations.
That’s quite the professional kaleidoscope!
I consider myself a generalist. There are simply a lot of things I find interesting. But by familiarizing yourself with all the different departments in a company, you realize to what extent the entire structure is supported by people – and how important it is to make sure the right puzzle is put together. Having a strong team and allowing everyone the opportunity to shine really should be the focal point of every department. Nobi is a great example of this.
So you went from working for Planet Talent to Nobi?
I took an interesting detour first. After Planet Talent I decided it was time for something else. So I got another job and was about to start when Covid19 happened. All of a sudden I was home, in lockdown, for months, which was weird since I never found myself without a job before. So I applied as a volunteer at a local nursing home to fill in the time – and that turned into an enlightening experience.
Because you had no prior experience in the health care sector?
Yes, but also because I got to know the people who work there. Trust me: they deserve a medal for their commitment. Not to mention for the way they organize themselves to get all the work done. A huge part of their job consists in spending time with the residents to make sure they feel acknowledged. Maintaining a sense of connection is essential for any human being, but for people who might have cognitive issues, it makes the world of difference. Being able to have a chat with a familiar face is a fundamental part of their support system. So you can probably imagine how devastating it is for them to be confined to their rooms, as a result of a pandemic. That’s why volunteers were recruited: to make sure these moments of human connection weren’t compromised by the surges of Covid19.
So indirectly Covid19 lead you to start working for Nobi?
Well, yes, because it was then that an ex-colleague mentioned that Nobi was looking for someone with my profile. Next thing I know, I’m sitting at the table with Stijn – enjoying every minute of the conversation. He even submitted me to a complete demonstration of all of Nobi’s features, which involves lying on the floor to experience how Nobi reacts to micro-movement. I got to see firsthand exactly how Nobi can potentially add tremendous value to quality of life. I was beyond impressed, especially in the light of my own experience as a volunteer in the care facility. I immediately knew: ‘Here’s a product that can really make a difference’.
How do you see your part in the future of Nobi?
I’m still relatively new, so my first goal is to get to know the company. But I also can’t wait to dive into what promises to be an exciting future. I’m not just referring to our plans to expand internationally, I’m convinced that Nobi is going to be quite the game-changer on many levels. I think we’re just starting to see a glimmer of how smart technology applied to everyday life will radically change our notion of wellbeing, as a new understanding of care will see the light of day. One thing’s for sure: we’ve got the team, the vision and the focus. I’m pretty convinced that in time the success of Nobi will go right through the ceiling.
Shine your light on the rest of our team!
The new Nobi: Care tech that proves beauty and function can coexist.
Hi, I’m Ann Van Wesenbeeck
Meet Ann Van Wesenbeeck, Head of Customer Support at Nobi. As an expert in fall prevention, she knows better than anyone how important a fast response is during emergencies. Ann immediately saw how Nobi could help them to live more comfortably, safely, and confidently.