How being exactly on time for the bus changed Rio’s life.

He is ‘just’ 26 years old. Later in this story you will understand why we added ‘just’. He grew up in Pontianak, Indonesia where he studied a bachelor in food science, did several internships and even an exchange study in Thailand. In the meantime he worked as a chemistry teacher in high school. “I like to interact with people. To inspire and get inspiration back.” In august 2018 he got a scholarship to do a master in food science specialized in food innovation & management at the Wageningen university. That’s when his journey in Holland started.

The person behind this ambitious mind is a food lover. We asked him what his best friend would tell us about Rio in person. “They would say I’m persistent, compassionate and friendly. Above all, my friends know me as a good cook. I started to learn cooking because most people thought as a food scientist I should have good expertise in culinary as well I think”. He has a lot of favourite dishes, so we asked him to name a top 3. “Definitely quiche, ramen and pasta, but I also like to make Indonesian dishes like nasi goreng with rendang paste and beef, soto and ajam bakar bumbu bali. “Food is what makes me happy in every possible way”, concludes Rio.

“Food is what makes me happy in every possible way”

Why did you choose for food science?

“I think that food science is essential in life. I like chemistry in general and food science is one of the multidisciplinary fields where chemistry is included. People will always need food and this tiny planet needs to provide that. Actually my passion for this work consists of two things: people and sustainability. So I would like to help people have a better life with good nutrition and contribute to sustainability on this planet. For me it’s now important to learn from my career, gain experience and knowledge and build a network here.”

What was your dream job when you were a little?

Rio’s whole life has been based on his career. “Actually when I was 8 I already was interested in science. Especially in correlation with food. My grandmother and aunt showed me how to make fermented Cassava in banana leaves. We call it ‘tape’ in Indonesia. As a kid I remember how amazed I was by the chemical reaction (fermentation) of the bacteria. We can ‘spoil’ Cassava in a good way so we can prolong the shelf-life, increase its nutritional value and we can still eat it and make it even tastier. How nice is that? That was the moment I realized what I wanted to do when I grow up.”

Can you tell me something about your job right now? What are your main activities?

“I am working as a Quality Control Operator (R&D). So we are developing methods in pharmaceutical products and troubleshooting in method and process validation.

I really like my job, because it is very challenging and it is totally more strict field compared to food industry. To gain more experience regarding to food safety, this job is a perfect fit. We have to go through a lot of processes and analysis’s regarding to pharmaceutical products before it is launched to the customer. Food safety is a big challenge and a lot of analysis’s have to be done. This job gave me a better perspective on how to comply with regulation in pharmaceutical industry. I am learning new things every day and that’s my goal for all the plans I have for the future.”

Rio and the start at Xelvin

“The timing was just crazy! The 3rd of December, Nadjesda contacted through LinkedIn. The 9th of December we had a phone call about the job. I told her that my visa was expiring on the 28th of December. So we only had 3 weeks left. Besides that I already had a plan for myself to go home and start a career in Indonesia. I even booked my flight ticket back to Indonesia.

Nadjesda was very responsive, fast and helpful and told me about the job opportunity at Lelypharma BV and how she could help me with the Visa. She immediately contacted her colleagues in Eindhoven (Global Recruitment Centre) and told Lelypharma BV about my case with the visa. Everyone was willing to help and speed up the process. The manager was interested in my profile, so the 21st of December I had my first interview at Lelypharma BV. Even my girlfriend was with me because she thought I would go back to Indonesia in a few days. Surprisingly the next day I got the job offer and accepted it.”

Visa procedure and perfect timing

“To renew my visa I had to go to the IND in Den Haag, but it was the period around Christmas so it was very difficult to make an appointment. We only had one day left but Nadjesda managed to make an appointment on the same day. She called me on Thursday at 13:00 and told me a woman at IND is now waiting for me but that they would close at 16:00. Public transport from Wageningen to The Hague is about 2 hours. I was like: okay. It’s 13:00 right now and I have to take the bus in 5 minutes to make sure I get there in time. So I ran downstairs with all my documents. The bus almost drove off, so I had to wave to the driver and he stopped for me! If I would’ve missed that bus I would’ve arrived in the Hague at 16:30 and then they  already would’ve been closed. Everything just happened with the perfect timing. I arrived in Den Haag at 15:30 and managed to get the sticker for the Visa”, smiles Rio.

Can you imagine that on the 3rd of December I had my first chat with Nadjesda and on the 3rd of January I started working? The visa, my new house. Everything went superfast. I am very happy and I like my job, new colleagues and my new hometown.

Do you have any plans or dreams for the future?

Without any doubt, Rio answered: “YES! I would like to have businesses in food. I am thinking about innovative food products with innovative ingredients. For example; how can I make stamppot with alternative ingredients that are more sustainable, healthy and tasty. Oh and also I would like to have a ramen restaurant, because I really like ramen.”

We are sure: we will definitely hear more from Rio in the future.

Would you like to say something to Nadjesda or Xelvin

Nadjesda is a great person. A very big thank you, Nadjesda! I really appreciate Xelvin and Nadjesda. The way Xelvin hires talent is very nice, friendly and person to person. If I compare Xelvin with other recruitment agencies Xelvin is the most considerate, has the quickest responses and fast processes. A crazy adventure, with a great ending!

Are you also looking for a job in the food industry? Then feel free to contact Nadjesda!

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