In Humans of ASTRON we share stories about the people at ASTRON. Who are the people behind the discoveries and innovations and also, who are the people that make sure that everything runs smoothly? Carin Lubbers-Leering is HR assistant at ASTRON and has been working with us since 2000.

Published by the editorial team, 15 December 2020

What was the happiest moment in your working life at ASTRON?

The most special moment during my working life at ASTRON was the visit of then Crown Prince Willem Alexander and Princess Maxima to ASTRON. This was back in 2001, as part of their introductory tour of the Netherlands. As executive secretary, I was involved in the preparations for that visit and following those preparations, I had the honour to be one of the representatives of the province of Drenthe, of being present at the civil wedding of Willem Alexander and Maxima on 2 February 2002 in the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam. A special moment that I will not easily forget.

Even after all these years, ASTRON's workplace remains special to me: in the mornings I drive along the beautiful surroundings to the office, with different colours every season. And the view of the Dwingeloo telescope from my workplace and the beautiful walks on the Dwingelderveld during lunch breaks also are still special to me.

Which person was the most important in your career?

At the beginning of my career, I worked in Paris for five years. My first job was at Disneyland Paris as a secretary in the marketing department. In that position I was involved in the organisation of the spectacular opening of the park in 1992. After that I worked at Terres d'Europe (former Heidemij France) where we assisted Dutch farmers to establish themselves in the French countryside. During my time there I worked with a person who has meant a lot to me in my career, my boss at that time: Pim de Roos. I have always admired his way of working and him as a person: his dedication, social and community involvement, broad interest, and great expertise.

Carin Lubbers
(Copyright: Ewoud Wasse/ASTRON)

What inspired you to choose this field of work?

I was educated as European secretary and started my career at ASTRON as secretary Research & Development. After a year, I was given the opportunity to take over the position of executive secretary. It was a terrific period in which I was able to experience how the LOFAR telescopes were taking shape. After the birth of my children, I transferred to the HR department, where I still enjoy working now.

The choice for the secretarial work and subsequent HR work come from my interest in organising administrative affairs and activities in a good and careful way, and from the pleasure I experience in supporting colleagues, as well as the contact I have with my colleagues.

Why did you choose for ASTRON?

When I was young, I regularly went walking with my parents in Hooghalen where we walked the well-known ‘Melkwegpad’. At that time, I was always impressed by the telescopes and I was very curious about the people and the work that was done there.

On my return from France, I saw an advertisement in the newspaper for a secretarial position at ASTRON. This immediately appealed to me and, moreover, ASTRON was an international organisation where interesting research was carried out that fitted well with my experience and interests.

What does your day look like?

Now, with corona, my working days look different than they normally do. After breakfast I go to my workplace in the attic around 8 o'clock. First, I often quietly read my mail and go through the tasks on my action list. Then I start working on regular tasks such as making letters, sick leave, leave administration and making appointments. In addition, I answer questions from colleagues in the HR field and do all kinds of other HR work. At this time of the year, I am also involved in organizing the Christmas presents. Contact is now often by email and via Slack and Zoom. I spend quite some time behind the computer, but every now and then I try to take a coffee or tea break. From my workplace I also regularly look outside through the attic window, where I have a nice view of the lake near our house.

I like walking and therefore I often go for a walk in the evening. I also like to read, in novels and in my study books; I study Cultural Sciences at the Open University. Recently, a nice idea came up for a project called ‘astronomy in art’. A nice initiative that combines work and study for me!

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