You are young and full of life. That’s one thing we can say about Lotte Mollen. For more than a year now Lotte has been working as a researcher within the MRG unit (Environmental Risk and Health). Her job is twofold: she is both dedicated to the Environmental Healthcare Partner Organisation and works for the new research project ‘I am’. This project studies the correlation between the physiological profile, the lifestyle and the genetics of an individual are studied. Besides, Lotte is also part of a relay team for ‘Run & Freeze’ and she is also a member of the soup group at MRG. Lotte: “I am pleasantly surprised by the open and collegial corporate culture at VITO, I take to it like a duck to water.”

Open arms

“Recently I went to live with my boyfriend in Tessenderlo. In the morning it takes me about half an hour to get to VITO BIO, and I like to start early; my workday starts rarely starts after 8.00 am. I am a busy bee, and therefore wanted a job with a lot of variation. Well, I found it.” (laughs) “Not a single day is the same.” Love it! I am working on two projects, each with different components. On the basis of deadlines and priorities I make up my own day. What I appreciate a lot, here at VITO, is that you get lots of chances and responsibilities right from the start, even as a rookie. I was welcomed with open arms, you get a mentor to assist you and the doors are always open; it’s a culture where you can ask questions at all times.

Translation

“My job in just three sentences, that’s not so easy to do. As a researcher I am part of the Environmental Healthcare Partner Organisation (PO MGZ), a cooperation between PIH (Provincial Institute for Hygiene), Gezond Leven (the former VIGEZ) and VITO. The PO MGZ supports the Agency for Care and Health in the development and implementation of the preventive healthcare policy. I also take part in ‘I am', the new research project of VITO Health. Within both projects I take up my role as a translator of scientific content for and to several target groups and communication channels.”

Refreshing dive

“The atmosphere among colleagues is brilliant. At noon we take lunch together. We started a soup group, the members of which in turn make soup or other treats on Tuesday or Thursday. Sometimes we go running in group. Together with some colleagues I also form a relay team for ‘Run & Freeze’ of Young VITO. I am the last runner to be allowed to dive into the VITO pond. Refreshing, literally and figuratively. (laughs)

Work-life balance

“This is my first job. I think it’s special that this organisation pays so much attention to the development and the well-being of its staff. You get the chance to attend training and to participate in conferences. But the work-life balance is also respected. Working from home, doctor’s appointments, all this can be discussed. I found my balance here.”

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“At about 4 or 4.30 pm I finish my working day. After dinner the second part of my busy day starts.” (laughs) “My boyfriend is a physical education teacher and also a tennis coach in his spare time. I now started taking tennis lesson, an extra hobby so to speak. In addition, I like running a lot, we like taking part in Spartacus runs during the weekend. Escape rooms are also fun to do. As you can see, it’s hard for me to do nothing. My newest hobby? Pole acrobatics. I dare everyone to give it a try. There’s no better way to train all your muscles!”