‘They found me on LinkedIn’: Adrian’s experience at Econvert

Join Adrian as he navigates life in Groningen, sharing his experiences at Econvert and insights into Dutch culture. Explore sustainability, innovation, and integration tips in this captivating interview.

Adrian Figueroa 1 (1)

Make it in the North sat down with Adrian Figueroa. Originally from Mexico he landed a job after completing his studies in the North and is now working at Econvert. Adrian tells us more about his experience here from finding his job and navigating life in the Netherlands.

Tell us about your background and journey to the Northern Netherlands.

My name is Adrian, and I’m from Mexico. I found myself in the Northern Netherlands pursuing a master's degree in Energy for Society at Hanze University in Groningen.

What is your role at Econvert, and how did you find the job?

At Econvert, I serve as a sales engineer, primarily involved in project cost calculations and collaborating closely with the sales team to ensure competitive pricing. I stumbled upon this opportunity through LinkedIn. Interestingly, they reached out to me, sparking my interest in their sustainable energy initiatives, aligning perfectly with my academic background and aspirations.

What attracted you to go for a position at Econvert?

The prospect of contributing to environmental sustainability was the primary draw for me. I sought avenues to make a meaningful impact. Econvert provided the perfect intersection of professional growth and environmental stewardship, offering me the chance to expand my knowledge while doing something good for the planet.

How has your experience been integrating into life in the Northern Netherlands and within Econvert?

Groningen, with its vibrant student community, eased my transition into Dutch life. My social life is quite nice I would say. There are lots of activities to do, like, jamming sessions, parties, or even just going to the park.

Similarly, Econvert fostered a welcoming and dynamic workplace culture. The international feeling coupled with a youthful energy made integration seamless. Colleagues were supportive, readily sharing knowledge and fostering a collaborative environment that helped me grow.

People seem like they enjoy their jobs and that actually motivates you a lot to do yours.

How do you find interacting with Dutch employees, considering language differences?

Integrating with Dutch colleagues has been effortless. While language differences exist, almost everyone speaks English. I appreciate their encouragement to learn Dutch, albeit challenging in a predominantly English-speaking environment. They push me a little to learn, but in a good way. When they see I’m not following, they switch to English.

What challenges did you face relocating to the Netherlands, and how did you overcome them?

Like many expatriates, homesickness and adjusting to Dutch cuisine and weather posed initial challenges. However, the warmth of the local community and the convenience of Dutch life mitigated these hurdles. Everything is within cycling distance and there’s a great work-life balance.

I do live in Groningen rather than Heerenveen where the office is though. I just think it’s a bit too small of a town for my liking. Groningen is as small of a city I could live in personally.

Now to me, the North feels like home outside of home.

Do you have any advice for international job seekers eyeing opportunities in the Northern Netherlands?

Learning the Dutch language, although difficult to do, enhances job prospects significantly. I got a lot of rejections because I didn’t speak the language that well. Additionally, casting a wide net in job applications often yields unexpected opportunities. I think the Netherlands is an easy country to adapt to.

Video: Julia Dumchenko
Interview: Annaléa Chatelier