A day in the life

See how we work

Working at Catalyze during COVID-19

“2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. The employees of Catalyze won’t tell you anything different. The coronavirus turned our lives upside down and also impacted the way we work everyday. As we have already been working from home for the last 8 months, we wanted to know how our colleagues are holding up with with this new working situation. Sedef Iskit gives us a little snippet of how she experienced working from home during COVID-19.”

Experience from working 100% at home

It was 11 March 2020, right after a long weekend of skiing in Austria with nearly 30 colleagues (one of the many reasons Catalyze is an awesome place to work at), our office decided that we all should start working from home. We all probably thought it was for a week or two. I sure did.

I packed up my laptop, but optimistically left my second screen on my desk. At the beginning of the following week, it was clear that we would not be returning to the office anytime soon. The management team sent several messages encouraging us to pick up from the office anything that would help us set up a working spot in our houses. So I went back to collect my keyboard, my second screen, my laptop platform, and my office chair. Now my new office was half of our dining table in the living room. Since I moved out of the flat I used to live in during my PhD, I had not felt the need to reserve an office area at home.

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Business Development: Vlad Grecu

Vlad Grecu shares some insights into what led him to Catalyze and his role and responsibilities as a business developer.

Joining Catalyze
Chemistry. Perhaps the oldest form of science since the inception of the Universe. Science is all about curiosity and the desire to find out how something happens, how something is created. I knew that by studying chemistry I would dive into the unknown and into creating new molecules, which did indeed happen. My past work in the pharma industry showed me how little we actually know about some diseases and how many unanswered questions are still out there.

In parallel, I started developing a deep curiosity about the entrepreneurial world. I took finance and entrepreneurship classes and while these were completely different concepts to science, I felt very attracted to this new area. What are the elements of success for a new-startup? What do you need to do in order to differentiate from others? How do you disrupt markets or even create new ones? Why would someone invest in a young immature company?

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Life of a Catalyze Consultant by Carla van Alem

“Carla van Alem, consultant at Catalyze, shares some insights into her usual working day.”

The focus is on building a project that benefits everybody
When I first started as a consultant at Catalyze in 2019, I expected to be writing up grant applications for innovative life science projects for 50% of the time, and spend the other half of my time on client contact, consortium building, and administration. After a while I realized that while submitting a full proposal is the final product, the actual writing only takes about 20% of my time. The bulk of the work is in talking with the client and all consortium partners on how to build a project that benefits everybody and gets the job done. This means asking a lot of questions to all parties involved on their aims for their own company/research, and how they want to achieve this.

When this general concept is built, it’s on to drafting the text, creating graphical elements, going through several internal quality controls, and assisting all partners in completing the necessary documents (budgets, business plans, participant information) on time. In the end, this results in a very varied daily schedule.

A typical working day
Of course, when I started at Catalyze, I went to our office in Amsterdam where I would interact with my colleagues and our day would have natural breaks for coffee and joint lunches. Since the corona pandemic, my daily schedule has altered a bit. For me, this is a typical day:

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