‘I have zero regrets’

After her expat journey began in Ulaanbaatar, HEINEKEN expat partner Veerle Hisken decided to swap a career in logistics for education. Eight years and two assignments later, she has yet to look back.

Another calling

When we last interviewed Veerle for the Global Connection website in 2015, she’d only recently made that life-altering career change. “I actually found a job related to my former career in Mongolia. But I knew there was something else for me and it was the right moment to make the change. After taking a course online, I began my career in education as a maths teacher at an international school in Ulaanbaatar,” says Veerle, a mother of two daughters, now aged two and four years old.

Perfect timing

“I really love being in a classroom and sharing my enthusiasm for maths with the students. But from the beginning, I also knew a career in teaching meant I could potentially find work wherever we go next,” says Veerle. “When my husband René’s assignment in Mongolia was coming to an end in 2016, we knew that the next stop was Myanmar, so I arranged a job interview at an international school to coincide with our pre-visit. In the end, I started my job before René did!”

Back to school

Although the pandemic posed a few challenges for Veerle and her family, once again she managed to find work when relocating, this time to Jakarta, Indonesia. “Due to being repatriated in the midst of the pandemic, and the birth of my second child, I hadn’t worked in a year and a half. It was tough to go back to full-time work! But I was thrilled to be back teaching.”

Extra responsibility

“Besides teaching maths to middle school and high school students, I would be keen to work as a Diploma Programme Coordinator again, a role I already did in Myanmar. That allowed me to resurrect some organisational skills from my days in logistics, which I loved!” says Veerle, adding that she might never have changed careers, if she hadn’t embarked on her expat journey. “It’s harder to make the jump in your home country. The support from HEINEKEN definitely played a big part in helping me to change careers as an expat. Looking back eight years later, I have absolutely zero regrets about making that decision!”

Photo: Veerle with her two daughters in her classroom at school

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