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2022 - Q2

Kettingbrief
Verhaallijn 1

Bas de Vries
Leeftijd: 30 Afgestudeerd: 2015 Organisatie: Picnic Functie: Operations Manager
Bram Sprenkels
Leeftijd: 32 Afgestudeerd: 2014 Organisatie: Deloitte Consulting Functie: Manager Supply Chain Strategy
Nu aan het woord
Emmy van Schijndel
Leeftijd: 32 Afgestudeerd: 2014 Organisatie: DSM Food & Beverage Functie: Project Manager
 

What has your career been like so far?

After my graduation internship in 2014 at Deloitte and briefly working as a freelancer, I started at Deloitte Consulting in the Supply Chain Strategy team in 2015. This is where I still am! In 7 years I have been focusing on helping clients define what their future supply network should look like. And I have deliberately been focusing only on consumer business companies, this is one of the reasons I chose to start working at this specific team at Deloitte. I have been fortunate to work on very interesting supply chain topics, together with (in my opinion) great companies like FedEx, NIKE, Bol.com, IKEA and Coca Cola. In these years, I have learned a ton, both professionally and personally: from how to be effective as a professional, and how to setup supply chains, to what I find important in a job and in my personal life.

Why did you choose the industry you work in now?

I guess most graduates that start in consulting do this to start their career broadly and see and learn a lot about different businesses and industries before moving on to somewhere else. Likewise, that was kind of my plan. I had expected to just do that and stay with Deloitte for 3-5 years to then move on to what consultants call “the industry”. I was very wrong. I have experienced that I have loved working as a consultant as it enables me to see a lot of different companies, focus on the key business problems companies can’t solve without help, and work only with highly motivated and intelligent people. After 7 years, I am still very happy in my job, and although it could well be that switch jobs in the next years anyway, I feel that I can’t move to a job that doesn’t offer these key aspects.
As said, I did explicitly choose to start working as a consultant that only focuses on supply chain topics, and mostly in consumer business industry. During my orientation to find a job I learned that this is what brings me most energy, and that more generic (strategy) consulting would therefore not work for me.

How do your expectations about your career during your student days differ from today?

I remember that, at the end of my studies I was really fed up with it, and I was really looking forward to a life where study is not the main thing keeping you busy. Specifically after exchange and during my graduation internship, it didn’t really feel like I was doing something that really mattered and all motivation to get the graduation job done had to be really intrinsic. I guess my expectations about working life have not been met at all: during student life, although I was fed up with it, I had expected that after a couple of years I would be longing back to all the fun and flexibility we had as students.
Obviously, working life enjoy a bit less freedom as opposed to being a student. But I must say I have loved the new rhythm from the get go: work hard during weekdays, and do a lot of fun stuff on Fridays and during weekends. Besides, I have made friends for life amongst my colleagues as you do during your studies. I guess so far, summing it up, I have experienced working life more as an extension of student life, albeit focusing on work that matters more to me, and enjoying more financial freedom.

A technical business expert often knows how to look closely at the bigger picture. Suppose you can exchange a week with the Minister of Climate, how would you tackle the current crises in the field of CO2 and nitrogen?

For starters, I think these problems are global problems, which only can be solved globally. So my key advice is to focus on international collaboration and global solutions.
To further focus on global warming: I believe that global warming should be solved politically and technologically. Although this opinion is not popular amongst my friends, I am fairly optimistic about – on the long term – solving our climate problems. It is unprecedented what humans globally have achieved so far to slow down global warming, and at what pace this has taken place. In only several centuries, there are global regulations and we have set targets and agreements, this has not been done before on any other global theme. Technological solutions that will be able to solve global warming are already there and are growing and improving fast.
Although we do not move fast enough, although there is a long way to go, and although there is no reason to celebrate, I believe that what we have globally accomplished so far is impressive and I believe there is reason for more optimism then what is currently the status quo on the topic.

What advice would you give current students?

As most of the questions above are about starting a career and looking back on this, my advice will be about the process of starting your career and finding the right job. I believe that – especially after graduation in Industrial Engineering at TU/e – your options are limitless, and this can in my experience be quite daunting. However, I also firmly believe that careers are mostly an accumulation of accidental happenings. I think pretty much all professional that retire will tell you that they could never have predicted the career that they just ended, and that it was very different then what they had expected.
This doesn’t mean the is no reason in thinking through your choices as a nearly-graduate, and orientate on different directions and options. Looking around to get a feel of your options is in fact important I believe, as this will bring you from a longlist of options to a shortlist. In this process, base your choice on things like company culture, the people at a company, the industry you like to work in and the type of challenge you are looking for. Don’t focus on money, my believe is it doesn’t make a difference at this stage of our careers.
Knowing that your eventual career will likely be a sum of coincidences, my main advice is: when you have a couple of shortlisted options to choose from, just follow your gut.

You can change a question, which one would you change and why?

Old question:
A technical business expert often knows how to look closely at the bigger picture. Suppose you can exchange a week with the Minister of Climate, how would you tackle the current crises in the field of CO2 and nitrogen?

New question:
What is the key thing that you have learned during your studies that you use a lot and appreciate?

Why:
I think the old question is quite suggestive, and it does not fit well with the other questions in my opinion

Kettingbrief
Verhaallijn 2

Bernadette Deitmers – van der Kuy
Leeftijd: 57 Afgestudeerd: 1989 Organisatie: Savvy Training Functie: Founder
Nick van Lanschot
Leeftijd: 56 Afgestudeerd: 1990 Organisatie: NDI ICT, I.E.T, Allurion, Ulthera and CoolSculpting Kliniek Functie: Serial entrepreneur
Nu aan het woord
Loek Botman
Leeftijd: 30 Afgestudeerd: 2017 Organisatie: Bol.com Functie: Senior Data Scientist Operations Research
 

What has your career been like so far?

A lot of variation: conscripted ROAG officer, consultancy (VODW), starting my own ICT company (1996), joining the internet hype with a startup, sold company, investor and then again building a serious company in the medical world (obesity and cosmetic).

What makes you happy in your work?

Variety, self-developing teams and successes. It’s fun to set and achieve goals together with people. Especially if the road to that goes differently than planned and still achieves results.

What was the most important moment in your career and why?

A Harvey Spector moment (.. there are always hundred forty six other options . .) After two good bosses, I chose a challenging job with an impossible boss afterwards. I walked around very frustrated for a while until an uncle told me, ‘if you think it’s that bad, you’ll leave anyway’. I did that, and that was the first step toward entrepreneurship. Since then, I have often ended up in impossible situations, but my mindset was structurally different at the time: ‘I don’t see the interesting alternatives yet, but they come and get there.’

Looking back on your career, would you make the same choices with today’s science?’

I would make a lot of decisions differently. Pretty long list 😊. But all those bad choices have shaped me into who I am.

How do you distinguish yourself as a business manager from managers with a different background? In which aspect is the greatest added value as a business administrator?

The range of knowledge and skills: the combination between a technical background and getting things moving: I am clearly not a specialist, have learned to be open to dissenters, analyse quite nicely and am always very motivated to properly understand the technology behind solutions. These are partly character traits but also things that I have further developed in the study of Industrial Engineering and Management. In Eindhoven, I saw many things that I liked, but also a lot of things that I would never do again.

You can change a question, which one would you change and why?

Old question:
Looking back on your career, would you make the same choices with today’s science? As indicated, I am not so fond of looking back.

New question:
What activities did you do besides your studies? And how has that affected your career?

Why:
Being proactive and having good personal networks were important in all my jobs. I, therefore, look back with great pleasure at my active memberships in student association (Corps) and sports clubs. I made and maintained very good friendships there and learned to organise beautiful activities with friendly people. I still like it, and I still do a lot.