Alumnia | 01-03-2023 | Editie 1 | jaargang 11
chainletters-template-default,single,single-chainletters,postid-41409,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.2.0,vc_responsive
2023 - Q1

Verhaallijn 1 01-03-2023
Editie 1 | jaargang 11

Cas van Elderen
Leeftijd: 30 Afgestudeerd: 2016 Organisatie: ASML Wilton Factory Functie: Team Lead Business Engineering
Maarten van Asseldonk
Leeftijd: 27 Afgestudeerd: 2020 Organisatie: Konekti Functie: Co-founder
Nu aan het woord
Maurits Akkerman
Leeftijd: 27 Afgestudeerd: 2020 Organisatie: Bright Cape Functie: Senior Process Mining Consultant

What has your career been like so far?
I came across this data analysis technique on the cutting edge between processes and data science: process mining. I was immediately intrigued and up until now I have never lost that.

During my master’s I started a company with fellow students, and we’ve managed to set it up in such a way that we were able to continue working in it after graduating. The first couple of years we have been doing consultancy but kept running into the same problem. The data preparation. We’re building a no-code platform to tackle that now.

Which course would you add to the IE curriculum to setup students for success?
I think this would be something related to data wrangling. Data is an increasingly big component of any kind of work an industrial engineer will do. But it is (unfortunately) rarely in a format that can be analyzed straight away. Having some basic understanding of which techniques to apply is valuable.

Where do you get the most energy from during and after your work?
During work I have a lot of meetings with possible customers. I get most energy from having good conversations with them, in which they recognize the problem we’re trying to solve. It helps realizing that we’re solving a relevant problem. Outside of that I think it’s the usual, having fun with friends and family.

What is the key thing that you have learned during your studies that you use a lot and appreciate?
That would be a methodical problem-solving approach. We’ve learned to not just rush into a problem head-first but take a step back and analyze. From there map everything out and devise a plan. What I’ve learned outside of the curriculum is mainly
related to working in teams. During lots of committees, and of course my year on the Industria board, I’ve learned to work in teams on wildly varying topics.

What advice would you give current students?
First of all, enjoy your time in university!
Secondly, don’t hesitate to follow up on a technique or insight that you gain during university. You can start your company at the KvK in one afternoon and go and try to apply your knowledge in the real world. What you learn in university is often so far ahead of what people are doing in business, that you’ve got plenty of time to figure out how to run a company in the meantime.

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

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

New question:
What aspect of business life were you most surprised by after starting your first job?

I think this has a similar kind of answer that you could give but leads to more fun anecdotes. For me, for example, it was a big surprise that most people in business also do not know exactly what they are doing either. Everyone is giving it their best, but don’t expect that just because someone is more experienced or because someone pretends to know, that they actually do know.

Verhaallijn 2 01-03-2023
Editie 1 | jaargang 11

Maarten Vermeulen
Leeftijd: 30 Afgestudeerd: 2016 Organisatie: FrieslandCampina Functie: Supply Chain & Network Manager
Peter Schram
Leeftijd: 44 Afgestudeerd: 2003 Organisatie: Breakthrough Advisory Functie: Founder and advisor
Nu aan het woord
Bram Bongaerts
Leeftijd: 42 Afgestudeerd: 2004 Organisatie: EyeOn Functie: Practice Lead Life Sciences

What has your career been like so far?
I have had a quite diverse career so far. I worked in big corporate organisations like Philips, Signify and DAF Trucks, primarily in project management roles. I also worked quite some years as supply chain consultant at Accenture and IG&H consulting.
After that I made a transition to Gartner, where I worked as senior research director. Currently I work as an independent advisor in supply chain planning. I am also active as a coach and board member for supply chain startups. From time to time I write and present about trends in supply chain planning and business transformation.
The great thing about my career until now, is that I have worked in almost all parts of the end-to-end supply chain, gained experience in many different industries, and got to work all over the world and had the opportunity to meet many interesting people.

What makes you happy in your work?
By nature I am curious and always like to learn. That is why it makes me happy when I can work on innovative topics, gather new insights and work in different environments. That is also why regularly, my assignments start with a content driven questions.
However, very often the question comes to the table on how to drive change and how people should behave in that. It is great if I can build the relationship and trust to help with these questions as well. It is really rewarding to hear from people on how you have helped them by asking questions, providing them with honest feedback or reflecting on their challenges.

What was the most important moment in your career and why?
The most important moment in my career was to start my own company. It was scary (and sometimes still is) to give up the certainty of a fixed income and contract, and not to know what I will be doing in 3 months from now.
But it also challenges me to get outside of my comfort zone and that is really rewarding. I can experiment much more that I was used to in previous jobs, for example developing new propositions on how I can work with different companies.
The success of what I do is for large extend depending on my own effort. It also helps me to balance my professional and personal life in a better way. And the maybe the best thing of being more entrepreneurial is to get in contact with inspiring people that often provide me with new insights.

What activities did you do besides your studies? And how has that affected your career?
I was quite active besides my studies. I was rowing at Theta, was board member at Industria, worked as a student- assistant, studied in Barcelona, did an internship in Mexico and the USA, and was member of the Factulteitsraad.
Personally it has brought me in contact with a lot of people of which many of them are still friends. Professionally, the activities helped me to get closer to understanding what I am good at (and what not), what I find important and what I like to do. Unconsciously it was also the start of building a professional network. I still quite often get into contact with people that I know from my time in Eindhoven. That creates a nice common ground for first discussion and collaboration.

Which function/job did you dream of while being a student, and how and why did that change over time?
I always thought I was going to have a career in a big corporate of consultancy firm. And that is also how is started off my career. However, the further my career was advancing, the more I realized I was doing things I didn’t get energy from anymore and felt comfortable with. Sometimes also I felt constrained by the boundaries of the roles I was doing.
I came to the realization that my strength are in challenging the status quo and help to develop innovating ways of working in the supply chain. I found that for me it works much better to do that external sparring partner being fully independent, more objective and bringing external insights that I gathered throughout my career and from other customers I work with. Coming to that conclusion has brought me a lot of peace of mind.

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

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

New question:
What career advice would you give your younger self with the knowledge you have now?

Understanding better what people have learnt from their career and how others can benefit from that.