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A traineeship at Boels? That is the ideal opportunity to show what you are capable of, Maxime and Phil both know. One has already finished his traineeship five years ago, the other is still in the middle of it, but the freedom to express your ideas has not been lost in the meantime. “With the right ingredients, Boels is one big playground of opportunities, challenges and possibilities.”
The international aspect. That was what most appealed to Maxime when she saw a vacancy for the Management Traineeship on LinkedIn two years ago. After all, Maxime had an international outlook: although she lived and had studied in Maastricht, she also spent six months at Jönköping University in Sweden. A Limburg based family business with an international operation, that, Maxime thought, was the perfect combination.
As her traineeship nears its end, Maxime is sure: Boels was the ideal place to start work after completing her master’s degree. “Everyone who graduates is looking for an ideal career path. At Boels, you get the opportunity to see and try out all kinds of departments. Over the past year and a half, I have worked in several departments and in all kinds of industries, working with different managers and colleagues there; no week was the same. You not only learn a lot about the company, the people within the organisation and the dynamics between them, but you also learn a lot about yourself.”
Above all, Maxime learned what she likes to do. “I studied marketing, but during the traineeship I also discovered other departments and work fields that I find interesting. I notice that I get a lot of pleasure from facilitating and organising meetings or activities and being in contact with multiple people and parties – also with colleagues from abroad.”
“We want to grow, something that is only possible with good people, and therefore continue to invest in young talents and then bind them to us for the future”
central warehouse from which 18 countries are supplied with machines. The students also visited a specialised Portable Kitchens branch, giving them a first impression of Boels’ broad scope of operational activities. They were then allowed to kick off with a case study. “The students were presented with an integration project and asked how they would approach it,” Maxime looks back. “The findings were then presented to Reiant Mulder (COO), Jan Piet Valk (CFO) and an audience consisting of current and former trainees as well as relevant stakeholders from integration projects currently underway, followed by drinks to further engage in conversation.”
Maxime says she was given a lot of freedom to be allowed and able to organise the day. “I proposed it internally, discussed the planning and possibilities and then got the resources to start realising the event. This is typical of the way things work at Boels: if you have an idea, you get the opportunity and space to implement it. It’s even applauded: everyone I sent an e-mail to, including the COO and CFO, let me know they would be happy to attend. So you really notice that Boels is one big family.”
The business day turned out to be a great success. The mission Maxime had linked to the event was also achieved: to enthuse the students for a traineeship at Boels. “The students got a look behind the scenes and came to the conclusion that the business is much bigger than they thought. It triggered them. Some students immediately asked about a traineeship at home,” says Maxime.
One of the students is Sija. The Finn worked with Maxime to organise the visit from Jönköping University. “This event was an ideal way to bridge the gap between studies and your career after studies,” she says. “Hearing the COO speak gave me a taste of the real entrepreneurship within Boels. What I enjoyed most were the case studies. Surely that’s where my passion lies: thinking along and coming up with solutions for an internationally operating company.”
Calvin, a German Global Management student, enjoyed going into the work field and seeing how things work in practice. “I come from an entrepreneurial family and find it beautiful to see how a family business like Boels has grown over the years. I didn’t know the operations were that big. This visit was a unique opportunity to take a look behind the scenes, I am grateful for that.”
Reactions about the business day were also positive within Boels. Reiant and Jan Piet received targeted and sometimes critical questions from the students, which they were happy to answer. This went down well, says Reiant. “It is important and good to introduce and make Boels known to students as a company. We want to grow, something that is only possible with good people, and therefore continue to invest in young talents to then bind them to us for the future.”
Phil also attended the presentations and the closing drinks. As a former trainee, he is all too familiar with the current traineeship, also having conducted the initial interviews with trainees in recent years and having also advised on the design of the program in the past.
“That suits my mindset to get better every day and do something every month that I have never done before. There are plenty of opportunities for this within Boels, but you have to grab them yourself.”
His own traineeship began six years ago. The extensive program of today did not exist then, but there was more than enough to do. Phil worked on depots and was asked, in the form of a project, to make a business even more effective. He then got to implement the suggestions he made himself two weeks later. “I was only 23 years old, but I was given quite a lot of responsibilities straight away,” Phil recalls, “That is exemplary for Boels: you quickly gain confidence, but then you have to show that you can handle this responsibly and self-reliantly. If you can, it’s one big playground of opportunities, challenges and possibilities at Boels.”
The playground is mainly in the different departments at Boels where you can get started as a (former) trainee. “Boels is a big company with lots of opportunities. You learn what you like and don’t like, but you also learn to better assess where your strengths and development points are,” says Phil. “I find it very important to try out as many colours of the palette as possible and make something beautiful out of it, just as Boels finds it important to let its employees get to know and discover the different facets of the company. It suits my mindset to get better every day and to do something I’ve never done before every month. There are plenty of opportunities for this within Boels, but you have to grab them yourself.”
Phil enjoyed the business day and the space Maxime was given to organise the event. “It fits perfectly with Boels’ pragmatic approach. Just see how far you get. I really appreciate that about this company. We are growing incredibly fast, but are nevertheless given the space to try new things and seize new opportunities. That was exemplary for my traineeship six years ago and it still holds true today.”