When and where were you a Trainee?
In 2013 I was a Development Technician Trainee at site Zaandijk in The Netherlands.
What made you apply for a role with AAK?
During my Master’s thesis research (Industrial Engineering and Management), which I conducted at AAK in Zaandijk, I found that the people at AAK were really helpful and interested in each other. Although it is quite a big company it still has a family feel to it which makes you feel appreciated and taken seriously. After finishing my Master’s thesis I wanted to continue to work for AAK and therefore I applied for the Trainee Program.
What does a typical day at AAK look like?
My job involves making priority planning decisions based on actual plans and plan deviations involving the relevant stakeholders which can be a challenging exercise. Planning tend to get involved in many different aspects of the business, such as assisting with new product development, looking at capacity constraints on the productions lines, managing stock levels, and communicating potential service issues.
Being in Planning gives you a really good overview of all the potential challenges that can occur when servicing customer orders and when many people are involved in ensuring good customer service. It shows that a business has to function as a team in order to perform optimally.
What is/has been your biggest professional challenge?
After the Trainee Program I got a job as a Factory Shift Manager in Hull, which meant I had to move to a different country and start managing people, something I had never done before. Three years later I’m still in Hull and enjoy living and working in the UK.
What would be your best advice to trainees looking for a good start to their career?
My advice would be to pick a company that makes you feel good, that challenges you to be the best version of yourself, and that supports developing skills based on your capabilities.
What are your interests?
I enjoy spending time outside hiking and training with our Belgian shepherd Saga, cooking, travelling, and staying fit. Although I live in the city I prefer spending time outdoors.
What is the coolest thing you have done?
Last year we got a Malinois (Belgian shepherd), a working dog used quite often in the military and by the police. Since then my boyfriend and I have started to do IPO (Internationale Prüfungs-Ordnung) training with our dog, which basically is a competitive form of police dog training. Saga is a high-drive dog and can be absolutely mental, but training her is really rewarding. Since we are enjoying it so much we are getting a second one next year!
What do you always carry with you—and why?
My headphones and a pair of running shoes. For me there is nothing more relaxing than putting on some good music and go for a quick workout after a long day.