A key way we get the most out of Aalberts advanced mechatronics is by getting the most out of our people. That means enabling them to grow, sometimes in unexpected ways. One of our employees who has discovered unexpected skills and passions during his time with us is Mark Dijkstra, Business Development Manager at Pneutec.
Won over by enthusiasm
After studying mechanical engineering in Groningen, Mark started his career working in engineering roles at two companies. The latter was based in Belgium, while Mark was based in Utrecht, and after a while all the commuting got old. Then in 2011 Pneutec got in touch, as did another company, and at first he accepted a job at the other company. “I didn’t think Pneutec was the best fit,” he explains. “But the General Manager and employees I talked to were so enthusiastic that I changed my mind.”
Growing commercial skills
Mark was recruited to be a product specialist, which requires technical and commercial skills, but the GM convinced him to start as a supply chain engineer because he had no commercial experience. During the two years Mark did that role, he worked a lot with suppliers, but also customers, and his growing commercial skills caught the attention of the GM, who suggested that Mark try his hand as a product specialist.
Mark dove into the new role with gusto. He joined every sales training Pneutec offered and also earned a marketing diploma. Over time he evolved into progressively more commercial roles, and has arrived at a nice mix in his current role as a business development manager. “I get to use my analytical skills but also work directly with customers to come up with solutions, which makes things really interesting,” he says.
Combining the technical with the social is a great fit for Mark. “One of my favorite things about my job is working with customers who build amazing technologies,” he explains. “The other is my team. We have a nice mix of knowledge and experience. Everyone is helpful and relaxed, but we can push each other to achieve more. We give constructive criticism and also compliments and we celebrate together. It makes working here very enjoyable.”
Encouraged to develop and try new things
When Mark looks back at his 11 years at Pneutec, a lot has changed. “Earlier in my career, there were moments when I was growing really fast and wanted to do more,” he says. “But Pneutec has grown a lot, and I’ve kept getting encouraged to develop myself and try new things, which has created new opportunities. I learn a lot every day, and I know that if I’m not happy in my position, I can talk with my manager to find a solution.”
For Mark, the future looks uncertain, but bright. “For now I’m focused on gaining more experience in my current role,” he says. “It will be a few years before I’m ready for the next step, but you never know what will happen in the meantime. I’m curious and up for change, so I’ll just keep on learning and see what comes up along the way.”