To build a foundation for our future success, Aalberts needs to bring talented graduates into our organization. A key way we do this is with our trainee program, which offers recent graduates the chance to do six projects at our various companies over 18 months. This whirlwind experience gives them a helicopter view of our business and helps them build a network and figure out which role best suits their unique abilities and ambitions.
One trainee who’s making the most of working across Aalberts companies is Max Jaspers. Max joined the program after completing degrees in mechanical engineering and business management. During his bachelors he also started his own catering business, which inspired him to study business and conclude that he wanted to be in touch with engineering but not a diehard engineer. He wasn’t sure where to focus, but a traineeship seemed like a good way to figure it out.
Max carried out a technical project at integrated piping systems and a marketing and sales project at fluid control before starting his current project at Pneutec, which focuses on supply chain. His main task is to create a dashboard for suppliers which helps monitor their quality performance, enables suppliers and customers to understand problems and make decisions more efficiently and accurately, and (hopefully) leads to improved supplier performance.
The project has been a challenge for Max, but fortunately he has felt supported. “I needed to build a supplier matrix with thousands of rows of data from scratch and I’d never done that before,” he says. “My mentor Victor has always been able and happy to help.” That extends to Pneutec in general: “Everybody is relaxed and wants to help you and you can speak with everybody – even upper management.”
Another new experience has been working across departments. “I work with people from engineering, quality control, supply chain, finance – I’m like a spider in a web,” Max says. As it turns out, he enjoys being in this position. “I really like helping different departments with their problems and also talking to people inside and outside our business about what Aalberts is and what it can be for them. I feel like I’ve become a link between all the Aalberts companies.”
Max is eager to keep getting to know the company. “I’m trying to take every opportunity to visit the different Aalberts locations to learn about and connect with them,” he says. “I also want to get involved in more projects. I like to multi-task and I’m used to doing that with my own company. I’m excited for my next assignment at the product management department in Leipzig, Germany, which will involve lots of multitasking.”
His passion for sharing and learning is helping Max make an impact. “Max merged into our organization effortlessly and rolled up his sleeves from the get-go,” says his mentor Victor Schut. “It’s great to have trainees like him on board as they often have a fresh, open, and unbiased view of the organization and its processes, which can lead to new insights and spark new initiatives.”
Max’s journey is just getting started, but he’s already come a long way. “I’ve learned that it helps to be willing to kick in some doors and demand what you want. If I didn’t do that I probably wouldn’t be going to Leipzig,” he says. “But probably the biggest thing I’ve learned is that there are many potential places for me. I’m not sure what my role will be in the end, but I definitely want to keep growing and see what is possible here.”
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