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From intern to Management Trainee to Manager Operations
I immediately felt at home because everyone wanted to help me
The atmosphere is always good and the work is very varied
From graduation internship to Logistics Engineer to Data Engineer
Like father, like son: I can never really be at home, I prefer to work
A first job is a milestone in your life
Be patient, have faith in yourself and success will follow
It is really never boring at DSV
As long as you always stay close to yourself
Willem van Wunnik, Temporary Worker in DSV's Solutions division
It was early 1994 when Willem van Wunnik, then 47 years old, started as a temporary worker at Frans Maas where he received a permanent contract in September. He worked at DSV until his retirement in 2012, only to return after a three-week holiday as a temporary worker via Randstad, which he did for many years.
Prior to his career at DSV, he worked at a wholesaler of fruit and vegetables, six days a week, 12 hours a day, often sat on the truck and taught himself extra tasks when the auction in Bergen op Zoom closed. Of course, in combination with his great passion: playing music on his keyboard at parties, either alone or with a band; born out of his skill for the accordion. Sometimes they don't need me in Bergen op Zoom for three weeks, then I'm really fed up because I can't sit at home. But then no one is sick, no one on course and then I am redundant. My environment thinks I am crazy that I do this despite my age, but I prefer to work; that gives me, but also my wife, peace and regularity. I started as a forklift driver but taught myself order picking, replacing the team leader, became a member of the Works Council and started my own “car wash” for plastic containers from General Electric Plastics. The company has always offered me every opportunity and I am very grateful to them for that. During his farewell party on the occasion of his retirement in 2012, Willem made the appeal
if you need me, you just have to call me
which was a fact three weeks later and lasted many years.
His son Erik starts to laugh. As an only child, hard work was brought up to him. Erik wanted to study International Business Administration, but that meant work. So, on all weekends, holidays and days off, Erik worked as a temporary worker in the day or night shift at Frans Maas in Bergen op Zoom as a side job in addition to his studies. Loading, unloading, driving a forklift, how does the system work, inventory and all other activities. Just like his father ...
After his studies, Erik started an online portal for logistics real estate, worked at UPS and Goodman and started his own company for the development and construction of logistics real estate where he got in touch with Frans Maas and several former colleagues from his working time from Bergen op Zoom. A delicious cup of coffee with Ronald Poort resulted in a good conversation with former colleague Meinderdjan Botman. The switch to Global Business Development within DSV Solutions Global was made and the journey around the world could begin, which resulted in a network that he still benefits from every day. But with the aim of acquiring, implementing and expanding multicountry customers. After four years, he chose his family and the great challenge of Director Product Development within DSV Solutions Netherlands. A wonderful challenge with a mix of sustainability, engineering, design and creativity to (further) develop supply chain products in which he can fully use his network, knowledge and creativity.
In addition to their passion for logistics, father and son share an unbridled passion for music. Where Willem is introverted by nature, he taught Erik through music not to have stage fear and how to tell a story to an audience. A wonderful relaxation in addition to their daily love for their family, their friends and their work. Like father, like son …
Tycho de Carpentier, Data Engineer in DSV’s Solutions division
In 2015 I joined DSV Solutions through a graduation program and started my graduation internship of the Logistics Engineering program from Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.
After graduation, I started working as a Logistics Engineer at the Business Support department in Moerdijk. In the first years I was mainly busy with process improvements in the warehouse. This was very interesting because you spend a lot of time in the warehouse and talk to people who work with the goods. The nice thing about the Engineer role is that every day is different.
Since I wanted to develop myself more towards the IT side, I have been able to follow many courses and training courses in recent years. The activities also shifted more to making (data) analyzes and reports. In 2019 I came into contact with Power BI, a tool with which you can make interactive reports, through a course at BUas (Hogeschool Breda). This allows you to inform the end user, in all layers of the organization, in a professional and standardized manner so that they can make better decisions.
I have always experienced DSV as a good and flexible employer with great colleagues, where you as an employee have many opportunities to develop yourself.
Early 2020 I made the switch to Data Engineer in the national Operational Excellence team. My new position is a completely new role within DSV, where the exact details have not yet been determined, partly because the logistics world is constantly changing. Power BI continues to play an important role in this.
Herman Huijgens, Managing Director in DSV's Air & Sea division
It was September 1992, just after the completion of the building at Donker Duyvisweg 70 in Dordrecht, that Herman Huijgens started at the age of twenty-four as Inside Sales at Frans Maas / BVT (now DSV).
A period that was preceded by education at HAVO and, as Herman himself says, "I didn't know what I wanted to do so I thought I would work in the port of Rotterdam." While he thought he was going to drive a forklift and all that, it turned out that he had enrolled in the wrong education, namely a freight forwarder. It was then called the Port and Transport School Jan Backx, now Shipping and Transport College, which was a combination of working and learning. At the time, he did four of the five internships at DB Schenker, each time in a different department. They liked it, but Herman certainly did too. He learned a lot, but now it was time to grow into his first real job.
Do you know what I mean?
His first job was as a Freight Forwarder at Panalpina in the Waalhaven in Rotterdam, where he had a great time. Until the office had to be moved to Amsterdam, which meant more travel time, after which, after a phone call from his former sales manager who already worked at Frans Maas, he switched to Frans Maas as Inside Sales. Making appointments for the field service all day long and constantly making quotes which he liked but he wanted to go back to the operations. Even more customer contact and handling all files where he grew to Manager Import and Export at the USA-department to grow to Operations Manager. A wonderful position, but then DFDS came in 2006 and a great development started for him. One day he was called into the office of Edwin Koopman (then Managing Director) and asked if he wanted to become Branch Manager of the DFDS office in Dordrecht? As the contact between him and the colleagues on the floor felt and still feels good, he grew naturally towards this new challenge.
Because if you can explain what you mean, communicate it well with respect for each other's points of view and dare to make decisions, then everyone knows where they stand, and you do it together.
Dealing with people can’t be learned from a book
Herman is by nature good with people, which has always been the key to his functioning. Back in 2006 he did not have a HR Manager in Dordrecht, for example. That was a role he himself performed as a Branch Manager as part of his responsibility. A role that naturally suits him well. So either you look for the right people to do it for you, but as long as you do it from your own nature, you can do it yourself.
He has learned something different from all the various Managing Directors with whom Herman has worked over the years. One more operational, the other more strategic, but they all taught him to work hard with an eye for people. He passes on these experiences to his teams, averse to politics, but finds casualness and humour extremely important. He always wants to fully value his teams in order to allow them to function and perform optimally. Or as he says himself:
They don't get smarter from a tie. Use a tie functionally when you need it, but be yourself.
Herman has now been Managing Director of DSV Air & Sea Netherlands for over a year following the acquisition of Panalpina. A position in which he succeeded Frank Sobotka. Together with his teams and the many new colleagues, Herman continues to build the development of the company through hard and good work every day after 28 years with just as much fun as on the first day. And of course, we make mistakes, but we solve them. Just to be and stay the best together.
Patrick van Ulft, Managing Director in DSV's Road division
When I opted for my education at the Transport Academy in Venlo in 1999, I had no ambition to enter the transport industry. Where a majority of my classmates gazed at DAF, Scania or Volvo trucks and had lively discussions about them, my interests lay in logistics, warehousing, waiting time theories, etc.
This changed when I started my graduation internship at Catom PDM in Breda. They supplied unmanned fuel stations and my job was to find a process and system that would ensure that this was done by the tankers in the most efficient way. This includes the maximum permitted amount of fuel per station, purchase quantities and location of the pumps (different rules and restrictions apply in a residential area than next to a motorway). My interest in transport was aroused and I liked it too. I graduated and was able to look for a job. Still with a preference for logistics, but I was now open to transport.
Registered at Via Logistics, I was invited for interviews at Océ and Frans Maas for the position of Logistics Engineer. As a recent graduate, I was considered unexperienced for both positions. Eventually I was called that they also had a vacancy as a Customer Service Employee at DFDS Transport (after a name change in 2007, this company is called DSV). I was interviewed by Raf van der Steen who is still working at DSV in the Business Change Management department. So very briefly, I also owe my current position to Raf.
After starting in August 2002 as a Customer Service Employee for our customer Harman, I was given the opportunity to become Department Manager of the same department two years later. My first step as a manager. And they say after you graduate that you are a Logistics Manager, but I can tell you, you may be a manager on paper, but you learn real leadership in practice. Dealing with people, with situations, developing them and staying close to yourself. What helped me with this is reading many books by Kenneth Blanchard. Especially for people who want to be a leader, an absolute must.
I was ambitious, wanted more and more. I was regularly told, have patience, your time will come. And of course, I was also looking for other jobs at the time, but if you are at a company that suits you in terms of culture, then you still give that company the first chance. Likewise when in 2005 something was about to happen and "that will give you enough challenge" I was told. I just had to trust that it was.
And it was a challenge for me, in 2006 Frans Maas was taken over and I became responsible for DSV's Key Accounts department. I had to merge three departments of Frans Maas and one of DFDS. I also immediately became a member of the Management Team. There you are, 28 years young, you have taken the first steps in the managerial profession and then you are suddenly given the task of turning four departments of two companies - with fifty employees and two cultures - into one department. Colleagues who were mostly older, had more experience, were sceptical and you name it. It was hard and a lot of work, but it has been a great learning experience for me. And the fact that I have benefited from it, through trial and error, is also due to the trust you get in return. From the employees, the MT members and of course your manager.
After three years in this position, I joined Sales & Marketing. Also a new dimension, because I did not see myself as a salesman. And I had no knowledge of marketing, it was the better copy and paste work that we did. I had to make sales plans and ensure that we would bring in more customers. By constantly being curious about new things and the drive to want to know everything, I have also mastered sales. I benefit from this each day.
In 2011, I was asked by then Managing Director, Brian Ejsing (now CEO of DSV Solutions) to take care of all support services and to achieve synergies. A fun challenge. New fields such as IT, quality, invoicing and administrative processes with which I further expanded my knowledge and skills.
Finally, in 2015, I got the opportunity to participate in the Top Talent Program of DSV Road with the clear goal of fulfilling the position of Managing Director somewhere in DSV. I participated in this program together with seven colleagues from different countries. A predecessor of the current Leadership Training courses that are given on personal development, leadership, strategies, etc. During this program I was asked if I was interested in becoming Managing Director of DSV Road in the Netherlands.
I can still remember very well that Luk Thieuw (then Managing Director of DSV Road) called me to his office and completely surprised me with this news. I just had to convince Søren Schmidt (CEO of DSV Road) that I had the right plan to change course within DSV Road so that we could be profitable again. In a week's time I wrote my plan, presented it to Søren and convinced him so that on January 6, 2016 I was appointed Managing Director of DSV Road in the Netherlands.
I was very proud then and still am, to be a born and raised native of Venlo at the helm of this great company in the logistics hotspot of Europe.
In the time when I was not yet a Managing Director I have often said, we are a giant that needs to be awakened. Now, in my fifth year as Managing Director, I can proudly say that we have woken up nicely and show the great things we can do together. And this is just the beginning ...
Anita Seelbach-Lips, Executive Secretary in DSV's Solutions division
When I followed the Legal Management Assistant Education in Breda in 2007, I was looking for an internship for my final school year. I looked for it in the direction of law firms and municipalities, but my mother tipped me off about DSV Solutions, because she had seen a vacancy in the Moerdijkse Bode. The English website about logistics did not immediately appeal to me, but I still applied and was allowed to come for an interview with Marieke de Rouw. That conversation resulted in an internship in the Secretarial department where we were working with four colleagues and two colleagues from the reception. Now Anita van Elzakker-Priem and I give substance to this department together; our names have been confusing for about 13 years, but the collaboration is very good.
My internship lasted six months and towards the end of that period I was offered a permanent job. I actually did not have in mind to start working immediately when I was eighteen, but I did have a good connection with the company and certainly with my colleagues, was in a good position in terms and the travel time was also a bonus. Now that I am celebrating my 12 and a half years anniversary, it turned out to be a good choice that I accepted this offer at the time.
My managers from the very beginning, Anton van Beers and Piet Mulders, taught me a lot and offered me many opportunities in the profession to develop, but also to show myself. For example, in 2010 I could organize my first Management Conference for all country managers of DSV Solutions. I thought that was super cool to do, but at the same time also very exciting. The following years followed five more of these annual conferences in foreign destinations that I always looked forward to hosting. During that period Anton van Beers was succeeded by Brian Ejsing and I worked remotely for a manager for the first time; he in Venlo and I in Moerdijk.
From 2012 I was also able to provide support for Rien van den Heuvel, then Managing Director of DSV Solutions Netherlands, partly remotely. In 2012 I took another outing as team leader of our department, because I often already took the lead with, for example, the planning or when things were not going quite well, but I stopped after a year. I feel more comfortable in an executive role that focuses on my own work. Rien retired in 2015 and was succeeded by Peter van der Maas. When I returned from maternity leave begin 2016 I started working part-time and since then my focus has only been on DSV Solutions Netherlands, Peter and his team, in combination with the Southwest Netherlands region, which is a good balance between work and my private life.
Very nice and educational that these things have already passed my path. I am certainly someone who loves the personal contact with direct colleagues and the bond you build with each other both within the Netherlands and abroad. But our office in Moerdijk always feels a bit like a family business within the large DSV. There are many colleagues who have been employed for a long time and with whom you have already shared and experienced a lot. Small and sometimes personal things as well as changes in management, takeovers, new departmental structures, etc.
A nice fact is that I had my internship at S&H Productfulfilment a year before I started at DSV Solutions. Now better known as DSV Multi-Channel Fulfillment. At the time hired by Erik Biemans and working in Daphne de Boer's department. Also, a company where I felt very much at home during my internship and where after all these years still many colleagues work from that time.
In short, it is never boring at DSV. At first glance I never expected that I would continue to work here, would grow in this position and go to work (or now partly home office) with a good mood almost every day. I do think it is important to keep up with the developments of the company to remain happy in your job. New managers bring new ideas and put you on edge for a while. Of course, not everything goes smoothly, but the grass is not always greener at the neighbours.
With hard work and being open to new developments, there are plenty of opportunities within a company like DSV. The choice is yours whether to use it or not.
I therefore hope to be able to contribute to DSV with so much job satisfaction for years to come. And by gaining even more experience and being able to work with different people, you can keep getting a little better in the profession. Oh yes, and of course to be able to plan many more dinners with my direct colleagues, because that is one of my most important tasks a few times a year since I started working at DSV :-)
Ivar van Kastel, Freight Forwarder in DSV's Air & Sea division
In the second year of the Port Logistics Manager course at the STC, I started my internship at DSV Air & Sea Dordrecht in the import department. I immediately felt at home and if I had any questions I could ask anyone, because everyone wanted to help me.
At the end of my internship, they were very satisfied with me and they offered me a zero hours contract and I accepted it. In the third year of my training, I was able to work at DSV next to school to further broaden my professional knowledge. At the end of the third year, DSV offered me to do the last year of my education with their internship with the prospect of working there after my internship.
In my last period I had a new challenge in the import department that I could focus on and learn more about.
This shows that DSV is a good internship company, because they are always looking for a challenge for you to teach you more professional knowledge.
Unfortunately, the Coronavirus broke out during this period and DSV had to take measures. DSV decided that everyone had to work from home. Even though I was an intern, they had confidence in me and let me work from home completely independently. I graduated in July 2020 and started working at DSV as a Freight Forwarder from August 2020. I hope to enjoy working here for many years to come.
Sten Dings, Freight Forwarder in DSV's Road division
Hello, my name is Sten Dings. I am 23 years old and I live in Steyl. I completed the study Manager Transport and Logistics level 4 at the Gilde Opleidingen in Venlo. As a result of this education I did an internship at DSV Road in Venlo where I have recently started as a Freight Forwarder Assistant.
My internship was very special. Due to the Corona Covid-19 pandemic, I was only able to work in the office for four weeks. In these four weeks I got to know the Transport Management System very quickly so that I could work independently from home. First of all, I was taught order entry in order to master the Cargolink system. I did this for a few days and then moved on to the import / export department where I started supporting my colleagues in the daily work. Think of selling loads, sending orders and all kinds of other support activities. Through these activities I learned the working method and the system in these departments and so I was able to cooperate well from home. Because we work with Microsoft Teams and other digital programs, this went well and I was able to help my colleagues in a proper way.
I really liked the transition from intern to Freight Forwarder Assistant. In the beginning it takes some getting used to because you are given more responsibility and you also have to learn a lot. As an intern it is different. You have not only your work from the company but also your school assignments. This means you not only have the focus on work but also at school. Now that I no longer have this, I can fully focus on my work and get the best out of it.
During your internship period, DSV ensures that you know all the ins and outs for the real work that comes next. You will be trained professionally as a fully-fledged team member and you build up experience little by little.
In addition, the atmosphere and collegiality is always good and the work is enormously varied. I hope I can still learn a lot and look forward to a long career at DSV. Finally, I would like to inform you that I had a very nice and well-organized internship at DSV with good guidance.
Felix Thijssen, Logistics Engineer in DSV's Solutions division
A first job is a milestone in your life. The moment when you say goodbye to student life and the "real" life begins. I faced this milestone last January, when I had completed my master Supply Chain Management. The world looked a lot different then.
In good spirits I started looking for a starter position. I was approached by a recruiter for the position of Logistics Engineer. The job description matched exactly what I was looking for; a position where both my analytical and my process-based knowledge can apply and develop. During the application procedure I had a very good feeling about the company DSV and my manager. I noticed a good connection with him and with the position. That's how I started full of energy on March 1, 2020.
The first months of my professional career fall on the spectrum; a good story for later. In my second week everyone was informed that we were going to work from home immediately until further notice. This was a setback for me and was a potential delaying factor for my onboarding process, which of course works best if you spend a lot of time in the operation and can talk to people. So I got to know my colleagues online, which even for a post-millennial takes some getting used to. However, the online Friday drinks made up for a lot.
I am now completely "up and running" and am working on our new warehouse in Tholen. I am busy supporting relocations, implementations of new customers and setting up processes. All projects in which I can combine my analytical skills with our core business; warehousing.
I notice that at DSV you get a lot of responsibility and a lot of room for taking initiative.
Looking back, I am therefore very satisfied with the first six months of my career.
Melissa Viellevoije, Manager Operations in DSV's Solutions division
In the third year of my Logistics Engineering education, I did an internship at DSV Solutions in Moerdijk in the Business Support department. Immediately after the start of my internship I felt at home at DSV and that feeling has remained unchanged. During this internship, a Management Traineeship after my study was quickly discussed. A traineeship in which you fulfil several jobs in a few years. A great opportunity to start thinking about it.
In my fourth year of study I got the opportunity to graduate at DSV and I took this opportunity. During my internships I conducted interesting studies that also created insights for DSV. This gave me a lot of freedom in conducting my research and also a lot of input and help from colleagues.
In 2019 I started my traineeship as a Logistics Engineer. I could immediately start a project for the entire branch in Moerdijk. We are currently in the middle of the implementation phase of this project, where I am also a Project Manager in addition to Engineer. In both positions I have learned a lot and I learn every day. The continuous learning process and working together in a team to make this project a success makes it incredibly fun. The switch from an intern to an employee within DSV was automatic.
Within DSV you can develop and you get or create your own challenges. The guidance from DSV is good. You carry out the projects independently with a team. There is always room to spar and ask for advice.
As part of my traineeship, I will switch to the Senior Teamleader position in the new warehouse in Tholen at the end of this year. In 2022 I was promoted to Manager Operations for our warehouse in Tholen.
Do you want to work for DSV in the Netherlands?
Walter de Wilde,