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Learning & Development

"The international traineeship is our investment in the future”

Last September, Van den Bosch launched a new international traineeship programme, aimed at developing leaders for the future and guiding them towards national or international management positions. Kees van der Loop is one of the participants and has now completed his first block. Together with his mentor, Rob van Dijk, he looks back, and also ahead.

After completing his studies in Supply Chain Management and International Management, Kees van der Loop applied for the traineeship. "I’d had enough of studying, but felt that there was more to be learned. The traineeship is aimed at a managerial position. It’s that extra step that makes it so challenging. Besides, I like working with people, so this is a good basis for combining my learning goals with practical experience – the ideal step in my career."

Rob van Dijk, Operations Director Division Dry Bulk, is Van der Loop's mentor throughout the process. "The aim of the traineeship is to develop participants into future Operations Managers. Suitable candidates for these positions are not easy to find in the market because we have many proprietary systems and a unique perspective on bulk logistics. For that reason, having people with management potential who also have knowledge and experience within our company is a tremendous advantage. An important part of the programme, therefore, is that participants create bonds with the organisation." Van Dijk emphasises the importance of sound preliminary work during selection. "We spent a lot of time beforehand on assessments and critical selection. Potential and motivation played a big part in that." As he says, a lot is expected of the trainees but he emphasizes that this is a two-way street. "Learning and Development is crucial for an organisation's short- and long-term success. With the traineeship, we are choosing to invest in the future."

Challenges and opportunities
The two- to three-year programme is different for every trainee. "The frameworks are fixed, for example in that a trainee works for a period at a foreign branch", Van Dijk says. "We also supplement the programme on the basis of personal development goals, making it tailor-made. The appropriate categorization is determined according to the trainee's assessments, experience and knowledge. During the traineeship, you adjust this based on practice and results: what’s going well and what not so well? This reflection and detailing is very valuable during the process."

Whatever happens, Van der Loop is already looking forward to the international aspect. "Which branch I'll end up going to, and in which country, we’ll work out as we go along. We examine what opportunities exist and where they are located, among other things." Wherever it turns out to be, Van der Loop sees it as a great challenge: "Working in another country within an international organisation is valuable experience. So you can see and understand the differences in practices and culture. Ultimately, you want to move in the same direction as a unified organisation."

Personal growth
For both Van der Loop and Van Dijk, the traineeship is not only a matter of professional development, but also of personal growth. Van Dijk: "When you give people the opportunity to develop, you get a lot back in return. They can create something fantastic not just for themselves, but also for the organisation." "I have set myself personal goals as well," adds Van der Loop. "Competencies that I want to develop, but which will also contribute to Van den Bosch's entrepreneurial and result-oriented culture.  Ultimately, the traineeship will be most successful if I can grow into a role as Operational Manager." "True," Van Dijk says, "and that’s a logical step through this targeted Van den Bosch traineeship. Both for Kees himself, and for the organisation."

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At Van den Bosch, we are happy to share our experience to improve the world of bulk logistics together. Please feel free to contact us with any challenge, question or request.

“I think it’s great that I can now share my passion and experience”

Van den Bosch Carlo Meeuwsen – Driver division Dry Bulk