Next to Managing Partner Niels Romme and Executive PA Niels van Geffen, we now have a third Niels in the Venturn team! Niels Lobbes recently graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Management and has now joined the Venturn Young Professional Programme.
How did your affinity with maritime and logistics start?
In the past, I had the opportunity to visit the port of Rotterdam for the first time and I was really impressed by the way various cargo and maintenance ships operated. I wanted to contribute to this enormous industry in which each component is interconnected. For example, a decision in Shanghai, China, could significantly impact the operations of the port of Rotterdam. This strong relationship typifies the maritime and logistics industry and amazes me every day.
Reflecting on your studies, which you’ve completed a few months ago: what are the most valuable things you learned?
Globalisation and innovations are changing the way organisations operate in maritime and logistics. My studies in Industrial Engineering and Operations Management taught me to systematically approach issues both from a technical and managerial perspective. In practice, technical issues often require social skills to realise organisational change and get people along, while fundamental knowledge is necessary to solve managerial issues. This combination provides the tools to successfully transform organisations in a way that satisfies both the business and the employees.
“In practice, technical issues often require social skills to realise organisational change and get people along, while fundamental knowledge is necessary to solve managerial issues.”
Moving from Groningen to Rotterdam is quite a big change. What do you like most about Rotterdam?
Groningen is completely different from Rotterdam. Groningen has a strong focus on students with all of its ‘consequences’, while Rotterdam is internationally oriented and much more diverse. Sure, Groningen has great cafés and other places to go to, but I like the can-do mentality of Rotterdam in combination with all the amazing opportunities the city provides.
You’ve recently started your career as Venturn Young Professional. What do you hope to gain from the traineeship in the next two years?
The VYP programme provides great opportunities to develop soft and hard skills (e.g. Personal Effectiveness and Data Analytics) relevant for the maritime and logistics industry that could be applied at ambitious and determined companies. In the end, I hope to obtain insights and experiences from different companies in the supply chain, from distribution to offshoring.
What is your professional superpower?
While Superman can fly and the Flash has super speed, I am extremely driven, enthusiastic and analytically strong. Getting people along is my superpower!
“Getting people along is my superpower!”
You’re available for projects as a Young Professional. What kind of companies would you like to explore?
My interests are very broad. As a Young Professional, I would like to investigate and explore all the components in the supply chain of the maritime industry. Organisations like dredging companies and terminals have my preference due to the interesting, but challenging projects.
What type of work environment do you thrive in?
A work environment needs to be dynamic and energetic with colleagues who are eager to identify and grab opportunities as they come. An open, but critical attitude should be the standard, while maintaining a friendly mood. I am also not afraid of a bit of competition!
How internationally oriented are you? Do you aspire a career that takes you across the globe?
If my career takes me all across the globe, I would be a happy man. Working in different countries and cultures is one of the most exciting things to do! I’ve had the opportunity to do an internship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in which I obtained great professional experiences. I also had the opportunity to learn more about the different local traditions (and relax on white sandy beaches!) in South-East Asia.
What is the best career advice you’ve received so far?
“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.”
Thinking of yourself in fifteen years, which competencies or skills do you want to master by then?
It is always hard to say where I want to be in fifteen years because of the many things that can happen in this time period. For now, I strive to be an expert in the maritime and logistics industry and be able to approach challenging projects both from a social and technical perspective. I am also not necessarily opposed to the idea of entrepreneurial experiences in logistics. These professional goals can only be obtained by a healthy lifestyle and by not being afraid of risks and uncertainties!