Discover Bas Leenen’s story of growth

Bas started with us in 2022 as an Operational Management Trainee (OMT) with a fresh master’s degree Supply Chain Management in his pocket. A few months ago he moved to Denmark to work as Operations Support, and he is very happy with that move.

As an Operational Management Trainee on a journey of discovery within H.Essers
Bas came into contact with H.Essers in the summer of 2022 and immediately showed interest in the OMT track. “I definitely wanted to start as a trainee in this track because that way you get to know the company thoroughly before you step into a full position,” says Bas. Indeed, the track offers recent graduates a wide range of projects, responsibilities and tasks at different sites. “I myself started at the Dry Port site, then I joined the admin team in Winterslag for a few weeks. The next step was an IT project for the bulk silos in Tessenderlo, and then I joined the Solution Design team temporarily at the HQ in Genk. Although my OMT track was mainly focused on Warehousing, I also got the chance to learn different things at Transport. On top of that, I have been to many different sites, which gives you a good idea of what we do as an organization. I myself also got to try many different things: order picking, learning to drive the forklift, all kinds of administrative tasks, setting up projects, and presenting for Operations Managers and Business Unit Managers. You get in touch with all levels of the company and learn the ropes with other OMT’ers.”

The globetrotter’s call
When the end of his course came into view, Bas knew immediately that he wanted to go abroad. He’s been a globetrotter for quite a while already: “I have been on Erasmus in Norway and Austria, and already did an internship in Uruguay during my studies. Internally I had also indicated that I wanted to take the step abroad, and they listened to that. Something I am very happy about. The knowledge I gained during the OMT program prepared me well for this next step. And thanks to the confidence and positive feedback from Operations Managers and Business Unit Managers, I knew I wanted to take on this new challenge,” says Bas with determination. Currently, he is also working on breaking the language barrier by taking 4 hours of Danish classes in Copenhagen every week. “There are similarities to German and Dutch, but speaking is the biggest challenge. Meanwhile, I understand parts of conversations at work, but for important meetings I fortunately get help from a colleague who translates things for me. My knowledge of English also helps, of course.”

Variation is key
Bas liked the variety of his tasks best about his OMT path, and in his current position as Operations Support he is able to continue that line of work. “One moment you are sorting out a pallet, the next moment you are in a meeting with the client or doing analyses. For me, this variation is a great benefit; I really enjoy my job. Moreover, the new site we are building in Ringsted provides interesting challenges and projects that I can learn a lot from. I haven’t been here that long, and I want to strengthen my base and gain as much knowledge as possible. After that, I definitely want to grow further within this organization. Therefore, my plan is to stay in Denmark for at least 5 years. I am sure we will grow here and opportunities will arise. It will then be up to me to seize them.”