This opportunity I had to take
Lex van Middelaar works as an improvement consultant at Kemetyl. "On the one hand, I maintain the quality management system (ISO9001) where I facilitate audits, follow up complaints and deviations and prepare management reviews. On the other hand, I optimize processes through various improvement projects."
After completing his college education in Technical Business Administration, Lex was looking for a great job in the field of process optimization.
"I found a job opening from NextGen for a job as a Supply Chain Analyst. Optimizing processes from the purchase of materials to delivery to the customer was exactly in line with my education and my interests. What particularly appealed to me was the Next Level program, in which you develop yourself and get LEAN Six Sigma Greenbelt certification. I wasn't specifically looking for that, but when I read it I immediately thought: this is what I want. I just had to take this opportunity."
"What I find valuable about the Next Level program is that, following on from my theoretical knowledge, I experience what it is like to implement and secure changes in practice. You get to lead a project with a project team and achieve tangible results with a group of people. You also experience that theory and practice are not always exactly the same. Then it's good to experience: I can also just do this in practice."
The focus on personal development is an important plus point, says Lex: "During my training, personal development was also covered, but I always found that a little too abstract. The advantage here is that you discuss experiences from your first real full-time job. In practice you have to deal with resistance and the interaction with managers. When do you give your own opinion and when do you keep it to yourself for a while? You can discuss that with experts during the Next Level program; you get useful tips."
Clearly stating your boundaries
Lex gives an example: "What I ran into a little bit in the beginning: you enter a company where everything is new to you. Then you are assigned a number of tasks and I noticed that it took me a bit more time than the people who had been working there longer. But you don't really want to say it's a bit too much. My coach said that it is important to set clear limits. I then did that and it turned out that it wasn't a problem at all. Now I'm regularly asked, are you coming up with your schedule? These are practical things that are very helpful."
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