Young professional at work at Mogema: a success story

Annually, Symbol selects five junior consultants who use Symbol Academy to boost their starting careers. These young professionals take training courses to develop themselves, are mentored by a lead consultant and get to work in practice.

So does Mathijs Rietveld, who has been joining Mogema’s so-called Legacy team since March 2020: “Mogema makes fantastic products, it is a beautiful company and I get to deal with complex processes. So a very nice challenge.”

Mogema is a high-tech expert in machining, welding, assembly and vacuum technology, specializing in fully qualified (ultra) large and precise machine frames, vacuum chambers and mechatronic (sub)systems. QHSE Manager Mark Prins explains, “New projects are prepared at a detailed level for us. Ongoing projects, on the other hand, are more on automatic pilot. We wanted to bring the process design around those projects up to date, in the same way of work and at the same level of detail as new projects. Internally, however, there was not enough capacity to take this on, which is why we created the Legacy team: a team of one external quality engineer and two external process engineers. The relationship with Symbol is good, which is why I asked them if they could provide someone for our new team. I wasn’t necessarily looking for a young professional – I just wanted someone competent – but was immediately excited when Mathijs was introduced.”


“We are greatly helped by it.”

“And I’m still that excited,” Mark continues. Mathijs functions well in the role of junior process engineer. He thinks well and executes his assignment – pulling knowledge from the factory and converting it into work instructions – well. He delves into processes for us that have been happening the same way for years, but have not yet been described on paper. To do so, he will talk to various people working in the process. He does this well, and it is not always an easy task. He speaks to several people, as mentioned, and it also happens that not everyone tells him the same thing. Since Mathijs is not a specialist in our field, he cannot make a judgment, but that is not his job either. He puts what he hears on paper independently, and that helps us tremendously.”


Benefit for organizations as well as young professionals

This is exactly why Symbol created the academy. Many organizations are looking for people who can contribute high-level thinking, but who can also support them with executive tasks. In the case of Mogema: putting current processes on paper properly. On the other hand, Symbol sees the trend that young professionals do not yet want to commit to one company. So did Mathijs.


“SO valuable at the beginning of my career”

“I used to work for a machine builder, where I had developed from technical draughtsman to business office coordinator. I was in a good place, but technical business administration also attracted me and I could not develop further in that area at that employer. That’s why I called Symbol with the question: if I want to get a job in that field, what do I need to do to prepare myself,” says Mathijs Rietveld. “I was invited for a cup of coffee and before I knew it I was in the application process for Symbol Academy. Now I’ve been on the road for a few months. What I think is great is that after my assignment at Mogema, I also get an inside look at other companies. That is so valuable at the beginning of my career. I also enjoy the content of my work. Mogema makes fantastic products, it is a beautiful company and I get to deal with complex processes. What I also like is that one day I’m walking through the factory wearing my work shoes and the next day I’m discussing strategies with my team. So a very nice challenge.”


The right guidance

Mathijs says he was fortunate to end up at Mogema in a project group with two more experienced engineers. “Very pleasant, because this way I was not solely dependent on myself. But had this not been the case, Symbol’s guidance would have been more intensive. This guidance is tailored to what the young professional needs. Even now, that guidance is very good. I have a buddy, Niels, to whom I can ask all my questions and who also comes to Mogema every now and then for sparring and evaluation. Furthermore, I am currently taking a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training course so that I can enrich my knowledge. And the contact with the other young professionals is also good. We have an app group and meet regularly to exchange knowledge. The others also work at interesting companies, so we can learn from each other. Because of all these contacts, I don’t have to reinvent the wheel and I progress faster than if I had to figure everything out on my own. So I learn quickly and I benefit from that, but so does Mogema. I am more and more valuable.”


A steep learning curve

Mathijs’ assignment at Mogema expires in December. “Very unfortunate, because I am enjoying it immensely. But for my learning path, it is better that I continue at a new company.” Buddy Niels Heuthorst, Lead Consultant at Symbol, agrees: “We say to all our young professionals: look for what is good for your career, and that is not to spend too much time with one party. That way someone like Mathijs can gain experience in process thinking and describing processes at different organizations: the core of our work. Important, because process ownership – don’t blame the people, blame the process – is something you really have to experience. It is difficult to learn from a book. By spending six-month periods with different organizations, there is sufficient depth and variety for the young professional. That combination ensures a steep learning curve.”


Success for both organization and young professional: a win-win

Incidentally, Mark is also sorry that Mathijs’ assignment will soon be over. “I can recommend a young professional to any organization with a specific assignment or issue – as we had. But, you then have to be aware that some guidance is needed. I was surprised by the speed with which Mathijs mastered the work, for sure, but you simply cannot throw a young professional like him in the deep end and expect him to be able to swim on his own right away. To make it a success for both the young professional and your organization, you just need some extra guidance. Mathijs worked closely with the Legacy team leader – a senior quality engineer – and with the other, more experienced, process engineer. That now makes for a win-win. And whether I would choose a young professional again? If we have the right issue for that, yes. In any case, I would hire Mathijs again in a heartbeat.”


Also interested in being a young professional?

Like Mogema, does your organization need temporary additional support in achieving specific objectives? Then read all about working with a young professional at Symbol or contact us directly.

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