Dare to develop
Damen Business Course
Start your career at Damen
The third and last day of the DBC 2016 started off with a presentation by an experienced and young Damen employee who shared their personal experiences at Damen. The journey continued at Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam where the candidates were asked to challenge Damen with their ideas on innovation within Damen ship repair. After a workshop provided by the national pitch champion the candidates successfully presented their innovative ideas on future ship repair. The DBC would not be complete without a boat trip on which the candidates were brought to their final location; the Innovation Dock at the RDM campus in Rotterdam. It were three amazing days with a very enthusiastic group of talented students!
Today the candidates stepped into the life of a Damen Sales Manager and developed a value proposition for a ferry line which was requested by the Ministry of Equatorial Guinea. The groups gathered information from the Design & Proposal, Customer Finance and Services departments. They also learned more about Commercial Negotiations and Culture during an interactive workshop and had a price determination presentation to get to the perfect proposal. The solutions the groups came up with were presented to Damen colleagues and a jury. After a production meal in the canteen the candidates followed their journey to sailing ship Luciana Rotterdam where they were welcomed with a hot chocolate and whipped cream by Gijs Groeneveld. He worked with the participants on their personal development and their roles within the group.
The fourth edition of the DBC started with an Olympic kick-off at rowing society Skadi in Rotterdam. Ilse and Maaike who won gold in Rio inspired the 15 candidates with their “road to Rio” story followed by a clinic where the candidates stepped in the boat and raced against each other in icy water. The journey continued to picturesque Fort Bakkerskil, where Robert Luth triggered the candidates to get into the right ‘sales’ mind with an online web request game. The game was followed by a wonderful winter buffet and the night was concluded with a brief introduction into the value proposition case of tomorrow.
It’s been 1.5 years since the Damen Business Course (DBC) 2015… Time to look back. For me personally, the DBC was a very good combination of meeting talented and motivated students, discovering the processes of Damen and learning more about myself. After the DBC I continued finalising my master thesis at Royal IHC on the topic of bow thruster improvement using Computational Fluid Dynamics.
After graduation I started the Damen general traineeship. The traineeship kicked off with one month’s work in production followed by gaining experience at the Engineering Tugs department, developing an Engineering Dashboard with two colleagues. After 8 months on the project it is time to move on. My next rotation is at Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) in Vlissingen (Flushing). At DSNS I will be part of the core project team that is taking part in a European proposal bidding for the German Navy.
The Damen Business Course was a unique experience and inspired me to learn more about Damen, shipbuilding and myself. So far Damen has provided me with challenging opportunities helping to challenge myself and learn a lot in a short time.
The combination of beta courses which I enjoyed in high school and my hobby sailing led me to the T.U. Delft where I started studying Maritime Engineering. My very first company visit was to Damen Shipyards during the first year’s introduction weekend. I was impressed by the many different vessels Damen builds, how international they are and how they manage their yards and I still am six years later.
In the first year of my master Ship Production I was one of the lucky students who joined the Damen Business Course. It was an adventurous week with an intense program in which I did not only learn a lot about Damen, but I also learned a lot about myself, what drives me and to push my limits. The group of 20 students from different backgrounds were challenged in different fields and we had a lot of fun together!
Several months later I returned to Damen to perform my graduation project at the department Yard Support. I studied the potential advantages of the implementing different levels of standardisation in the production of tugs. During this internship I gained an even better view behind the scenes of Damen. Even though Damen Gorinchem counts 1500 employees, I feel adopted into the Damen Family; I participated in interesting department meetings, joined the Damen hockey team and I am part of the organisation for the Damen Business Course 2016. By the end of the year I will graduate and hopefully soon after I will enter the maritime industry as a proud engineer.
I got introduced to the world of boats and vessels during the impressive, roller-coaster-like Damen Business Course 2012. The international mindset of Damen while introducing the company to students continued during the internship I did afterwards. I got the chance to learn about the manufacturing process of Platform Supply Vessels (PSV) on the Galati yard in Romania. Thereafter, I performed a market research about arctic proof PSVs in eastern Canada. What I really liked about both the DBC as well as the internship, was the perfect balance between using (technical) knowledge, learning new skills, learning about the company, getting to know interesting people with many different backgrounds and last but not least: making lots of fun.
After my graduation in 2014, I needed to make the difficult choice about where to start my career. The final two options left were the Damen trainee ship and the Shell wells graduate program. I chose to start working in a discipline a bit closer to my study background and I really liked to work in the changing energy industry, so I started with Shell in the discipline Wells.
As a wellsite drilling engineer, I’m working in a 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off and 2 weeks office rotational schedule. My day to day responsibilities on the drilling rig consist of job preparations and evaluations, logistics, HSSE related tasks to make sure the jobs are done in a safe manner, and above all learn as much as I can about drilling wells. Dealing with both technical as well as human challenges makes working in an operational environment a great place for personal development. The other mayor part of my job, is following the wells training program which is an acknowledged master program in drilling engineering, including multiple technical courses and exams.
All in all I’ve seen that there are many good places to start your career. Very important I think, is to make sure to develop yourself as much as you can and make fun with the people around you.
Participating in the Damen Business Course 2015 was a perfect opportunity to explore the industry during the first year of my Master Mechanical Engineering. It was a dynamic and intensive week, in which we were being challenged in different fields characteristic of Damen. We strengthened our professional skills, while getting to know the company, and focused on personal development.
After completing the first year of my master, I decided to invest an extra semester to gain more international experience. During four months I was studying electives of the Master International Business, and learning Spanish at the EAFIT University in Medellín, Colombia. Hereafter I travelled from northern Colombia to southern Chile, as I improved my language skills by communicating and staying with locals, and I explored different cultures by hitchhiking and couch surfing. I am very grateful to have met incredibly diverse and kind people and to have been part of really unique events, which all made those seven months unquestionably the most valuable experience that I have had so far…
Currently I am working on the last part of my master’s study. At the same time, I am trying to orient and prepare myself for the career life that is lying ahead. Doing a traineeship with an international company is the path I would like to take. It will be tough to decide which company would be my first choice and even tougher getting selected. Fortunately, I am always seeking to challenge myself and look forward to start this process.
Recently, the first edition of the DBC alumni event was held and it has been a great success. Catching up with and learning from others, in an informal and positive setting, is a nice way to reflect on the DBC and ourselves. Damen proved once again that the open and friendly atmosphere is characteristic for the company and it is definitely a very valuable aspect.
After the Damen Business Course 2013 I was able to do on my graduation thesis at Damen Shiprepair & Conversion in Rotterdam. For my research on the project management of large refit and conversion project I could visit several of the repair yards and get a chance to get to know the yards and their work.
During my time in Rotterdam I already got the chance to do more than my thesis alone. Running a 10-mile race with my colleagues, performing at the yearly sales event and enjoy some nice nights out with my colleagues.
After graduation I moved to France to work in the repair yard in Dunkerque throughout the week and return to Holland on the weekends! Here I am evaluating the procedures related to project management and running projects as a project manager, working for example on the yearly maintenance of three ferries of DFDS, replacement of a rudder horn and only recently a large steel damage. A great opportunity to learn everything about repairing ships, how to survive in an all-male environment and speak French, while relaxing at the beach, celebrating carnaval and enjoying the French cuisine!
I will probably stay in Dunkerque until the end of this year, so who knows where I will be and what I will do in a year, but that is exactly what I like about ship repair.
After participating in the Damen Business Course 2012 and finishing university in Ghent, I started a Traineeship at Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding in Vlissingen. During the one-year trajectory I was given the opportunity to explore my passions and talents, rotating between positions at the Research & Technology Support, Products & Proposal, Project and Production departments.
In October 2014 I was offered a permanent position as Design Engineer at the Products & Proposals department. Since then I have been working on a wide variety of technical subjects, ranging from specific equipment characteristics up to general ship design. By communicating with suppliers as well as clients I am expanding my experience, both on a technical and an operational level. Furthermore I have participated in the Damen Leadership Development 1 program, in which a group of young Damen employees were intensively trained in their personal leadership skills.
The Damen Business Course has clearly opened a lot of doors for me and I am looking forward to finding out what the future has in store for Damen!
Curious to learn more about Damen I participated in the 2013 edition of the Damen Business Course. It was a great experience with many personal stories of the people of Damen, visits to big ships of all sorts, personal development and sports sessions with Gijs, working on our cases, great dinners and drinks, etc. The whole gave me a really true and fair view of what Damen would be like as an employer. I was then also more than happy to say yes, when I was asked be part of the organisation of DBC 2015.
As member of the organization I got to shape the content of the program together with our core team and all the involved departments of Damen. It was great to experience that all employees are so proud of Damen, that they were all eager to take the opportunity to show DBC participants exactly ‘why’ they love their work.
After my role in the DBC 2015 team I started my own company with four friends from my MSc study. As a student in DBC 2015 it had been my role to add a fresh view and some student insights to the team. I figured other companies could benefit from these two things too. Stand Out Now therefore connects company experts and university students to accelerate innovation and organise next generation recruitment. In setting up my company I used a lot of the important lessons from the personal development sessions with Gijs in building our team. Also, Damen become one of the first clients of Stand Out Now!
I first came in contact with Damen during the 2013 Damen Business Course, after which I started my graduation thesis on dynamic positioning at Damen's R&D Department. After graduating, I helped the different departments resolve various issues as part of the Development branch of the R&D Department. These issues ranged from complex questions about simulations, which could take days to answer, to shorter questions about the speed and bollard pull of tugboats. My daily tasks are quite varied, as beside my usual work, I work on projects that involve both seaway behaviour and ice interaction. In addition to my office activities, I also participate in sea trial runs several times per year (six times in the past six months alone). This part of my job is incredibly informative and exciting. It's extremely satisfying to see our initial ideas and calculations come to fruition.
Given that one of the R&D Department's core tasks is to maintain a high level of knowledge, it's important that we attend conferences and seminars. During these events, you get to meet people in your field with very different perspectives. It can be really enlightening! Networking is very important for developing certain fields.
To summarize: my current position at Damen allows me to develop on a personal and professional level, while contributing to the growth of Damen by supporting the different departments and product groups.
With the DBC alumni-event coming up on the 2nd of June I would like to share some of my experiences during my first year working at Damen. I started in the production hall to see what it takes to build a high quality vessel and after that I worked at our office in Vlissingen on topics as: strategy, policy and innovations. Both rotations were very different from the projects I did during my study but both brought me a lot of nice experiences with a lot of different people.
Currently I’m working in the project management department of DTC (Damen Technical Cooperation) and together with the project team I’m responsible for two high power tug boats that will be built in Cuba, a nice challenge! I was in Cuba for one month, to get to know my local colleagues, prepare the project and to practice my Spanish. My first year of the traineeship went very fast and it was a lot of fun! I am curious to hear about your experiences from last year so I hope to see you all on the 2nd of June. Preparations are in full swing!
All four teams managed to finish their films in time for the première. The films were met with great enthusiasm by the audience.
During the day, each of the teams visited a different Damen co-maker. The four suppliers showed the teams how, together, they create added value for the customers. In the evening, the participants organised a dinner for former DBC participants, trainees and starters. This was a great opportunity to exchange experiences.
The second Damen Business Course day was rounded off successfully. This day focused on Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding. A crash course in filmography by Debby Slagt and Elisabeth Griffioen helped the teams kick-start their films. The plans have been drafted and the first interviews have been held. Tonight, the group went to the Timmerfabriek to meet Gijs Groeneveld. Over the next few days, he will help the participants with their personal development and their roles within the group.
DBC 2015 started with a kick-off dinner at Gevangentoren in Vlissingen, the Netherlands. A group of 20 talented students had been selected and traveled from all over Belgium and the Netherlands to Vlissingen to start the adventure. After the sales pitch training the students took off in 4 teams to pith their team and team movie project for the coming days. Goodluck team History, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Teamwork!
We closed both selection days with a nice pub quiz; to get to know Damen better and to introduce the group to our current Trainees.
A great time and place to get to know each other better and to introduce everyone to Damen Shiprepair Van Brink Rotterdam. We want to thank all 44 participants!
On the 9th of December and 13th January the DBC 2015 selection days took place. 44 candidates picked out of 104 applicants in total, a huge amount and great to see technical students in Delft, Twente, Eindhoven en Gent are fully aware of Damen Business Course!
During the selection day we asked our talented 44 candidates to participate in an personal interview and in a team debat, to tell us all about their personal story boards and to show us their team qualities in a real paint assignment.
Destination: Damen headquarters in Gorinchem. The group was given some more insight in the world of tugs and services and had an inspiring session about sales at Damen. A welding class in the workshop was given for some hands-on experience. The DBC group had a quiet evening, joined each other for a delicious Dutch ‘stampot’ and then got back to their case studies.
Day 3: spending the night watch keeping on board of the Zephyr. After 12 hours of sailing, some sleep and watching a beautiful sunrise at sea, the Zephyr arrived in Vlissingen.
The DBC bus led the participants from Amsterdam to Den Helder, where they directly got on to two boats for a tour across the marine harbor. Some naval vessels of Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding and PSV the ‘World Diamond’ could be viewed up close. From the harbor, despite 7 Beaufort, the crossing to Texel was made to moor at the Damen dock. With everyone blown briskly and some even soaked, pancakes at a nearby hotel were warmly received. After dinner the groups worked on their cases until midnight.
HR director Arold de Vries addressed a welcoming word to the group. Thereafter a tour across the Oranjewerf yard was undertaken, which ended in the yard’s workshop for a dinner in an industrial setting. During dinner the groups were announced and the cases for DBC 2013 were handed out. The first day ended with a boat trip to an Amsterdam hotel together with a personal development coach to make the participants more aware of their ambitions and capabilities.
DBC 2013 started with a kick-off of two days one week before the actual business course. A group of 15 talented students had been selected and traveled from all over Belgium and the Netherlands to Amsterdam Central Station to start the adventure.
A final dinner was held in Rotterdam at the Euromast and, after receiving some helpful and instructive feedback on the group case studies and presentations, the tired but happy participants made their way back to their homes.
The managers and staff at Damen were left to look back on an unforgettable and dynamic first edition of the Damen Business Course, and extend their thanks to all those that took part!
On the final morning the participants started with a last workshop to get some useful tips and tricks for their presentations. After some last minute preparations the groups presented their final plans to the Damen board plus some additional members of the management team. The interesting and refreshing ideas that they put forward are certain to have given the Board something to think about.
Day three got going at 6.30 am with some more sporting activities to get everyone in shape for an energetic day travelling first to Rotterdam by bus, boat and airplane and then heading to the next locations; Damen Schelde Naval Vlissingen and Amels. There was no time to waste during the flight: laptops were soon busy as everyone pushed on with preparations for the final presentations to be given on day five…
Sunday 30th September: the Rotterdam water taxi took the group from Leuvehaven to the SS Rotterdam where leading figures from the Damen organisation welcomed the participants.
COO Mr. Arnout Damen presented the group cases for the 5 unique days to come.
After a strict selection process, 15 of the most talented technical students from across the Benelux region attended the first edition of the Damen Business Course; the first dedicated Maritime Business Course ever to be held in the Netherlands. Over the course of a five day, intensive programme participants learned all about Damen.