Skip to main content

Prepared for the real work

Esther Bijloo , Superintendent after traineeship

‘During my Transport, Infrastructure and Logistics master programme, a former Van Oord trainee told me about the many opportunities within the company. Just like every starter on the labour market, I lacked work experience and professional knowledge. The Van Oord traineeship proved to be the ideal launching pad. For instance, I was introduced to a new department every two months, which meant that I was given a look behind the scenes at various divisions of Van Oord. As a result of this experience, I could progress smoothly from the traineeship to my current position as Superintendent at the Operations Department.’

Varied projects

‘I started as a Superintendent in Liverpool, where I participated in a geological investigation for the construction of a container terminal. I went on to Costa Rica to test stones for a huge breakwater surrounding a planned container terminal. I also worked several months at the Engineering Department to gain a better understanding of production estimates. I gained a lot of experience with budgeting tenders. Recently, I worked on board the HAM 601, where I performed several stone dumping projects in the North Sea. I learnt a great deal during all these missions. However, I was most enthusiastic about my first introduction to the dredging world during the traineeship. My first project was Palm Jumeirah Beaches in Dubai, where I was a Superintendent for the backhoe dredger IJzeren Hein and where I worked as an Engineer for the stone work.’ 

Unique circumstances

‘Every project is different. You work with other colleagues, vessels, clients, soil data, etc. That requires a unique solution or working method in each case. Although Van Oord is an unbelievable source of information and knowledge, you have to continue to innovate. Whatever position you hold, you are trying on a daily basis to find the best solution for the client, the project and Van Oord.’

Fantastic employer

‘Van Oord has given me more than I originally thought I needed. Firstly, I find the diversity and the challenge offered by the work to be the most important, together with the collegiality. I later discovered that there were many more aspects that make Van Oord a fantastic employer. For instance, the scope to choose your own direction, the openness and the encouragement to share knowledge, the flexibility within the company, the short lines, the effectiveness and the focus on people.’