Career development of Cees-Jan Braam

At AWL, we find it important that the talents of our employees are optimally used. And that starts at an early stage. Do you, as a young professional, want to experience where your talents lie first? Do you want to participate in different departments and, just like Cees-Jan, develop yourself further? Do you want to experience which position suits you best? Then a Traineeship at AWL can be something for you. Read below the story of an enthusiastic AWL-er and his 'search' for his ultimate function!

Name: Cees-Jan Braam
Age: 29 years
Start AWL: May 2014
Started as: Trainee Engineering, now Proposal Engineer

Cees-Jan how did you end up at AWL?
"During my mechanical engineering studies at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, we regularly visited company visits, including AWL. I immediately thought, wow, that's a cool company. Especially the robots and the speed at which the machines run I found very impressive. At AWL, I wanted to do an internship and graduate. But unfortunately, I did not have a car at the time, and the accessibility of AWL by public transport was not doable for me. But after graduating, I saw several vacancies again, and then I immediately took action."

"During the introductory meeting, the trainee engineering position was discussed. A position where I could gain experience for two years in different departments, in various positions. This seemed very interesting to me. I had a very broad interest but virtually no work experience. This allowed me to find out what I liked, what I wanted to develop further."

And then, what did you learn?
"I started with a few weeks in the Assembly department. Knowing what kind of parts you come across is very instructive. Then two weeks in the Jiggs department. I was also allowed to help build a machine at a customer's premises. In the first few weeks, I learned a lot about the working method, I learned more about how machines are built, and I got to know my colleagues better."

"After this period, as part of the Traineeship, I was able to work as a Quotation Engineer in the Seating department. I learned a lot about the sales process in those nine months, and I visited various customers. But I felt that I still lacked some knowledge and experience to be a good Quotation Engineer. So I continued my Traineeship. Instead of going to Mechanical Engineering, I went to the Project Coordination department. I thought that suited me better, and AWL gave me this freedom."

So you continued as a Project Coordinator?
"Yes, and also in this role, I got a lot of opportunities and learned a lot. A wonderful position where I got to work on large projects for the general industry. But my interest in the robots remained."

And then, after two years your Traineeship was over, what were you going to do?
"Given my interest in robots, I asked if I could become a Robot Programmer. Most Robot Programmers have an electrical background, and I had a mechanical background. I did, however, do a minor in electrical engineering. AWL wanted to give me the opportunity to learn this profession. And so it happened. I developed quickly on the work floor. I visited customers, brought machines away and provided service. I got a good idea of what customers found important through this work. With great pleasure, I worked for 5.5 years as a Robot Control Engineer."

But, now another step. What started to itch?
"I always said, when I left Quotation Engineering, that I would come back one day. It is a vice position to combine technical knowledge, creativity and innovation for the perfect customer concept. When a position became available as a Proposal Engineer in the Sales General Industry department, I decided to take this opportunity and take the next step in my career.”

What do you like most about your current position?
"Contacting customers, making a strategy, figuring out technical challenges, innovating with the latest state of the art and coming up with smart, creative concepts. Especially brainstorming together with the team is one of the best things for me."

Do you have a tip for us?
"Yes, at AWL, you can achieve a lot. The only thing you have to do is dare speak out about what you want and, of course, work hard! If there is an opportunity to develop further, AWL is willing to give you that opportunity."

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