‘Many opportunities to further develop yourself’

| Specials U-Today

Koen Demkes (29) made a flying career start at Kramp, one of the largest and fastest growing technical wholesalers in Europe and transforming into an e-business company. Koen started in Kramp’s international traineeship programme which gave him the opportunity to further develop himself very quickly.

Why did you choose working at Kramp?

‘During my study I took several opportunities to go abroad, and because I enjoyed that very much, I was looking for an international company with the opportunity to work (partly) abroad. On the other hand I was looking for a company in a complex logistical environment, in order to apply the learnings for university and to further develop these skills using practice. With Kramp I found the perfect mix of these ingredients.’

What makes Kramp a good employer to you?

‘You get many opportunities to further develop yourself, not only via the Kramp Academy trainings, but also on-the-job. You can quickly get a lot of responsibilities, a lot of freedom in how you execute your tasks, and you can work on your own initiatives. Next to that the environment is very friendly and open, and you continuously interact with colleagues from different nationalities.’

How did you career develop, starting as a management trainee?

‘As a management trainee I got the opportunity to work at different departments in different countries, allowing me to quickly get to know the entire organization and to build up my network. Afterwards I immediately got the responsibility over a team, managing the availability of products in our 3 warehouses in the Nordics. At this moment I am a Program Manager for Assortment & Supply Chain, meaning I am responsible for continuously improving the service to customers and increasing the efficiency, by initiating and managing the right projects.’

How does your study at the UT help you in your current role?

The skills to analyze complex problems and to select suitable solution approaches are still helpful. On a daily basis it helps me to quickly identify the criterial issues and to make plans to solve them.

What advice would you give to other (alumni) students?

‘As a starter, choose a job that gives you many future career opportunities. You are not done learning after university. Next to that, also take assignments outside of your official role to accelerate learning and to broaden your view.’

---

This article was published in the second editon of the 4TU Career Special, a shared publication by the news editors of Cursor (Eindhoven University of Technology), Delta (Delft University of Technology), Resource (Wageningen University and Research), and U-Today (University of Twente). The magazine came into being in collaboration with industry, and is explicitly aimed towards students who are either in the final phase of their studies, or have just graduated.