Working at an internationally oriented company
Pascal Claessen: “Each day is a learning experience”
Lots of variety and lots of contacts, with colleagues and with customers. That was stated in the vacancy for Commercial back office at SixPointTwo. That was the reason why Pascal Claessen decided to apply. Now, one and a half years later, he has another job at SixPointTwo that suits him even better.
Pascal had just completed the MBO (secondary vocational education) Transport and Logistics course in Venlo. Previously, he had had part-time jobs in the hospitality industry, did internships at several warehouses and did transport planning, among other things. “Commercial back office at SixPointTwo was my first real job.”
Pascal had just commenced his associate degree in Technical Business Administration.
At SixPointTwo, the agreements were clear. “I started off with the intention of progressing to HBO (higher professional education) level within the company. I have regular meetings with my supervisor Willian van Eerd about what is going well, what the areas for improvement are, and how I can develop further.”
Combining work and study
Pascal works four days a week and attends school/college on Thursdays. “If I have a test on a Monday evening, for example, I can take time off during the day. That is never an issue; we have clear agreements about that as well, as my supervisor also considers my development important.” Working and studying is tough. “I was very busy, particularly when I started off. I was often busy with school during the evenings and weekends. That has now reduced, since I have nearly completed my course.” He will graduate in February 2023.
Thanks to his education and development, it has already been possible for him to take a new step. “Since February 2022, I have been working as a calculator/work planner. That ties in nicely with my education.” What does the job entail? “The sales manager submits customer requests to me. We discuss these together and/or jointly with the customer. Using our programmes and my knowledge, I calculate the cost price. I then present it to the sales manager. Together, we discuss the calculation and work out a quotation based on the same.
Work preparation requires a lot of consultation. “I maintain close contact with the buyer in Weert and the buyer in the Czech Republic. I also consult with my Czech colleagues about engineering, planning, manufacturability and the specifications of the product to be made. I also frequently interact with customers, especially about specifications and delivery times. I like to know exactly what the situation is. Once the customer’s requirements and specifications are clear, we can, if necessary, present the customer with a recommendation, in order to optimise the design to improve their products. This may involve improving physical aspects such as product strength and material selection, as well as cost savings for the customer.
“Commercial Back Office was nice to start with”, says Pascal. “But as a calculator/work planner, much greater demands are placed on me. That’s even more challenging for me!” He handles several requests simultaneously. He also answers questions from customers and colleagues. “It’s therefore important to work in a structured way. I did have to learn that. I discussed with my manager how I could tackle that. Things are constantly improving on that front. Calculating prices has been going well from the start. Communicating with colleagues and customers is something I enjoy and also do well; that is a strong point.” After graduating with an associate degree in technical business administration, he already has plans to take up a 3D drawing course. “Because I also do a bit of engineering, it is useful if I can make drawings myself and adjust customer drawings where necessary. This will allow me to assist and advise the customer even more directly. In addition, I am provided opportunities to develop further in the technical field through other training or courses.”
The challenges in his work are important, but he also likes the working atmosphere. “It is extremely pleasant to work at the Weert office. We are a small club of ten people and help each other out wherever necessary. If there is a challenge somewhere, we jointly try to find a solution. We always succeed in the end. The joint lunch and drinks on Friday afternoon ensure that we end the week on a pleasant note.” We also enjoy close contact with Czech colleagues. “The Summer Party is organised in the summer, for which we go to the Czech Republic. That strengthens the bond with colleagues there. I’ve been there several times.”
How does Pascal see his future? What are his ambitions? “I want to keep developing myself. SixPointTwo gives me plenty of room for that. Guidance, training and courses: you don’t get that everywhere. Besides, the company is growing and I learn new things every day. There are still plenty of challenges here; I would therefore like to grow along with the company!”