Hanna Riemersma, board member Young FrieslandCampina

Working within a large multinational; for some Young Professionals it’s a dream come true. It looks good on your CV, sounds interesting when you tell someone at a party and means you can start dreaming of travelling for work. This is all true, but in the end, it’s important to work in an environment that allows you to develop yourself as a Young Professional. How to do this in such a large, international and, therefore, often complex organisation? I’m talking with Hanna Riemersma, a 29 year old Frisian, who has worked as a Legal Counsel at FrieslandCampina since October 2017. Hanna is a board member of the Young FrieslandCampina network and elaborates her view on the development of Young Professionals within FrieslandCampina.

Opportunities for Young Professionals

Hanna directly assures me that in a large organisation like FrieslandCampina, there are many possibilities to learn and grow within different areas. “Especially for young professionals, there are so many opportunities. Take for example FrieslandCampina’s traineeship. This is a great opportunity for recent graduates to develop themselves within two years by working on two different assignments. But there’s also the FrieslandCampina Academy, where many trainings and programs on both behavioural and function level are offered. Some of those are completely focused on Young Professionals. A great example is the Learn to Grow program in which Young Potentials from all over the world come together for four days to gain a better understanding of who they are and how this impacts others. And of course, my responsibility, the Young FrieslandCampina network that organises different events aimed at, amongst others, building your career.”

Young FrieslandCampina network; the foundation for your career

Since May 2018, Hanna is a board member of the Young FrieslandCampina network. New employees under the age of 36 automatically become part of the network. The network organises many different events, ranging from informative and professional to social events. Re-occurring events are ‘Meet the Executive Board’, plant visits, speaker series, welcome events for new members, but also pub quizzes, sports events and the Christmas and summer party.

Hanna explains: “With the network we try to unite young employees and create both social and professional interaction. It’s so easy to just come to work every day, do your work, and go home. But there is so much more going on and to learn. Being young and unexperienced means that you have all the room to grow. With Young FrieslandCampina, we offer Young Professionals the tools for that growth by interacting with peers, learning about the career possibilities within the organisation and meeting people in higher positions. We make Young Professionals experience something besides their day to day work which will help building the foundation of their careers.”

The Paradox of Choice

Something typical for the current generation of Young Professionals is being afraid to make choices; also called the Paradox of Choice. Hanna recognises this about her generation: “I was afraid that working as a Legal Counsel in Business to Business Sales meant I would never be working on human rights anymore, which was initially my study focus. When I noticed that my colleague was working on this topic, I asked her if I could help her and she was very enthusiastic and included me in the project right away. I feel that in 10 years, I could be anywhere as there are so many areas to grow in. This is one of the best things about working at FrieslandCampina; you’re not excluding anything. You’re starting somewhere, but you can explore so many paths depending on your personal interests and your areas of development.”

After talking to Hanna, I’m convinced that working at FrieslandCampina will offer me many opportunities to learn and a great career path. I’m in control of my own career and who knows where I’ll be in five years. There are so many disciplines, departments, jobs and focus areas to consider. I’m confident that the Young FrieslandCampina events will help me find my interests and to develop a powerful network within the organisation.

 

My name is Zoë Damen. As an Employer Branding Specialist I’m looking for stories within the organisation. I’m interviewing my colleagues to talk about their visions, daily work and personal developments.