Van Leeuwen
Feedback from young people about our company is very important

Feedback from young people about our company is very important

Naomi de Jong,
Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube, Zwijndrecht, the Netherlands

Van Leeuwen gives interns the opportunity to experience working at a large international organization. Kim Wagenmakers and Elise Nijhof have recently finished their internship and both were surprised by the open and friendly atmosphere at Van Leeuwen. Would they like to work for Van Leeuwen after they graduate? I asked them this and more at the end of their internship.

My name is Naomi de Jong and I work at the Human Resources department. One of my responsabilities is to accompany interns at Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube in Zwijndrecht. I highly value the feedback of young people when they have spent some time with us. We can learn a lot from it.


The interns



Kim Wagenmakers is 21 years old and studies Commercial Economics at Avans University of Applied Sciences in Breda. This was Kim’s final internship before graduating. During her internship, she was part of the sales department.




Elise Nijhof is 23 years old and studies Logistics and Economics at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. This was Elise’s final internship before graduating. During her internship, she was part of the purchasing department.

Why did you intern at Van Leeuwen?

Kim: I wanted to intern at a large organization and learn as much as possible, to use in my future career.

Elise: Having followed a minor in purchasing, I became curious to know how large, international companies deal with this aspect in real-life.

What were your activities during your internship?

Kim: I did research to increase the sales of seamless heavy wall tubes. Besides working on my research, I was given the opportunity to visit several trade fairs, including the Maritime Industry trade show. It was a lot of fun and a very interesting experience.

Elise: If Van Leeuwen wants to be able to react quickly to industry developments, the organization will have to handle its stock flexibly. This means the purchasing process has to be as efficient and effective as possible. In my research, I mapped the entire process and studied weak links in the chain.

What surprised you at Van Leeuwen?

Kim: The office atmosphere was always pleasant. Colleagues took the time in between tasks to catch up. All of them were very helpful in answering questions, explaining things or sharing insights. There were always a number of people present who could answer my questions and it never took long before I’d get a reply.

I also had meetings with managers, employees and clients to get to know the company and the market in which Van Leeuwen operates. Afterwards, I compared those internal and external sources, which allowed me to come to certain conclusions about how they relate to each other.

Elise: I have had many talks with Business Unit Managers and other staff, so that I could map the internal processes at Van Leeuwen. I discovered that within a single process, multiple methods are used. That’s why communication between employees is crucial.

There are a lot of passionate and helpful people at Van Leeuwen. Employees are happy to share their perspective on the current processes and how they could be improved. The atmosphere at the department is great and getting to know the people here has been wonderful.

Would you consider working for Van Leeuwen in the future?

Kim: After I graduate, I will probably do a master’s or travel. Either way, a job in marketing seems like a very interesting choice and, if possible, I would certainly like to support Van Leeuwen’s marketing department. I prefer to meet clients face to face; I want to see their eyes when talking to them.

Elise: I would like to work at the logistics department at a large organization. Perhaps at Van Leeuwen, who knows! In any case, I’m sure to look for a large logistics department, to gain a wide range of experience.

Would you like to work internationally?

Kim: If I could work on projects that would allow me to travel a lot or work abroad, I would be very happy. It’s the perfect way to get in touch with other cultures and to learn more about the values in those regions. I’m especially interested in America and Australia.

Elise: I would prefer to work for an organization in the Netherlands for the first couple of years. At some point in the future, I think I would like to work for an international organization. Just to experience what it’s like to deal with different cultures and traditions.

What is your final opinion about Van Leeuwen?

Van Leeuwen is a dynamic, large and international company. Everything is always on the move and you have to be able to respond quickly. The challenge lies with getting the client exactly what he wants. As interns, we learned a lot about the fast-paced world of Van Leeuwen. Before we started our internships, we didn’t really know what to expect. We would certainly recommend others to do their internships here and discover the lively industry of steel tubes!



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