From VYP to HR Advisor 

David Mak (31) joined Venturn in 2017 as a Consultant Executive Search. Six years have passed, and he is now HR Advisor at Hutchison Port ECT. During his working period at Venturn, he followed the Venturn Young Professionals Programme. We spoke to him about his experiences in the VYP programme, his current position and plans for the future. 

David studied Applied Psychology in Eindhoven, after which he did a bachelor’s degree in Work and Organizational Psychology, followed by his master’s. During his master’s degree in Positive Organizational Psychology at Erasmus University Rotterdam, he was able to do most of his studying from home. “I was home a lot and actually wanted to start working. Somewhere through a job board, I ended up on Venturn’s channels and I decided to apply. After several interviews, I was hired.” He started working at Venturn as a Consultant Executive Search and followed the VYP programme at the same time. Unlike his fellow VYPs, David did not work for various clients, but was fully involved with Venturn’s core business activities. I wanted to do a traineeship to further develop myself on a personal level.  At that time, I was not necessarily interested in the maritime and logistics sector. I developed that interest during my time at Venturn. In the meantime, I have gotten to know this sector better and better and I have become attached to it.’’ 

Creating a dynamic team
As Consultant Executive Search, David was primarily involved in recruiting and selecting candidates for clients of Venturn. In addition, he was also involved in some more HR-related projects. For example, he performed assessments and also coordinated part of the VYP programme. “I chose my own colleagues, which is always fun. I tried to make it a mixed bunch, and I think it worked out well. We had a very nice group at that time. A really close-knit team, also at the office.” 

“I chose my own colleagues.’’

During the VYP programme, David always liked the inspiration evenings the most. “What I thought was great was the negotiation course. That was a really inspiring trainer. But I also found the Personal Branding and Personal Leadership training courses very valuable.” David also thought the activities related to the KNRM (Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution) were very cool, such as the teambuilding activities in the water and Captain of Sales:, a day in which teams compete to raise the most money for the KNRM. 

From Struggles to Self-Confidence
“I think my development within
Venturn has skyrocketed because of the programme,” according to David
. When I started, I really had to learn how to work. Always being in the office, presenting myself in that environment – I really struggled with everything. It was only afterwards that I realized how valuable that programme was for my own personal development. I am now much more self-confident. I rely much more on my own qualities.” He also appreciated the companions he had during the programme: “Peers going through the same situations, and good trainers and coaches to guide us through them. That support has helped me immensely.” 

Navigating the HR Landscape
After David completed the VYP
programme, he first started working as a Talent Sourcer at Van Oord. His next step was becoming HR advisor at ECT. ‘’The HR-field has always attracted me. I just had no experience as an HR advisor, so I was looking for a job where they were willing to teach me this role. At ECT, they were looking for someone who wanted to learn and who had some experience with recruitment and selection. I had both, so it was a good match.” As an HR advisor, David is part of a team of four in which they divide the tasks among themselves. David, together with the HRemployees, is responsible for the Technical Maintenance Service and the staff departments. “I am responsible for tactical and strategic matters. Tactically, you are talking about advising senior management and being part of the Management Teams of a number of departments. Strategically, you’re focused on the goals and objectives of certain departments and how we ensure that we get our staff deployed in such a way that they can make a good contribution to those goals.” 

Venturn has really laid the foundations of how you work and how you shape yourself as a worker.’’

Subconsciously, David certainly still applies things that he learned in his time as a VYP’er. “If you talk about a certain organizational sensitivity, I certainly apply that. Also, how to profile yourself better, or how to increase your influence in a certain way. Those are certainly things I learned at Venturn. For me, Venturn has really laid the foundations of how you work and how you shape yourself as a worker.” 

Unleashing Ambitions
In the short term, David aims to develop
himself further within HR-consultancy: “ECT offers plenty of opportunities to do so. In the long term, he would like to manage departments. David’s ultimate goal is to set up his own management consultancy or become CEO. In any case, he is still in the right place at ECT for now. 

Although David really appreciated his time at Venturn and as a VYP, he would have done things differently in retrospect. “I should have been more authentic. Be myself more often. I felt too much like I had to be ‘a somebody’ already. But you don’t have to.’’ His tip to current and future VYP’ers is therefore not surprising: ”Open up and allow yourself to be vulnerable. If you do and dare to do that, you will also experience the greatest and most beautiful growth. The VYP programme is a great opportunity to be vulnerable and learn a lot.” 

About the programme

Venturn Young Professionals

With our VYP Programme, we aim to introduce young talent to the supply chain, logistics, and maritime industries. Our VYPs come from different academic backgrounds and typically have less than two years of work experience when they enroll. The 24-month VYP training curriculum includes modules on a variety of hard skills (e.g. data analytics and project management) as well as soft skills (e.g. leadership and personal branding).

Get in touch

Interested in learning more about becoming or hiring a Venturn Young Professional? Find more information on our VYP website. Follow our VYP LinkedIn page to stay updated on what our Young Professionals are up to.

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