Nicolas (1990) grew up in Edegem (Belgium). After secondary school, he started a course in SME management at the university, but after two years it turned out that it was not the best choice for him. He switched to logistics management, but after a year he threw in the towel there too. All the theory was interesting, but he was desperate for practice, for cases to be solved. He was sure that he wanted to do something in logistics, though. "That was triggered during a holiday job at a big warehouse. I was fascinated by the way they kept the whole store up and running."
The one-year practical training at Portilog proved to be the answer. Six months of intensive theory and then six months of working for a logistics company. The work was interesting, the working environment less so: "I arrived there when I was 21 years old, the average age was much higher. That's why it didn't really work out." With his certificate in his pocket, he applied for a job with a freight forwarder. "There, I learned the entire process as I had to arrange everything from A to Z. From the moment the tariff is made to the sending of the BL's and the invoicing. Very educational, but also: a lot. I wanted to develop myself in a more pleasant way, at a quieter pace. That was not possible there."
And then there was Shipex. "I immediately felt good here. I was hired on customer service, but at a certain point I felt that I was ready for the next step. I then asked senior account manager Bart Cleuren if I could help him with more than just paperwork. He showed me the ropes and had me do a lot myself, and now I'm a junior account manager holding a portfolio with my own clients."
The confidence Shipex gave him did the trick. "That was exactly what I needed. It's also typical for Shipex: they look at the person behind the employee. You get all the space and opportunities you need to develop yourself. Do I want to take an external course because I think it will benefit me? No problem. But they are also alert when it comes to internal issues: if there is a problem in a certain department, there is the Shipex Academy. A senior or even the CEO himself will provide a small group with the necessary clarification and explanation." Nevertheless, the basis lies with the employee himself, Nicolas emphasizes. He sees many recently graduated millennials fail in the business, because they have an overly romantic image of the sector.
“Passion, perseverance and an elephant skin. That's what you need in this industry.”
Nicolas has been with Shipex for four years now, and for the time being, he's happy. "I'm having a great time, and I work with great colleagues. I envision myself coaching a junior account manager one day, when I'm a senior myself. That is the logical next step for me."