ORL and your career

Are you interested to know more about the positions you can end up with if you have completed a thesis and/or internship at ORL? Hereunder, some of our ORL alumni tell you their stories.

Careers of ORL alumni

Marloes Ike - BSc Bedrijfs- en Consumentenwetenschappen - Specialisatie Bedrijf - afstudeerrichting Logistiek

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Huidige functie: Customer Logistics Operations Manager, Procter & Gamble

Tijdens mijn studie heb ik veel twijfels gehad over de richting die ik op wilde. De bedrijfs- en datakant, of toch meer de consumenten- en mensenkant? Na mijn thesis bij FrieslandCampina en stage bij Procter & Gamble wist ik zeker dat ik de juiste keuze had gemaakt met de specialisatie bedrijf en een focus op supply chain management vanuit een logistieke invalshoek.

Na mijn stage kreeg ik een baan aangeboden als demand- en initiatiefplanner bij Procter &Gamble: een functie waarin je veel bezig bent met data-analyse en systemen, maar ook een functie waarin je een centrale rol in de organisatie hebt en veel contact met onder andere de sales-, marketing- en finance-afdeling. Het was mijn taak om een goede prognose af te geven: niet alleen voor volgende week, maar ook de komende achttien maanden. Een mooie uitdaging! Dit heb ik eerst gedaan voor de merken Braun en Duracell, en na 1,5 jaar voor alle schoonmaakmiddelen die we in ons assortiment hebben.

Na drie jaar in demandplanning te hebben gewerkt, heb ik een volgende stap gemaakt en werk ik nu op de customerservice-afdeling. Ik stuur een team aan dat dagelijks bezig is met de orderverwerking. Hier ben ik met name verantwoordelijk voor onze leverperformance. Een prachtige kans om te starten met het aansturen van een team, maar ook de mogelijkheid om bij onze klanten over de vloer te komen.

Ik merk dat mijn brede basis vanuit mijn studie, maar ook de multidisciplinaire aanpak binnen BBC en natuurlijk de supply-chainterminologie, me helpen in mijn baan. Gelukkig is Procter & Gamble een bedrijf met veel trainings- en ontwikkelingsmogelijkheden, waar je vanaf dag één verantwoordelijkheid hebt. Ik blijf dus ook na mijn studie dagelijks nieuwe dingen leren!

Bron: Bachelor Bedrijfs en Consumentenwetenschappen - Carrièreperspectief na de studie

Henja Rijk–Besuijen - BSc Agrotechnology and MSc Biosystems Engineering

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Current job: Potato pile valorization specialist at Lamb Weston Meijer

Decision Science was the first Operations Research and Logistics course I took. I was fascinated by it and saw so many possibilities to use the knowledge and tools in real life situations that I wanted to learn more. That is why I chose to do the minor Supply Chain Management and my bachelor thesis at ORL. During my thesis I focused on solving lot-sizing problems in the food processing industry with Relax-and-Fix heuristics. Typically the number of variables and parameters are making it very complex to find the most optimal production planning, but mathematical models can help to approach the optimal solution quicker. For this thesis I was rewarded with the 1st international price by the Claas Foundation.  

After my graduation I wanted to move back to Zeeland and found a job at Lamb Weston Meijer as a management trainee. Lamb Weston Meijer is a big player in the field of frozen potato products (French fries). I worked in the production process as a supervisor and later on as an agronomist in the corporate building. My analytic skills developed during my study, combined with my experiences in the production process, made me a ‘specialist’ inside the company. Nowadays I am in charge of all potato data (qualities, quantities and recoveries) and translating the data into helpful information to enhance decision making. A potato is a natural product and always unique, while the goal is to make French fries that always look and taste the same. That gives a complex allocation and planning problem with all the different potato varieties, regions and production plants. As you can guess this leaves plenty of ORL challenges for us! Love it. If you see a possibility for a thesis or an internship, feel free to contact me!

Eefje School - MSc Food Technology

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Current job: BI analyst Operations at HelloFresh

"In 2018 I completed my Masters Degree for Food Technology at the Operations Research and Logistics (ORL) group. Specializing in the ORL field was personally one of the best choices I have made during my studies. During Decision Science 1 and 2, my thesis at Argusi and my internship at Ahold Delhaize, I developed a passion for translating complex problems into mathematical models to enhance decision making. This is something I am still doing today.

Finding a job in a field related to ORL was not difficult. A few weeks after graduation, I found a job as a BI analyst Operations at HelloFresh, where I can perfectly combine my social and analytical skills. As a BI analyst, I manipulate, analyze and visualize data to gain insights which drives the business forward and professionalizes the operational chain. I work with many different departments (e.g. finance, procurement, transport, production) in cross-functional projects.

An example of an important operational subject is forecasting. Various departments need to know how many boxes we expect to deliver, on which day, for how many persons and with which recipes. I am responsible for the entire forecasting process; I try to optimize the accuracy, speed and reliability of the forecast. Without the knowledge I gained in the ORL courses, it would be very difficult to build a prediction model and translate real-life situations into a Python script. Another good example where I used my ORL knowledge was a project to create an algorithm to optimize box sizes. I immediately thought of the bin packing problem where different volumes must be packed in a finite number of bins with the objective to minimize the number of bins used. In other words, the university has offered me great knowledge and useful tools to meet every challenge in the workplace."

Aleksander Banasik - MSc Management, Economics and Consumer studies

Current job: supply chain consultant at OMP

After one year of master studies in Computer Sciences and Econometrics at Warsaw University of Life Sciences, I came to study at Wageningen University to complete a double degree program. I quickly learned that courses given by the lecturers from the chair group Operations Research and Logistics (ORL) are something that interests me the most: courses concerned what I perceived as solving real-life problems with help of mathematical approaches, amongst others: optimization.

The interest in optimization and its application in (agri) food supply chains encouraged me to do a PhD study within ORL chair group at Wageningen University. My PhD research was entitled multi-objective optimization for eco-efficient food supply chains, and concerned the use of mathematical models for assessment of technological innovations and the impact of these innovations on environmental and economic performance of a food supply chain.

After my PhD studies I decided to try my luck outside academia. Currently I am employed as a supply chain consultant at OMP, a company that provides supply chain planning solutions. Our planning software is used in the world’s leading companies to optimize their supply chains. My daily tasks often require knowledge that I acquired at ORL: analysis of supply chains and implementation of optimization models used, which are used to support planning decisions.

Jorinde Mulder - MSc Food Technology

Current job: Junior Manager Process Yield Optimization at Plukon Food Group

Just over a year ago, I graduated my Master in Food Technology at Wageningen University. During my study, I did my thesis at ORL. I got the opportunity to write my thesis at a company, so I had two supervisors, one at the company and one at ORL. The supervision at ORL worked great for me, I could always ask my question, but did not get the answer immediately. Instead, I got questions back to think about the problems that arose, which made me come up with my own solutions in most cases. My thesis was a modeling approach to assign broilers to end-products, which was basically a decision model as discussed in the Decision Science courses, but more elaborated. As I only had these courses to start with, I learned a lot more about these types of models, where they can be used for and how complex they could become! Furthermore, I learned to work structured, because with a growing model, I still had to find back which part was used for what. At the company knowledge on such models was scarce, so I had to learn how to explain the model and what I did to someone without this knowledge. Besides, data analysis and management were skills I developed during my thesis.

After I graduated, I started working at a company related to the one I wrote the thesis for. I work on software engineering and data analysis now, so although I am not working on decision models, the knowledge I gained during my thesis is very valuable. Especially in case of data analysis and management, working structured and making sure I can explain what I do to people without in-depth knowledge of these subjects.