Hi everyone! My name is Kiona, I come from the Zeeuws-Vlaanderen region and I am currently a Road Logistics Operations Manager at Dow – the leading materials science company operating in 31 countries. I joined this company in 2016 via the Supply Chain Rotational Program at Dow Terneuzen (NL) – Dow’s Supply Chain Hub where everyone collaborates to deliver sustainable solutions to our customers across Europe, Middle East, Africa and India.
I was a student like you at Tilburg University not so long ago. After I earned my bachelor’s degree in Econometrics and Operations Research in 2012, I decided to pursue a master’s program in Operations Research and Management Science. At that time, I was already aware of my interest – that later turned into a passion – in the Supply Chain area. Prior to joining Dow, I was working as a Consultant Decision Support at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. I was enjoying my role but one day I received a call from Dow that put me at a crossroads.
When you grow up in the Zeeuws-Vlaanderen region…
When you grow up in the Zeeuws-Vlaanderen region, Dow is an ideal place to work. I have always imagined myself being part of a diverse and an international company where I could develop not only vertically but also in breadth and diversity of experiences. It was 2015 when I reached out to the Dow Human Resources Department to explore the career opportunities on the Supply Chain Team. At that moment, there were no available open roles. One year later, it was Dow that contacted me directly – although I was not actively looking for a new opportunity – to invite me for an interview for the Supply Chain Rotational Program. A few days after my interview, I already got the job!
Why did I join the Dow’s Supply Chain Rotational Program?
When you finish university, it can be challenging to know exactly what you like and what you do not like. For example, if you apply for a specific role after graduation, you will probably experience that position for the following 2 years or maybe longer. The possibility to change from one role to another can be challenging. Via the Supply Chain Rotational Program, you can discover what you really like in a very short period. It’s a 2-year learning and development program that includes various assignments, exposing you to all facets of the Supply Chain field and function within Dow.
2 roles / 2 years @Dow Supply Chain Rotational Program
In my first role, I started as an Outplant Specialist. I was managing the relations between Dow and the warehouses in the Benelux, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Finland and the UK. I was mainly in charge of ensuring that the operation systems of the warehouses were running smoothly. To learn more about this role, I decided to visit the warehouses and join my partners on the field. I put on my safety helmet and helped out at the warehouses for a certain period. Through this hands-on experience, I could learn more about the warehouse operations firsthand.
In my second role, I was a Supply Chain Planner for the Dow Automotive business. My responsibility was to ensure the products were available on time when customer orders came in. When you do not schedule correctly, it could happen that the products are not available when the customers submit the request.
At Dow’s Supply Chain department, I feel empowered every day…
At Dow, you can expect to be able to shape your role in the way you believe you will deliver superior results. Your leader is always willing to give you the freedom you need in your role by building a relationship of confidence and trust. The Dow community invests in your personal and professional development by offering you the opportunity to advance your career and finetune your competencies. Thanks to Dow’s support, I acquired the APICS certification in 2018 and attended several training programs that helped me receive more insights into Supply Chain and Logistics.
What comes next after the Supply Chain Rotational Program?
There isn’t a structured approach. During the program, you have multiple opportunities to build and expand your network within Dow. At the end of the Supply Chain Rotational Program, I received a couple of offers from different teams, but eventually I accepted the role of Outplant Specialist which I experienced and enjoyed during my first year. Last July, I moved to the role of Road Logistics Operations Manager – being part of the Dow Logistics Team. I am mainly responsible for ensuring that the transportation of our solutions via road or intermodal transport goes smoothly.
My team: a perfect match of Inclusion & Diversity at Dow
In 2019, Dow opened a new office building “Diamond Center” in Terneuzen (NL) designed to inspire over 1,000 employees to work highly efficiently and collaborate easily. You can see the Customer Service Department talking to our customers on the phone while sitting close to the Supply Chain Planners/Schedulers who are planning the availability of the products and sharing the work environment with the Logistics Team who ensure all products are delivered to our clients. When you walk through the Diamond Center, you can feel you’re part of a melting pot of over 50 different nationalities.
How do I enjoy my time afterwork?
Having fun is also key at Dow. As part of the steering team of RISE – the Dow’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) designed for those employees with typically eight years or less experience – we help new colleagues find their way at Dow via a buddy program. We organize fun activities like barbecues, canoeing, virtual pub quizzes as well as speed networking events to let employees be involved in the Dow community and get to know each other.
What advice may I have for you?
Stay yourself. Don’t pretend to be someone else. As far as you need to like the job you are applying for, the position also needs to suit you well. At Dow, we say: “If there is no chemistry at this time, we might be a match in the future”.
Let me ask you: what will the secret to your success look like? If you want to be part of a diverse Supply Chain Team, don’t miss the chance. Visit Dow Campus EMEAI website and learn more about the Supply Chain Rotational Program. You could be our next colleague!