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My contribution to the personal development of Bilfinger’s employees




Just like any educational institution, the Van Iterson Institute has a curriculum that is designed to match the interests of its students. This requires continuous evaluation and improvement. My team and I are responsible for these tasks, so let me tell you more about it below.

After having fulfilled a similar educational role in my previous job, the opportunity to join Bilfinger as the training coordinator presented itself. Before any of these jobs, I used to do marketing and communication work. I discovered that my passion lies in working with people, and being able to help them on a personal level as well. This matches perfectly with my current job description, as my core task in the end is to help fellow colleagues with their development, both personal and professional.

One of my favorite elements of this job is how I can help ignite a fire in people so to speak. It is essential that our employees enjoy working at Bilfinger and feel energized on the job. To achieve this, it is important to have a thorough understanding of what colleagues need for their own development. I do not have an engineering background like many of my peers do, so I rely on them to fine-tune the lessons that are on offer. To ensure the training and course offering is in-line with demand, I have yearly meetings with colleagues that are specialized in their discipline and for the Van Iterson Institute I visit the lessons on Friday. Especially for the Van Iterson Institute this is important, as I can get an idea of what both the ’students’ and teachers think of the education. Whether that would be in terms of content, but also how the curriculum is structured currently. At the time of writing this blog, the institute has only been running for a year, but I think we already manage to do many things quite well. But of course there is room for improvement and I take the feedback I receive to heart.

The biggest challenge in my work is to keep people engaged in wanting to keep developing themselves. It is sometimes tough to have people follow-up on things and to turn them into concrete actions. My goal is to constantly remind others that education and personal development is important and that there is always room to grow as a person, but also professionally within Bilfinger. The Van Iterson Institute is a great example of this. Additionally, the company also offers evaluation moments in which each employee gets the opportunity to express what they want to learn more about and where they want to grow.

I believe in quality over quantity. And if you want quality, you need to invest. In the creation of the curriculum for the Van Iterson Institute, I have worked with consultants from all our departments to make sure that the material on offer was relevant to the actual processes within the company. Senior colleagues from Bilfinger give many of the lessons for the Van Iterson Institute. However, transferring knowledge to others is an entirely unique skill, it does not come to everyone naturally. To maintain a high level of quality, the decision was made to have all of these colleagues follow the course ‘Train the trainer’. Other than that, there are some practical things that need arranging, things like making classrooms available for use and things like lunch for the participants that I take care of as well.

My vision for the Van Iterson Institute’s future is to refine and optimize what we currently have in place. Beyond that, I have ambitions to combine physical and online learning by setting up an entirely new online education platform, separate from the institute. Said platform would also have to accommodate personal development. However, given the nature of the technical subject matter, physical lessons will stay important. The experience of a hands-on project cannot be replicated effectively through an online environment.

More information about the Van Iterson Institute

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