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Colleague in the spotlight: From Program Manager to teacher to dad to racer, Stijn likes to keep busy.

By 11 January 2024February 26th, 2024Collega's aan het woord

Teacher Stijn
“At my previous employer, I regularly supervised HBO graduation interns in the field of Operational Excellence. During this supervision, I found out that they had little statistical experience, despite their certification as Lean Six Sigma Green Belts from the University of Applied Sciences. A solid statistical foundation was essential for graduation research at my former employer. This realization led me to contact various institutes. At Fontys, my former institute, I stayed in touch after the initial contact.”

This had the effect that Stijn started part-time at Fontys as a developer in the field of Operational Excellence, which later expanded to include teaching. “During my appointment, I wanted to experience more diversity in my role. I wanted to improve existing processes and set up new ones. That’s why I reconnected with Jos, an old acquaintance from my career.”

“Eventually, I started working at Nobleo and continued my development at Fontys at the same time. And yes, I just really enjoy it, otherwise I wouldn’t be here anymore. I have been working at Nobleo for almost 3 years now.”

What do you do on a daily basis at Nobleo? As a program manager or on a project?
“That’s never the same, of course. It can even be chaotic at times. I once gave a presentation at an informal pizza meeting about what my schedule sometimes looks like. And it’s all over the place every week. New topics and themes come up all the time. My main focus is on program development, which takes place in between all the other tasks. I review and evaluate new projects and ensure standardization within these projects.”

“I ask myself questions like: ‘What exactly did you do? Was the schedule adhered to? Can we learn from this from a program perspective?’ These questions are also relevant in my role as project manager for various projects, especially with teams larger than 2 or 3 people. The collaboration between everyone is wonderful to see. I always find it very inspiring that we stand there as a team and take on the challenge.”

Of course, you also teach at Fontys, which you do in the context of Operational Excellence. Could you explain what motivates you to teach?
“Fontys stands for Lifelong Learning, and I find that educational vision particularly fascinating. If you apply that to me, you can ask yourself: why do you do that? I share information, theory, and practical examples (applications of the theory) that I have gained myself. For me, it is essential that the received theoretical knowledge can be applied in practice. This provides students with practical tools to move forward, and at the same time, I also learn from the students. Engaging in dialogue about certain topics gives me insight into the practical challenges they face. This activates my thought process on how to deal with such situations.”

Do you bring certain points from Fontys to Nobleo?
“Yes, at Fontys, I learn daily how to effectively convey complex theories and cases to students. This provides me with valuable guidelines, especially when we are involved in complex projects and need to share progress with various stakeholders, each with their own discipline. Taking an integral approach and reporting through a good structure helps with that. In projects, we also use tools and methodologies that I teach in the Operational Excellence course. Staying current and up-to-date in this area helps with the projects. Additionally, there is also the Operational Excellence lectureship, which mainly translates between scientific research and application-oriented research. Connecting with the lectureship also helps me to look further into the future and contribute to it, perhaps with our Nobleo team.”

Do you have any other interesting experiences, hobbies, or passions outside of your work that you would like to share?
“I am passionate about everything related to engines. Currently, I pursue karting as a hobby. I own my own 125cc 2-stroke kart and share this hobby with my brother, brother-in-law, and father-in-law. It’s fantastic to constantly try to improve your lap time and enjoy the speed. Karting also requires insight and a sense of adjustment, so you can get the most out of yourself and the kart. It’s a fun hobby and a moment of relaxation for myself. Although family life naturally takes priority, it’s also nice to get away occasionally. In the meantime, I maintain both my and my brother’s karts.”