Participant's blog: We are not passive beans

November 19, 2014 | 2 min read

Participant Hugo Ouwehand finished the Executive Master of Operations and Supply Chain Excellence and his title is within reach. What has changed since he started?

I must have been thirteen years old when I read my first books by Dutch author Thea Beckman. “Crusade in Jeans” (Kruistocht in spijkerbroek) and the trilogy set in France during the Hundred Years’ War from 1337 to 1453. The last volume of this trilogy is called “Wheel of Fortune” (Het rad van fortuin) and in it, life’s ups and downs are explained.

Robert, the self-proclaimed hero of the story and about twelve years old, tells us that life is a wheel, it keeps on moving. On this wheel, small beans can be placed, representing people. Now if the wheel turns, sometimes your bean is all the way up, sometimes it is on the very bottom. The good thing is that when you’re placed at the bottom of the wheel, your fortune will improve no matter what direction the wheel turns to.

In my earlier blogs, I wrote about being jobless, living in a caravan. One could say my bean was at its lowest point when I decided to enlist for MOS-2 at TIAS. I was not comfortable in my job, had no real opportunities to switch employers, and the one time an opportunity did present itself, I managed to make such an unhappy impression that the half chance I had was gone in the blink of an eye…

The luxury position of having options

But here I am now, graduated although not given the title yet. I applied for one job by sending in my CV and motivation letter, and received an invitation to present myself. Through my network, I have been introduced to a multinational who offered me a challenging job as Supply Chain Manager. My former employer contacted me to ask if I would be available because a job opening presented itself. An offer is being prepared. And I received a call from a UK based company asking me to discuss a position as Production Manager in their food processing facility. Now I find myself in the luxury position of having options, and I have a hard time making the right decision. My bean is right on the top of the wheel!

And it has everything to do with the studies. You see, unlike 12-year old Robert, I do not believe we are passive beans. I am convinced we can change the direction and speed of the wheel itself. By plunging in the deep end, by improving ourselves through learning, by creating a positive vibe, by accepting a challenge and succeeding.

By enlisting at TIAS and graduating.



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