A student job at Unilin Group. How does that work?
For several weeks this summer Maarten Heggermont (20) and Menina Boon (20) were colleagues in the Accounts Payable department at Unilin Group in Waregem, Belgium. They had to check and enter invoices, deal with mail and emails, ... A summer job that was right up their alley because Maarten is studying finance and insurance at university college and Menina is pursuing a degree in business science at UGent. Wout De Coninck (19) recently graduated as an electrician. He is so enthusiastic about his experiences as a trainee and working student at Unilin Panels that he is joining the firm on a permanent basis as of 1 September.
Arne Declerck (23) already holds a degree as an industrial engineer and is adding a master’s in business economics. This summer he did three two-week stints as a working student in the product engineering team of Unilin Flooring. Subsequently he will join the same team one day in the week as a working student until December.
First of all, how did you end up with Unilin Group?
Maarten: “Through an employment agency. My sister just started as a Young Graduate in Wielsbeke so I didn’t choose Unilin Group by accident. As a recently graduated commercial engineer she received a number of attractive offers but she chose Unilin Group for their vision and the training and career opportunities. She’s very happy with her choice and that convinced me to work the summer here. And also because I learned to work with SAP here, which is great for my CV.”
Menina: “Also via an employment agency. I already knew the company because relatives of mine are a supplier of Unilin Group and they have an excellent reputation in my network. The job interview went smoothly and they hired me on the spot (laughs). Unilin Group also saved the day when I was looking for a summer job. I’d been looking for a summer job that fits my studies since January but the fact that I officially live in Portugal - my parents have a B&B there - was a stumbling block for potential employers. By the time April rolled around I was starting to panic so I was relieved when the offer from Unilin Group came!”
Wout: “When I was looking to do an internship in my seventh year, relatives of mine who work at Unilin Panels advised me to apply at Unilin. Right away I got an invite for an interview. My internship whetted my appetite so I did two summer jobs there this year. I figured making money beats gaming all the time (laughs).”
Arne: “I had a job interview at the Unilin Group stand at a job fair in Ghent. I also asked them if there were any nice holiday jobs on offer in line with my training as an industrial engineer. It’s a gigantic company and it seemed like the ideal setting for a summer job as an engineer. Two weeks later they phoned me to tell me I was in.”
What did you like about this summer job?
Maarten: “It went great, even though many permanent staff were on holiday and that made it so much harder for the other colleagues to coach us. But if I had a question they were always willing to help. I also had a lot of help from working students who had worked there before. It’s also striking that many working students who had a summer job there before end up being hired here.”
Menina: “It was super cosy. I learned a great deal in a short time and even though I was just a working student they didn’t wait long to give me more responsibilities. For me my summer job was a complete success!”
Wout: “I really enjoy working for Unilin Panels. The work is really interesting and I get along great with my colleagues, many of whom are in their twenties or thirties. As a working student I had the same colleagues as during my internship and that was really nice.”
Arne: “Mainly the fact that the work fit in with my training. The team involved me in everything and I personally got to follow up some smaller and exciting projects.”
How would you feel about coming back?
Maarten: “The atmosphere was great, with friendly colleagues so I’d love to come back!”
Menina: “I’ve already discussed it with my immediate superior and she made it clear I was more than welcome to come back. It’s also nice to have several young colleagues here with the same qualifications. That opens future perspectives!”
Wout: “I was still in my internship when I was offered a permanent position. I accepted this summer and I’m starting on 1 September. I’ll be doing a similar job but the big difference is that I’ll be working in shifts. But I can’t wait to get started!”
Arne: “A job at Unilin Group is definitely an option for the future. Meanwhile I’ve become a bit more familiar with how they work and I know what the job entails. Moreover, it’s a very large company with plenty of opportunities for advancement, which is also an asset. And last but not least there are my wonderful colleagues!”