Alex van Ommen
Field Service Engineer, Damen Shipyards Gorinchem, The Netherlands – 30 years
“My flight was booked on a Thursday, and two days later I sat on a plane on my way to Cape Town for an internship at Damen. My main responsibilities were in the areas of engineering and project planning. During that time, I was also in my final year of my studies in Shipbuilding. It was my teacher who told me to contact Damen, and as my father went on a lot of business trips I was always intrigued by this. When Damen offered me this opportunity I was very grateful. I worked in Cape Town for half a year, and it was a great experience that sometimes felt more like a vacation than an internship. For a period of six months I only spoke English, which definitely helped me to obtain my current job. In addition, I got to know myself more and to gain work experience in an international environment.”
“The internship in Cape Town was the beginning of my international career at Damen. If I had been given the chance I would have definitely stayed there, because of the huge amount of fun I had. Unfortunately this wasn’t possible, and instead Damen offered me a traineeship in Vietnam. I didn’t have to think about my decision for a second. During my work in Vietnam I got involved with the commissioning of ships. I proved myself useful in this area, and eventually I got a job as Field Service Engineer. Currently, I reside abroad about 250 days a year, depending on where I’m needed. I travel all around the world for work.”
“Right from the beginning I felt that I was a part of the company. Of course, I had to find my own way in new surroundings, especially considering that the internship wasn’t directly linked to my profile. Fortunately, Damen gave me the opportunity to explore several options and eventually let me decide what path was the most suitable for me. You will get thrown in at the deep end, but eventually you will be able to figure it out on your own.”
“Damen is a good employer, and I enjoy my current position within the company, which offers me a lot of freedom. Naturally, I also have a fixed workload, but most of the time I can manage and subdivide the work in the ways I want to. This gives me freedom to explore. In spite of its growth, the company has also kept a personal approach. It is a great company with even greater products. What’s my favorite Damen ship? The Stan Patrol 5009. The impressive exterior of this ship always works well in photos!”
Fortunately, Damen gave me the opportunity to explore several options and eventually let me decide what path was the most suitable for me.