DISCOVER Magazine #6

Meredith Dijkstra

Published in category: People
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PRODUCT PORTFOLIO MANAGER, DAMEN SHIPYARDS GORINCHEM

35 years old
Married to Jan and mother of Twan and Pippin (8)
Thinks: the feeling of ‘we’ at Damen is unique
Chooses: any vessel with a Sea Axe design as her favourite

“I’m crazy about boats – and that’s because of my grandfather. He took me to see the Port of Rotterdam a lot when I was a child. We were often lucky enough to go on board and have a look around – the fact that we were a curious little girl and a friendly old man probably made it easier. Through my eyes, all ships were large and impressive. And that is a feeling that never went away – I decided to study naval architecture and started working for Damen more than ten years ago.

‘Far too big’. That was my first thought when I started at the company, although at that time there were only around 600 of us. In the meantime, Damen has grown even bigger and I have completely reversed my opinion. It’s the feeling of ‘we’ that makes working here so special. It is like a family. As Product Portfolio Manager I am responsible for the standard ship types below 24 metres LPP. This comprises the design, standardisation and detailing, but not for the Yard Numbers themselves – for which the Project Managers are responsible.

However, when a new ship type in my portfolio is developed, I am very much involved in the ‘first of series’ Yard Number.

It is a dynamic position as I am involved in the entire process as well as working together with many different people. It’s a great feeling when the whole team embarks on a new project that culminates months later with the launch of a new ship type and a happy customer.

My home life at weekends and during the holidays is just like my job: energetic and adventurous. I am a mother of two boys. They are identical twins who love sports and getting out and about – skiing or camping are their favourites. Although we regularly go to the theatre as well – it’s wonderful to see how children can get so involved with the story. I also love baking cakes and cooking with all the family – our door is always open to family and friends. Approachability and teamwork play a huge role, both at home and at work.”

Dear reader, please note that position titles and job functions of Damen employees contributing to these articles is subject to change and description in this archive may, therefore become dated.

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