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For the final phase of her talent program, Loes Pluymen has been stationed at DSM Biomedical in Exton, Pennsylvania (US). She is one of the six ORMIT’ers that follow the Incompany program at DSM.

For the final phase of her talent program, Loes Pluymen has been stationed at DSM Biomedical in Exton, Pennsylvania (US). She is one of the six ORMIT’ers that follow the Incompany program at DSM.

How did you end up in the tracks of this program?
I had just started my first job at First Consulting, when a recruiter of ORMIT approached me on LinkedIn. I already knew ORMIT from a workshop that I had followed earlier. The offer immediately sounded good.

How did you experience the selection process – or should I say: How did you survive the selection process?
I was immediately enthusiastic, especially because of the learning curve that was explained to me. The fact that you do three assignments at different departments in combination with the extensive coaching and training program was very appealing to me. After the first interview round I did not yet have a clear view of ORMIT. But after the assessment day I was completely convinced! I thought: “If I won’t get this position, at least I have had a very nice day.”

What exactly did convince you?
“It was an intensive day with a presentation about myself, an interview with a psychologist, and several roleplays with actors. The whole day we were busy dealing with the question: How do I work, how do I respond in certain situations and how can I optimize this? As the feedback was so personal, it was very valuable to me. To me, the ambiance within ORMIT created a pleasant feeling. I spoke to gentle people, and it felt like being at home in the beautiful building with the cozy décor. The day after, I was full of stories of my experiences. Also, I had a clear view of what the training program of ORMIT would consist of. For me, this combination made my choice for ORMIT clear.”

What was your perspective on DSM?
“Very scientifically oriented with a broad scope. The biomedical divisions had my special interest, because I have studied biomedical engineering.”

Contributing to the success of innovations is one of the goals of the program. How do you experience this in your role?
“Well, I read the profile of the ideal candidate and I thought: ‘This person does not exist!’. And then, I had passed the selection procedure. This gives me a lot of confidence of course. DSM is a huge company where a lot of research has been conducted. In this role, I indeed contribute to innovative projects, because I have the opportunity to connect inventions and people. This energizes me!”

How do you experience the culture within DSM?
“Open, helpful, a safe environment in which I dare to say everything. To be more assertive is my largest point of improvement. Sometimes I am too expectant, that was also something that came up in the trainings at ORMIT. I have accomplished much more and have really booked results since I have put that overboard. Assertiveness has brought me a lot.”

How have you experienced the assignments?
“As particularly varied. In my second assignment I dove too deep in the content, which resulted in having doubts whether I would be able to finish the assignment. In light of this, I made a planning that was as feasible as possible, which my manager immediately approved. ‘Seems fine to me’, he said. And it succeeded! I have done research to biomedical markets, took in-depth interviews with doctors and surgeons, and tested my ideas with them for a new product. It was really a clearly defined subject, which I could do on my own. Not a job, but rather a project, I would say.”

How do you like working in the United States?
“It is quite different from what I had expected. I thought it would be long days, fear of dismissal, less openness. How different this is! The people are extremely social and very nice to work with. I received my own cubicle, which directly surprised me. Colleagues show genuine interest. In my first week many people came by at my cubicle asking me: ‘Are you new here?’, and “Where are you from?”. Just having conversations about completely nothing is also very normal here, that is something of which I can learn a lot!” (laughing out loud)

Compared to what your perspective was on DSM, how could you describe it nowadays? 
“I am very positive about this company. You should not expect that after the talent program a job is ready and waiting for you. That was something that Herman Wories, Vice President Global Business Incubator of DSM, was very clear about. We will actively search for it ourselves, but we get some help also. For example by making use of a video pitch that will be sent to recruiters within DSM. I am mostly interested in bio-related subjects: Healthcare, agriculture, food. DSM does so much on these areas. Therefore, to me it would be really nice to stay working here after my talent program.”