Ingredients industry meets students

On November 1st, the first Young IFFI Event took place in Utrecht. The goal was the following: getting students of a.o. Van Hall Larenstein, HAS Den Bosch, WUR and Rug in touch with IFFI-members and letting them discuss innovation, purposeful entrepreneurship and generation diversity in the workplace.
’The sweet generation’ is how moderator Aart Bontekoning calls the Millennials in the theatre hall with much fondness. “In the workplace modesty is typical for this generation.” Maybe that’s why that millennials often accept work circumstances that cost a lot of energy. Bontekoning immediately gives the day an interactive start. He orders the audience to stand up and form groups to discuss the question: what gives you energy in your job and what costs you energy? Not every student at the event has working experience, however, the bigger part seems to know quite well what they like and don’t like in the work environment. Number one is the social aspect. An open culture, nice contact with coworkers but also being taken seriously and receiving credit for their contributions, is indicated as an important aspect. Freedom is a very important aspect as well. “Getting the confidence to go about a project in your own way, and consequently see that something is really done with it.
Freedom and support
However, managers can tip the scales with freedom as well, according to the students. Being thrown in at the deep end and not getting any or little guidance, costs a lot of energy. It’s a mistake that’s often made within companies, for example when traineeship mentors are too busy to support the trainee in a proper way. Also, laborious procedures and rules, summarized by Bontekoning as ‘bureaucracy’ is seen as demotivating by the millennials. ‘Bureaucracy is one of the biggest annoyances among all generations. Ways of working have an expiration date, just like food. As soon as that date has passed, you will see that it causes everyone to lose energy. The younger generations can take this even worse than the older generations.
Marketing, innovation, and production
Then it was time for some representatives of the IFFI network to address the audience in order to induce the themes of the day. Ruud Peerbooms from Corbion, Renee Boerefijn from Bunge Loders Croklaan and Marcel Boon from DV Nutrition shared their visions on purposeful entrepreneurship and the translation of that subject to marketing, innovation, and production.
During the afternoon young and old worked together in parallel sessions discussing issues from daily practice. These conversations were input for Aart Bontekoning and his Generation Theatre to make tangible in their role plays.
Source EVMI Magazine

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