Testimonials

In the last three decades 416 talented young professionals and over 200 international companies have benefited from their association with the Prince Albert Fund.  Find out how the Fund has contributed to their personal career development and international business expansion, as they share with us their experiences below.

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Pieter-Jan Baert - Participant 2013-2015

"The Prince Albert Fund project gave me the opportunity to demonstrate my attitudes and mindset for approaching challenges to a potential employer."

Role

Pieter-Jan Baert immersed himself in Indian business culture for Umicore, which provided him with excellent opportunities in different professional areas, such as a Zinc Oxide production unit in Goa, and a new Automotive Catalysis business unit in Mumbai and Pune.

Responsibilities

The first part of Pieter-Jan’s mission consisted of reviewing and improving he financial reporting structures for a business unit. After that, he worked together with the finance manager to develop the new Automotive Catalysis plant, the goal being to set up finance, planning and support the implementation.

Working in India was challenging on several levels as Pieter-Jan was used to a business environment that believes in strict planning and tight deadlines. In this country, projects are rarely completed as expected within the timeframe. Added to this, the local bureaucracy is also immense and slow. Nevertheless, Pieter-Jan found ways to tackle these challenges with the help of his Indian colleagues. He also learned how to increase the time spent on follow-up as well as on the detailed description of the requests.

How he benefited

Pieter-Jan learned to understand the expectations of business partners in a foreign environment, as well as the challenges and uncertainties that are specific to a start-up business. His Indian experience dramatically increased his chances of continuing to be able to tackle international assignments, which are typically only allocated to managers with a longer track record. Umicore hired him at the end of his year-long Prince Albert Fund training. “Respect and commitment are key values of Umicore. I feel very proud to be part of this company today, while the Prince Albert Fund experience has strengthened my application of those values in the professional environment.”

The company – Umicore

Umicore is a global materials technology and recycling group, with more than 10,000 employees worldwide (2015). The Group dedicates most of its R&Defforts to clean technologies, such as emission control catalysts, materials for rechargeable batteries and recycling. Umicore has a long tradition of working with the Prince Albert Fund.

“Pieter-Jan is fast when it comes to understanding the goals and priorities and gives a valuable contribution. He is good with figures, and we are even more impressed with his ability to develop new models.He received a contract to continue to work on some important follow-up actions, which proves that hemade an important contribution to this mission.”

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