Interview with Mila

From intern to permanent employee: SILS welcomes young talents with open arms

28 January 2022

SILS not only welcomes new employees, but also trainees. With their fresh insights from their education, they can help SILS move forward with new insights. Take for example Mila Visser. She started as an intern, is currently completing her graduation internship at SILS and is so enthusiastic (and SILS about her!), that she will also work with us for a few days starting from March. Mila also advises other young people to consider working at SILS: “If you’re open to it, it’s great fun at SILS. They are very easy to discuss with you about what suits you and what fits you. At the moment I am involved half the time with work at working on my research the other half the time.”

Mila is 22 years old and studies International Business at Windesheim in Zwolle: “I am in my last year, and I was allowed to do my graduation internship at SILS. An ideal combination, because in addition to the opportunity to complete my graduation research here, I also immediately gain work experience. The latter was a big wish of mine.”

Focus on the Customer Service department

Mila, together with SILS, agreed on the graduation topic: “I record all processes of the Customer Service department and research them. From order intake and internal processing to the actual processing in our warehouse and the final shipment. The approach? What are hurdles and what can be done more efficiently? But also: what is already going well, and how can we keep it that way? I link work instructions and clarifying flow charts to this. This is not only transparent for current employees, but also useful when we welcome new colleagues and want to familiarize them with our processes.” One positive point for improvement is the internal communication: “It’s getting better and better now. The approach of SILS is: what is good can always be improved. From that perspective, for example, we pay extra attention to internal communication.”

Excellent input for WMS

SILS has its own Warehouse Management System (WMS). Mila: “This makes SILS very flexible and SILS is constantly adding (new) functionalities. We do this based on the wishes of customers and/or users. I also provide input for this from my work. In order to make optimal use of our WMS and to feed it with the right data, we can make good use of the results of my inventory of the processes and procedures in the Customer Service department. I have now completed all work instructions and flow charts. Together with a colleague, I am making an inventory of which improvements we want to implement in our system based on those process analyses.”

From internship to job

Mila hopes to complete her studies by the summer: “I like it very much here. I spend half of my five-day working week on my research assignment and the other half I already contribute to the Customer Service department. It is great that I can already manage a few customers, super challenging. In the beginning I watched and learned a lot and now I can do it myself. I like that very much, the Customer Service department is a very nice, collegial team and I really like the atmosphere within SILS. From the end of February, I still have school two days a week and I will continue to work at SILS for three days.” Mila is the youngest in the Customer Service department: “All colleagues are very social, and I can contact them with all my questions. They don’t make me feel like I’m the youngest in the group.”

Further development in logistics

Within her International Business study, Mila discovered the aspect of logistics as something that appeals to her enormously: “It also helps that I can work at SILS and gain concrete experience. Those experiences were so good that I like to develop myself further in logistics. It is, of course, a bit challenging in the beginning. I work behind a computer, make decisions for clients, and then press digital buttons. With this I initiate logistical movements that you do not literally see in front of you. That is why it is so good that SILS allows new employees to spend a week in their warehouse. Such as actually picking orders, packing them and then sending them. There you literally see what logistics is all about and you get a clear picture of all physical movements that we literally set in motion from the Customer Service department via our computer keyboard.”

Sharing with peers

Mila likes to share her experiences at SILS with her group of friends: “I also know a few friends who work at a logistics company. We discuss our experiences and impressions with each other and then you notice that every logistics company does it completely in its own way.” Mila’s generation views working after their studies very differently: “I have friends who work part-time and, for example, have their own business. You see that a lot. Also, I have friends who work full time, one works full time in the office and the other in a mix of working from home and going to the office. In my generation you see a lot of differences in this, and it also matters per person and which study you have done. In general, I notice in my generation that young people first work full-time for a while and then make targeted choices. At SILS I see that they are open to all kinds of ways of working together.”

Constantly developing

Mila knows that SILS likes to encourage its employees to continue to develop. SILS provides support for this and invites employees to come up with their own suggestions. How does Mila feel about that? “I am by nature a person who likes to learn new things and constantly develop. So that culture suits me. For example, I can now see how things work on our on-boarding team. They focus on integrating new customers and their processes into our organization, which is very instructive. In addition, as I said, I have a few customers that I can service. So, for now I have very varied work. Our entire Customer Service team has also received communication training. And soon we will participate in a competency training at SILS. In that respect, SILS offers you all kinds of things and it is up to you to join in.”

Active with soccer

Mila is originally from Vaassen, lived in Zwolle before her studies and now in Apeldoorn: “I play soccer in Vaassen and recently became a board member, which is also very instructive. My position on the field? Last player! There is a connection with my work: Playing the ball and then distributing it as best as possible within your team! I am also happy with the standard student activities such as having a drink together or shopping with friends.” Mila has been relatively unaffected by corona: “I worked before SILS in the catering industry and with the switch to takeout, that work went on reasonably well. I saw colleagues and every day I was out for a while. We were also allowed to continue working out outside for a long time. And with due observance of the corona rules, I was able to work in the office at SILS.”

Easily accessible to new colleagues

Finally, Mila likes to recommend SILS to other young people who are looking for a great career after their studies: “If you’re open to it, it’s great fun at SILS. They are easy to discuss together with you what suits you and what fits you. You will receive guidance in this and after your choice SILS will familiarize you with it. You sit next to an experienced colleague, can observe and ask questions. I really like that low-key approach. Many colleagues started here without any logistics experience and knowledge in logistics. SILS is actually open to that: come and try if it is something for you, that is the mindset of SILS. I think this appeals to a lot of young people.”