René Stolk, Zeesluis IJmuiden project controller

“When I started as a Finance trainee in 2012, I had zero experience with technology or safety. On my first day, I underwent a NINA training course in which I learned that I had to spread the NINA philosophy. “That’s nice,” I thought, “but how?”

One of my first projects took me to Vietnam. When a medical clinic was set up there, first I just thought “crikey, that’s expensive!”, until I heard that the next small hospital was a three-hour drive away. Then you understand the need, and you see it differently.

In Brazil, I took a tour on a branch or ship every month with other office workers to assess the safety situation. At first I thought, “who am I to say anything about this?” It is difficult to get over this hesitation. It helped that I always received nuanced feedback when I said something. That helps you grow your self-confidence. Now I never think “there must be a reason for that” if I have doubts about something. Just like I never think anymore “I guess he knows what he’s doing,” when a taxi driver drives with his eyes closed (he had seriously fallen asleep…).

So my question “but how?” has been answered. By seeing it you understand it. The open atmosphere with colleagues has helped me learn to speak up, for my safety and that of others. I regularly get out from behind my desk to do a little tour of the work. This not only helps me to get a better feel for whether my budget is a good fit with the reality, it also makes me feel engaged.”