Their journey at Riverlake
Mitchell van der Hoeven — Barge Shipbroker
Rotterdam — Joined Riverlake in 2021
The path from hotel school to ship broking. Although you can’t count on one hand the number of truck drivers in my family, I never had any aspirations of eventually going into logistics. From the beginning of my teenage years, I knew what I wanted to do: The Hotel School.
What attracted me to this was that I could work with people, offer them the best service I could and that you could put a smile on someone’s face.
Less than a year after my graduation, logistics attracted me much more and I started my first logistics job with a cargo train operator. I soon realised working as a logistics service provider totally matched my character and mindset. I imagined myself working in logistics for a very long time.
I never had to think twice about joining Riverlake. As much as I always said I would never go into logistics, I also said that I wasn’t looking for a new job. Until Riverlake suddenly appeared. I heard through the grapevine that Riverlake was looking for a Barge Operator, so I started reading up on the position and the organisation. What struck me immediately was that Riverlake stands for diversity and is open to ideas and thoughts from all employees. This showed me that it is a very flat organisation, which appealed to me greatly.
The picture that was painted during our first introductory meeting confirmed my thoughts about the organisation and I immediately knew that I wanted to join.
You can add your own twist to any task, and you can really make a difference. I have worked for several large, international organisations and it was common practice there to only carry out your own tasks. Of course, we have our own tasks at Riverlake as well. However, the difference between the two is that at Riverlake, you are involved in everything, and you can really contribute. Colleagues at all levels take you seriously and are even curious about your opinion in certain areas. This makes me feel very appreciated and I enjoy going to work every day.
Teamwork makes the dream work. It may sound cliché, but it’s true and we prove it at Riverlake almost every day. Working with relatively small teams means that you have to be flexible and have an open communication. The short lines of communication and all possible means of communication made available to us make it easy for us to ask for or share information with our headquarters in Geneva. Meeting each other face-to-face on a regular basis strengthens the bonds and makes it feel like one team, despite the distance between the different offices. By being flexible and having a hands-on attitude, Riverlake gives you the chance to see how things work in other positions. In this way, you continue to learn new things and meet new people, which helps you to develop both yourself and the company. You can really put your potential to use in full and the possibilities within the organisation are almost endless.
There is not a day that I am bored or feel that I am doing the same thing again. This is entirely due to the varied and diverse work we do in the Rotterdam operational department. We are in daily contact with international charterers, ship owners and terminals. Connecting the various parties and solving sometimes difficult puzzles keeps your day a motivating challenge. Giving your own creativity the space to express itself allows you to create and discover new opportunities for your relations.