Thijs van Leest is a Key Account Manager at our Perrigo Rotterdam Location! Thijs joined the Perrigo Family in the midst of the Global Pandemic in June 2020. Below he shares with us his experience of joining our Company!
What is your background and experience, tell us about you! After my Business Administration study at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam I decided to look for a job within the Fast Moving Consumer Goods Industry. I joined a large distributor mostly active within the Food Categories. As a Key Account Manager I was responsible for several top brands across a range of prominent Dutch retail clients. After 11 years, I had the feeling that it would be good for my own personal development to take on a new challenge if the right opportunity arose. After a few months, I received a message from my network about an interesting role at Perrigo. This position had a focus on the further development of Perrigo's impressive brands on the Dutch retail channel! 10 months later and here I am working at Perrigo - I'm very happy with the choice I’ve made!
What attracted you to join Perrigo? After receiving the first message regarding the opportunity at Perrigo I set about deepening my knowledge of the company and the brands. The diversity and the leading positions of the brands really appealed to me. Besides that, it was apparent that this global company had a very clear strategy and a focus to make the lives of the worldwide consumers better with their high-quality products. This really struck me and it made me very curious! I was also happy to hear about the diverse group of people and intensive collaboration between the different departments within Perrigo.
What made you think the role with Perrigo ticked more boxes than roles in other companies? During my job application the COVID pandemic had started and therefore the interviews were digital based. Even digitally, I gained a strong sense of the positive vibe and culture - all the people I spoke to were truly enthusiastic about the company and their roles! Although it was a very strange setting for all of us, I instantly felt a “click” with the people I spoke to. I found them to be true, honest, and very approachable people. This is something that has carried through and is visible within the flat Dutch organisation!
What were you most excited about before you joined us?
After 11 years working for one company I was very eager to meet my new colleagues and to learn from them. Of course, I was also very curious whether the ideas and knowledge I had gained were also applicable for the Perrigo business setting. I would be dealing with different products, new people, and other business dimensions. I was very excited about it all!
What has surprised you (about the job) in the first 30 days? The first 30 days were really intensive and I wanted to showcase the best side of myself! I met with a lot of people and received a lot of information! Everyone in the organisation was, and is, very supportive. If I have a question, I can simply call the person - it has been so straightforward! It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Marketing Assistant or the Marketing Director - they all treat you as a good friend with a lot of respect, even though I haven’t seen many of them in real-life yet!
How have you found the experience starting directly from home? When I decided to go for this opportunity, I knew the onboarding would be different. I could not have imagined though that after 10 months I would still be working remotely and yet to have met most of my colleagues face-to-face. It’s not an ideal situation but the Perrigo organisation has been perfectly capable in providing me a positive onboarding experience. The equipment provided and the sharing of information by new colleagues, who did their best to provide me with a positive onboarding experience despite all the COVID measures, was really amazing and more than sufficient!
What has been your highlight so far since joining? In my previous job I was mainly responsible for sales as an Account Manager. At Perrigo, I’m still an Account Manager but this organisation offers more diverse opportunities. One of the highlights so far has been working with my CSI colleagues to develop new planograms for one of my bigger clients. I was intensely involved and really enjoyed this project. Working together with my colleagues, expanding my own knowledge, and helping my customers with big challenges has given me a boost of real positive energy!
Why would you recommend Perrigo to other potential joiners? I would say that Perrigo is an ideal melting pot to join. We are a diverse organisation made up of experienced and highly educated people in various professions! Our aim is to continuously make the organisation and all the brands we sell better! As a group we take our responsibilities seriously; all with a clear vision to provide the Dutch consumer with high-quality and affordable self-care products. Another great thing about Perrigo is that as an employer they also take their responsibility very seriously. During the COVID pandemic, our Management Team were compassionate and understood the challenges a lot of us had with working from home - including Home Schooling! The work-life balance was placed as the main priority, something which I found very special and which I appreciated hugely. The last thing I want to mention are the career progression opportunities. Since joining, I have discovered that lot of my new colleagues have worked in various different positions at Perrigo. If you want to explore your interests, Perrigo is always open to possibilities which serve the company and the employee.
What is your favourite thing to do outside of work? During the pandemic I found it very nice to flee my home office and my three small kids once in a while 😉. I’ve started running more often, resulting in ½ marathon in January (on my own). Today I’m even flirting with the idea of running a full marathon in 2021 but I’m not 100% sure about that. Due to COVID, travelling and playing football are not possible but I hope to pick this up when the society reopens!
We are always looking for passionate, dedicated people to join our teams at Perrigo. Take your next career step today and check out our live vacancies!