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Sharing experiences all over the world

Passing on your experience, offering younger colleagues valuable advice, helping them overcome their doubts and insecurities - these are just a few of the goals of TMC’s mentorship program. But, as Employeneur Frederic Ackx emphasizes, ‘Being a mentor is not a one-way relationship, nor is it a hierarchy. It’s very dynamic and easy-going. Of course it’s about helping each other, but it’s also about having fun together: at the office, through video conversations, and sometimes, as in the case of Jonas Agten and me, on the other side of the world.’

Frederic and Jonas both work for Field Service. Frederic has been at TMC for five years now, and Jonas for two and a half years. Besides their line of work and their nationality (Belgian), they also share a passion for traveling: they want to see as much of the world as they can, and nothing fires their curiosity and work drive like a project in a foreign country. Soon, the two adventurous Employeneurs became close friends. When Jonas heard about the mentorship program, he didn’t have to think twice about who would be the best person to guide him.

‘Jonas and I sort of followed the same paths in our studies and our careers,’ Frederic explains. ‘We both graduated in Electromechanics, and we both started working at TMC right after our studies.’ Frederic recognized something else in Jonas too: ‘The same eagerness. The desire to keep on developing yourself, to constantly move forward - and the self-criticism that comes along with such a strong ambition. Am I on the right track? Did I make the right decisions? In what ways can I improve myself? Together, we look for answers to questions like these. We talk to each other at least once every two weeks – preferably in person, but if that’s not possible, we plan a video call.’

'It’s also about having fun together: at the office, through video conversations, and sometimes, as in the case of Jonas Agten and me, on the other side of the world.’

Earlier this year, when Frederic was working on an Amazon project in Paris, he invited Jonas and two other Employeneurs to visit him. He gave them a tour of the project, and the four Employeneurs enjoyed the city afterwards. Later on, when Frederic and Jonas were both working in Australia at the same time, it was obvious they couldn’t let the opportunity for another meeting go by. There was, however, the matter of the distance: Jonas was working as Service Engineer/Supervisor for Weir Minerals in Brisbane, and Frederic as Site Supervisor for Vanderlande, near Melbourne. The distance between the two cities is notably larger than the one between, say, Paris and Eindhoven. 

‘Luckily, TMC were as enthusiastic as we were about the unique opportunity to meet on the other side of the world, and the company was kind enough to finance Jonas’ flight.’ After Frederic had picked up Jonas from the airport, not only did he take him to the Vanderlande site he’d been working on, but also to another large site, the scale of which impressed and inspired them both.

At the weekend, the two Employeneurs found an opportunity to properly explore Melbourne. ‘We went out for drinks and shared our experiences over a great dinner. The next day we went to a nature reserve close by and had a barbecue on the beach. All in all, it was a great meeting - Jonas and I both adhere to the motto ‘work hard, play hard.’ We’re very glad TMC does too, and that they offered us the opportunity to put the motto into practice!’

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