We had the opportunity to speak with Stan van Ruiten, a General Management Trainee at Eurofins. Eurofins is a company specializing in laboratory testing and scientific services across various industries. With a broad range of expertise, they offer analytical testing, environmental services, pharmaceutical testing, food safety analysis, and more.
Gain insights into Eurofins’ corporate culture, the dynamics of a fast-paced work environment, and discover the valuable aspects of Stan’s traineeship at Eurofins.
What is your name, what is your job function and how long have you been working at Eurofins?
My name is Stan van Ruiten, and I have been a General Management Trainee at Eurofins PROXY Laboratories B.V. in Leiden since September 2022.
What did you do before working at Eurofins?
During high school, I developed an interest in pharmaceuticals, as it fascinated me to be able to contribute to curing diseases, so I shadowed a few classes together with my cousin, who was already a student in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences. Therefore, I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences from Leiden University. Throughout the program, I was trained to be a pharmaceutical researcher, which mainly had a theoretical focus combined with lab practicals. Even though I find the theory incredibly interesting, I noticed that solely doing laboratory work is not as exciting to me.
I further pursued my Master’s degree in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences. The first year included a 9-month research internship at a laboratory at LACDR (Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research), which made me realise that the lab work was too repetitive for me. Therefore I chose to do the Business Studies specialization in the second year of the program. This specialization covered all aspects of business, including an internship. Through an acquaintance, I ended up doing my internship at Cell Signaling Technology (CST), a privately held family company that develops, produces, and sells antibodies, reagents, and various test kits for research into cell signaling pathways that affect health. I joined the EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Asia) marketing team and conducted market research and investigated how research on certain categories of diseases is sponsored in Germany. During this internship, I learned about how things work in the “working world,” which I hadn’t experienced much during my studies. Collaborating with colleagues within my team, as well as with colleagues from other teams such as Sales and Business Development, made me so enthusiastic that I was certain I wanted to pursue the business side of the Biopharma sector.
What is it like to be a General Management Trainee at Eurofins?
Being a General Management Trainee at Eurofins is generally challenging but incredibly educational. One of the most important criteria for my first job was the opportunity to develop myself as a person and as a professional as much as possible. This traineeship offered me the challenge and development opportunities I was looking for. The program lasts for two years, divided into four projects of approximately six months each. The goal for us trainees is to get to know the organization as much as possible, so the projects can vary widely in their subject matter. In my opinion, this is actually a good thing because it allows us to develop ourselves as broadly as possible.
The first project is usually a bit lighter and more self-oriented, involving relatively few responsibilities, which helps us get accustomed to the company, ensuring full onboarding. From the second project onwards, we work on more challenging topics that often have a greater impact on the company. There’s also a good chance of being part of a project team or even leading a small team. In my case, certain matters were considered important enough to overlap projects. This requires a lot of planning and time management, for example. My typical day is quite standard. I arrive at the office, get some coffee, and start working. Usually, I go through my emails calmly and decide whether I need to prepare for a meeting, have a discussion, or simply work on my projects.
What is it like to work at Eurofins?
Eurofins consists of SMBs (Small and Medium-sized Businesses) that were typically started independently years ago, including PROXY, which I am a part of. You can see that the Eurofins culture is present, but the same applies to the culture that existed before PROXY became part of Eurofins. The culture at Eurofins is often performance-oriented, and we work at a high pace to ensure that we provide the best possible service to our customers. Lead tims are crucial, for example. This naturally creates a certain pressure, but I believe it is necessary to perform optimally.
There are also many opportunities for those who take initiative and think outside the box. This makes the traineeship even more interesting, because who knows what the future holds when you develop yourself well. Eurofins has a valuable network that can be beneficial for the rest of your career, but you have to arrange it yourself. A proactive and entrepreneurial attitude is therefore highly encouraged and ultimately rewarded.
What do you wish you had known before starting as a General Management Trainee?
I had a misconception about what traineeships actually entail, and would have liked to know more about this. What I know now for sure is that a traineeship is a full-fledged job with a suitable salary and tremendous development opportunities. At Eurofins, there are many opportunities for growth after the two years as a trainee, either at the location where you do your traineeship or at another Eurofins location.
Can’t wait to get started as a General Management Trainee or do you want to stay up-to-date on other job openings at Eurofins? Connect with Eurofins on Magnet.me via this link and start growing your network!