How did you get to know Ontex?
Suzanne: I got to know Ontex during one of the career fairs where the company was present. It was a nice occasion to talk to a current graduate and an HR representative to get a bit more information about Ontex. But the real “get to know the company” for me happened at the wine tasting event that Human Resources and the global graduates organize every year where I was able to meet people from the business in an informal setting.
Josephine: I fully agree with Suzanne. The wine tasting event was a great opportunity to get to know the company. I knew Ontex before as a leading diaper manufacturer, but it was only via an advertisement on Facebook that I heard about this program. I decided to attend the wine tasting event during which I learned about Ontex’s own brands, talked to experienced people from the business, and saw what the PRIDE values stand for.
What was your first impression of Ontex?
Suzanne: Everyone is very open and the company culture is really pleasant. Colleagues appreciate each other’s ideas and input, and it is easy to reach out to other departments to get feedback on a specific topic and ask them anything.
Why did you choose this graduate program? What triggered you to apply?
Suzanne: The main reason the Ontex global graduate program is the right fit for me is that it is not tailored to the specific needs of marketeers, engineers or any other speciality. It really allows you to step out of your comfort zone and to explore different roles within Ontex. Since I had not really made up my mind about what I wanted to do in my career, this program is perfect as I get to explore different departments without any obligations. I was also always interested in pursuing an international career: there are not many graduate programs that give you the opportunity to work abroad for six months.
Josephine: In addition to that, I was very attracted to the hygiene sector. Ontex’s healthcare department, which offers incontinence products, sparked my interest and I wanted to learn more.
What did you think of the application process?
Josephine: It was really fun as it consisted of different creative steps with a personal touch!
Suzanne: I confirm the fun experience, but it was of course not easy! What I especially liked was the open and quick communication. And not to forget, the valuable feedback we received afterwards.
You already mentioned that you enjoyed the wine tasting. What made it so great?
Josephine: It was a very relaxed and fun event and a great opportunity to get to know Ontex in an informal way. Besides the current graduates, there were also people from the business, allowing us to learn more about the company’s culture. We attended different workshops, zooming in on different aspects of the graduate program, as well as Ontex as a whole. There were also workshops highlighting different departments to give us a glance of the way they work. It was impressive to see how passionate and open the people from Ontex were with us.
What made you attend the wine tasting?
Josephine: When the wine tasting event took place, I was in the middle of my application process. Although I was already very excited about the program, it was a great occasion to meet some people from, and gain insights into, Ontex.
Suzanne: I was at a career fair where I met Abhi, one of the Ontex representatives that day, who’s also a global graduate. He suggested I attend the wine tasting to broaden my knowledge of Ontex.
Looking back, we’re glad we attended the event! The open culture, atmosphere and the fact that people within the company really took the time to sit together and talk with us felt very welcoming.
How are your first months going at Ontex?
Suzanne: Great. Last September, I joined the Little Big Change team, which is a rather new team focusing on the e-commerce market, selling baby diapers solely via a subscription model. I was responsible for the portfolio expansion of the brand and got a lot of opportunities and freedom to make decisions.
Josephine: We are now finishing our first assignment at the HQ in Aalst. It has been five great months, in which I learned a lot! I had the opportunity to work on an innovative project across different departments, so I was lucky to meet many people within the company. But every end is a new beginning and I’m looking forward to my next assignment: one month in Buggenhout, Belgium, one of our 18 production facilities worldwide.
What have you learned so far?
Josephine: Since I had to work with different people in various departments, I learned to be flexible and my communication skills improved a lot. I love working in team, being able to share ideas and trying to find the best possible solution. After spending one month at the Buggenhout plant, my assignment abroad will be in Brazil, working in Business Intelligence. This is quite challenging for me since I don’t really have a background in this field, but I can’t wait to develop my skills during this project and hopefully become an expert in the topic 😉.
Suzanne: I can only agree with Josephine. Working in a company is so different to working on a project at university. You learn to be flexible and independent while still being able to rely on a team who will support you during all the different steps in a process.