After studying Business Administration in Rotterdam, Robert Jaspers gained experience in several sales and marketing jobs before transitioning into his first procurement role at Bacardi Netherlands – the start of his procurement career. He currently holds the position of Head of Indirect Procurement at McDonald’s Netherlands. With this position came the need for specific strategic procurement development that could take his knowledge and experience to the next level. In the Procurement Leadership Program (PLP), developed in collaboration with Nevi and UMIO, he found the education he needed to improve and further develop his skills on a longer-term and strategic level.
Robert: “When I started looking for a longer course, PLP was the only one that appealed to me. The combination of leadership and procurement, the longer-term focus and the opportunities to brainstorm with and learn from people at my experience level were decisive for me.”
A lot of valuable knowledge in a short time
The combination of factors that won him over is also a big part of the programme’s added value, says Robert: “So far, it has brought me what I had hoped for and more: education at a very high level of quality. There are exceptional teachers in this course who combine theory and practice seamlessly, and you practice with your own practical and real-life examples. This combination of strategic thinking and doing ensures that you can apply the theory in your professional practice the next day. In addition, you can always brainstorm with peers who share your experience level, both during and outside formal educational hours. During coaching sessions, you delve into both business and personal aspects at a profound level. All of that combined makes this such a great educational programme.”
In a short time, he gained immense valuable knowledge that he can apply in practice immediately: “In eight months, I attended six three-day modules, and I really learned a lot from them,” Robert says. Besides some welcome knowledge refreshment of the theory he had already seen in previous courses, he was also offered tools to do his daily work differently – and better – and improve his daily leadership skills.
More efficient and effective through small nuances
Small nuances make the difference in these improvements, he found: “I learnt a lot of small things that, combined, have made me a more efficient and effective leader. We all wrote papers and a thesis based on theory and our own practical problems – which is very intense and a lot of work, but I’ve learnt much more from that than from completing an exam. I can now put the theory and strategy I was taught into practice. I didn’t have that knowledge before, so my Indirect Procurement department’s long-term vision became of a much higher quality than it was.”
As a result of his participation in the course, Robert executes his work differently now: “I am calmer, take more distance, no longer dive straight into solutions and analyse before I act,” he explains. “It’s changes like that that truly excite me about this programme and my progress.”
Taken care of to the last detail
The programme’s practical aspects are also noteworthy strengths, Robert believes. “The face-to-face education days are always taken care of to perfection; we all are pampered on those days. Education days take place in a great location in Maastricht, Tapijnkazerne is a beautiful and inspiring environment. And, let me be honest: it’s simply a lot of fun to go to Maastricht for three days a month. To learn with your fellow students during the day, and have a bite to eat and a drink with them in the evening. For me, the combination of all those things makes me feel very happy about following this programme.”