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Our leaders of tomorrow

Our Management Trainee programme helps us secure the best talent for the future. It’s a stepping stone for people with management potential to become our leaders of tomorrow. Here, we hear from management trainee Michelle Engelen.

Why did you choose Renewi’s Management Trainee programme?

I chose Renewi for the very open working culture. Everyone is helpful and the value ‘together’ is evident in the way staff collaborate to help constantly improve and put forward new ideas. Staff are committed to their jobs, whether that be an HR colleague or a driver. Renewi is also a very practical, hands-on company. This matches my personal working style. I really think Renewi is genuinely trying to create a better, greener world while treating their employees well. The company wants to make a positive impact – for me, that is the main reason why I joined and wish to stay at Renewi.

Tell us about your journey on the Renewi Management Trainee programme

IIt is a two-year programme which I started in January 2022, just before I graduated. I have an International Business Administration Bachelors from Tiburg University and an International Management Masters too. The programme involves completing four assignments, and my first was focused on optimising the Green Collective initiative. This is a joint venture between PreZero and Renewi, aimed at helping make cities cleaner and safer by reducing truck traffic. I was asked to evaluate the initiative.

My second assignment was for our sales department at Commercial Waste NL. It involved research to identify ways to reduce administrative workload in the sales department. The development of a training programme for Renewi’s account managers selling our Mission75 to clients. I focused on Rotterdam as a pilot area for both assignments. I am now working on my third assignment in our Mineralz & Water Division in Tisselt, Belgium. Following the installation of new waste separation technology, my task is to look at the process and identify improvements. This is also my assignment for my ‘green belt’, which is something all trainees must acquire during their traineeship. My fourth and final assignment will be for the Group.

What do you hope to gain from your final assignment?

It will require me to use more strategic, analytical thinking. I’ll focus on developing a new business plan rather than improving an existing one, and then develop it and possibly execute it too. It will involve collaborating with a team, which I’m really looking forward to.

What would your ideal role at Renewi be after you have completed the programme?

If had to choose right now, I think it would be a role within our innovation or sustainability department – I really like the interaction between our operation and the office. I joined Renewi to help make a positive impact and because of the focus on the circular economy, sustainability and innovation. Being able to combine these in some way would be great.

Has the programme met your expectations?

Absolutely. I asked if my assignments could be linked to our mission or to sustainability and all of them are, which links to my personal values and ambitions.

How have you grown professionally and personally in the last 18 months at Renewi?

Project and stakeholder management and working with others have been areas of growth. This is valuable experience as most of my assignments focus on improving ways of working. I have learned how to collaborate and the importance of an environment where you and your coworkers can function optimally by setting expectations, goals, working methods, working ethos and communication rules, in order to achieve the best result. I now have a good knowledge of the company, with its many different departments and activities. This is incredibly valuable, given the size of the company.