Young talent | Cisse Mondelaers


Young talent | Cisse Mondelaers

July 03rd '19

You are young and you have dreams in life. Like working at Smulders and growing in all areas. It happened to Cisse Mondelaers when he signed for a job at Willems about three years ago. Under the motto ‘work, admire and laugh’, while also being a young lad, he feels perfectly at home in Balen. Or rather: being a young talent, because he has quite a lot to offer. Let’s get to know each other.

What exactly are your tasks? “I’ve been a Project Engineer for six months, and before that I worked as a Draughtsman for three years. I am currently monitoring the progress of a project at engineering level (drawing office). This means concretely that I have to pass on the lists to order steel in time, ensure that the drawings are on time for work preparation, production and subcontractors, I attend meetings, and also act as a point of contact between customer,
production and management. A very varied and challenging job, I think.” 

How did you end up at Willems? “During my studies ‘Bachelor in Construction’ I wrote a thesis on timber construction in Austria. Quite interesting and I wanted to learn more about special building projects. So I started working as a site manager for housing and apartment construction works, but I soon realised that was not really what I wanted. During my training we had already visited Smulders in Hoboken and it never quite left my mind. I didn’t want to work in the normal construction industry and that’s how I ended up at Willems. I remember Paul Peeters saying during my job interview: “Just remember, this company doesn’t make garden sheds. And that’s what won me over.”

What about your induction period? “They let me start in the workshop itself, a bit like the steel that comes in and is processed. It was a very positive experience for me. You get to know more people in the company and you see the results of your drawings. Also later on at the yard, making the story
complete. As a Draughtsman and then as a Project Engineer, I was always optimally assisted by my colleagues. They taught me a lot, and they will continue to do so for a while. We work as a close-knit team, also with colleagues who change for each project. Everyone has his or her own qualities and we
complement each other.” 

What is your mission and how does it fit in with the group philosophy? “The further along we are in the construction process, the more expensive the overall picture becomes. It is important for everyone to keep a close eye on the budget. The engineering department is involved at a relatively early stage of the process and we try to avoid problems, or solve them early on.That helps. Feedback is key. If we don’t know what’s going wrong or what can be better,
we won’t be able to make adjustments in the future. There is always room for improvement and growth, and that is what both the company and I are aiming to achieve.” 

What do you like most about your work? “I especially like the evolution of a project. On your screen, it all seems small, but in reality, it’s not. The fact that a plate is welded together with other pieces into a larger whole is impressive to me, to finally see the topside rise at sea. That’s just an incredible feeling. And being part of that! What I also enjoy is that in my current job I am more in the middle of a project and more selfconfident in my approach. The hustle and
bustle of the day can also give me positive energy. The fact that it’s not a straightforward path makes it exciting.”

What do you see as your greatest talent? “I’m the youngest in the drawing office. There’s still a long way to go. I’m a go-getter and I like to take on challenges. I also like to think about solutions that are not directly in line with my job, but which our work may also benefit from. That attitude is also
appreciated. But like I said, I like to learn from and listen the tips of all colleagues and managers. I compensate for any work stress with kayak polo, which is a fairly intensive sport.”

And what about your further ambitions? “About six months ago I switched to the position of Project Engineer and I am now working on my first project. In the near future, I want to optimise my own working method first and then we will go from there. The size of the projects doesn’t scare me, so I wouldn’t mind handling bigger projects in the future (although this is not entirely in our hands). And on a private level, I hope to buy my own home soon. Since July 2018 I have been living with my girlfriend in Balen, about 3 km from work. We also decided to have only one car for the both of us, because I can perfectly cycle to work.” 

Why should more young talent choose to work at Smulders? “The list is long. Because of the impressive projects and the good cooperation between
colleagues and departments. The offshore projects are intended for green energy and I think that this sustainable vision is certainly a plus. The company encourages us to live in a more eco-friendly way. There are also career opportunities and other chances on your path. All you have to do is seize them at
the right moment. It’s great to see the pieces we make up close. Also for welders in the workshop and for logistics during transport. Whatever position young people choose, we can all be proud of our work. Serious hard work is done here, but there is also time to admire the result and, above all, to laugh a