“None of us knew what to expect,” says Patrick Bollen (26). “There were 23 of us starting the traineeship, mostly technical, some financial people. Our first courses were on personal development and safety, then after 3 weeks we were sent on our first assignments.”
His first assignment as a Trainee Superintendent was a land reclamation project in Panama. Patrick, a Built Environment graduate, was fascinated. “A new port was being built, requiring dredging and the use of a spray-pontoon to create new land. I worked on whatever was needed: daily reporting, forward planning, organizing additional equipment, going along on a vibro-core campaign to drill samples and possibly find sand.” The vast scale of our projects is what attracted Patrick to Boskalis initially. “It’s very impressive,” he says. “I took screen shots of the project site in Panama before and after the project was finished – it’s amazing! You can really see the difference we make.”
Getting a head start on an international career: Dredging.
Subsequently, Patrick was assigned to the Project Support department in Papendrecht, learning about the different aspects of dredging: “We did weekly analyses of equipment on projects, learned about production values and how to interpret data – everything about dredging.”
Patrick’s next assignment was a project based in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, to deepen and widen an 80 km long channel between Argentina and Uruguay. “It was complex and challenging, because of adverse weather conditions and the soil type shifted from sand, clay, silt and rock throughout the channel,” he explains. Having gained experience now, Patrick feels he can integrate what he learned in Papendrecht, and really contribute.
“I tell students at my old Uni about my experience – like me, they didn’t realize dredging was part of civil engineering, so they’re very interested,” says Patrick. “You need to be flexible and open-minded. But if you’re looking for adventure, and you want to improve on a personal and professional level, I honestly don’t think there’s another company who offers a comparable traineeship.”
Do you want to know more about the Boskalis Traineeship? Please contact Yvette van Leijsen, Campus Recruiter, via +31 (0)78 696 8570 or read more about the Boskalis Traineeship.