“Combination of hard work and chatter”

2 January 2019 Nathalie Joosten reports to the counter at Vetipak, about to begin her first day of work. The only problem is, the colleague who was going to show her the ropes is on vacation. And HR colleague Jeanne is right in the middle of ‘pay week’, which everyone at Vetipak knows is absolutely hectic. Unfortunately, after giving Nathalie a heartfelt New Year's greeting, Jeanne really has to excuse herself and get back to work.


What next? Who can Nathalie turn to? And where is her workplace, actually? Fortunately, a solution soon presents itself. Arno advises Nathalie to go and watch the production process for the first few days. Shortly afterwards, she finds herself among an international group of production workers. Filling, gluing, sealing – she immediately becomes immersed in Vetipak's core business.


Hans returns from his vacation the following week. He inquires about Nathalie's baptism of fire and invites her on a tour of the branches. Veghel, Breda, Zeewolde... as they visit the Vetipak factories together, Nathalie gets to know the company better and better. She is right at home in a hectic, energetic environment, and to this day is an enthusiastic jack-of-all-trades. Sit still? No thanks! 


Settling in

“It took some getting used to, though,” says Nathalie, reflecting on her first few weeks. “But I also learnt a lot. In fact, if I’d had my way I could have happily spent a week in production rather than just a few days. You get to know a lot of people, and they get to know you. That’s really helpful if you have an office position, because it makes you accessible and approachable right from the start. It’s now a tradition for every new office colleague to first spend some time in production.”


Being part of a company

When Nathalie joined Vetipak, she brought with her a wealth of experience as an HR/salary consultant, including with an accounting firm. “I worked there mainly for external customers,” she says. “While at the same time I wanted to be part of a company in which I could be committed to both the employer and the employees.” 


“I was keen to commit myself to both 
the employer and the employees”


Odd person out

When she first started at Vetipak, Nathalie felt a little like the odd person out as the colleague from a city above the rivers (Wageningen) among all the ‘Brabantians’. “Fortunately, I now understand the dialect quite well, but it was different in the early days. Sometimes I hadn’t the faintest idea what they were talking about...”


Brabant culture

Despite this, Nathalie immediately felt at home in what she describes as ‘Brabant culture’. “‘Brabantians love hard work, but they certainly also love their chatter. What I really love about this place is that you can just be yourself. And you can develop yourself too, because there are abundant opportunities for growth. If you want, you can pretty much control the direction your career takes and achieve your ambitions. There are plenty of stories about production workers who have advanced to shift supervisor or Customer Support Assistant, for example.”


Nathalie Joosten at Vetipak

“At Vetipak, you can pretty much control the direction 
your career takes and achieve your ambitions.”

Nathalie Joosten | HR Adviseur


Enjoying work

Similarly, Nathalie also has clear ambitions. “I need to be challenged in order to enjoy my work. If you put me in an organization that runs smoothly all the time and you can just go with the flow, I get bored. For example, one of my goals is to raise Vetipak’s profile even more as an attractive employer.”


Vetipak feels like coming home

Nathalie has a clear reason for that goal: as it turns out, the things that happen at Vetipak are not at all clear from the outside. “But those who join us are often excited about being here right away. I’ve had this same experience myself. I knew very little about the company beforehand, but within the first few weeks I felt it already in this company and among these colleagues: Vetipak feels like coming home.” 


Great HR team

And what does the future hold? As far as Nathalie is concerned, her future is with Vetipak. “Absolutely one hundred percent – I’m in a great place here. Our team has recently grown to three HR staff instead of two, and we are all on the same page. We want to continue to build the department within Vetipak together. So we’ve plenty of challenges ahead of us!”


Curious about the other stories from this anniversary series? >