Manager Management & Cost Accounting
"People appreciate it if you know what you're talking about."
After completing his studies in Finance, Tim Koolen applied for roles at various companies in a range of sectors as he attempted to decide where he truly wanted to begin his career. What he discovered is that working in a production environment, with its informal culture and tangible results, is what suited him best. And he has found his home at DAF. "Working in the production sector was not something I initially considered, but DAF is a major international company and seems to offer a wealth of opportunities for people with a financial background. There are roles in the Finance team itself, but also elsewhere, and employees could be based in Eindhoven or could apply for one of the many international opportunities," says Tim.
Tim began his career with DAF as a Financial Analyst. In his opinion, it was the ideal role to start in. He is now a Management & Cost Accounting manager, heading up a group of financial analysts who are passionate about their jobs. "Management Accounting tends to be where you find the new financial talent at DAF. This is where you can get to know DAF and really start your learning curve. We have a strong focus on progress too, and people have the opportunity to showcase their skills and develop their career — by working towards a position as a controller, for example."
Coaching and opportunities
"Personally, I really enjoy coaching young people, perhaps because this is a scenario I have experienced myself. If you have been working on a report and the Finance Director has a question about it, they will just come and talk to you about it directly. "People really appreciate it if you can show that you know what you're talking about."
Get some practical experience
Tim had very little practical experience when he finished his studies. "I believe that it is important to try out roles at different companies. Take up an internship, or find second job in a relevant field. This will help you to work out what sort of organisation you'd like to work for," says Tim. "And choosing a role doesn't mean that you are necessarily tied to that role forever. Here, for example, there are people who have worked in completely different departments or roles."
Complex topics and the role of big data
There is no denying that the sector is experiencing a great deal of change. At DAF, we are also busy trying to make data more transparent to a larger group of people. "There is now a data analytics group, which is helping us to experiment with dynamic reporting," says Tim. "It's true that there is no escaping data when you work in finance, but taking that data and using the latest technologies to help translate it into information for management is very interesting work. I believe that big data is really about to take off in this area."