"I choose my own direction for my career: to develop products that help people"

Jouke - entrepreneurial by nature
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From a young age, Jouke has taken his own course, fueled by a natural interest for new experiences that broaden his horizons. As Global Market Development Lead at FrieslandCampina, he is thrilled to have the opportunity to carry out many different projects. This helps him unleash his entrepreneurial nature. Jouke is driven to develop products that truly make a difference in people's lives. His inquiring mind, strong intuition and problem-solving skills have led him to work on innovations in dairy that do exactly this.

Taking his own course is what he loves most

Jouke has been an explorer since childhood. "Growing up in the small village of Vroomshoop, I always knew there was a whole world to discover. I wanted to get out there and encounter new things beyond the boundaries of my home town." He left the village to study in Amsterdam. "It would have been more obvious to go to university closer to home, but I felt the need to get to know different people and gain new perspectives." So off he went, to experience the unknown.

Jouke and colleague

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To pave my own path gives me the freedom to discover

"It just always feels like the right thing to do: discovering unfamiliar environments, meeting different individuals. I yearn for new encounters. To pave my own path gives me a sense of freedom." The same craving for freedom and urge to follow his instinct is reflected in his love for travel. Jouke's face lights up when he says: "On my ideal journey, I simply buy a ticket and trust my gut to take me where I need to go. Sometimes I end up immersing myself in bustling cities such as Shanghai or New York, and other times I prefer the peace and quiet of pristine, remote nature." As long as Jouke is free to roam around and discover, he's a happy man.

Staying true to his nature throughout his career

In his working life too, Jouke searches for new experiences. "After getting my degree in Business and Economics, I really wanted to shift my focus from theory to practice. I was curious: how do you actually develop a tangible product?" Jouke’s goal was set and he was dedicated to figure out how to achieve it. "Supply Chain seemed like the right starting point. So, I applied for the trainee programme Supply Chain & Operations at FrieslandCampina. Even though I had no real experience in this area, I got in." When asked how, Jouke modestly smiles: "Part of it was luck, I think. But it's also because at FrieslandCampina they care about the person and less about the perfect resume. It's what I appreciate very much: they believe in me because of my “make it happen” mentality.”

Jouke and colleagues

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It is magical to work together with people from different backgrounds, ages and expertises. With a shared goal, you will make the impossible happen.

From the very start at FrieslandCampina, Jouke has been involved in new projects. "During the corporate traineeship I had the opportunity to join the Dairy Development Desk China. This unit had just been established to strengthen the relationship between China and FrieslandCampina. It was all very exciting to us, we were a small team of true pioneers." Being a pioneer within a big company fits Jouke seamlessly. ‘Working with a group of driven people gives me so much energy. Especially when you work on challenging issues together.' Jouke is a true believer of teamwork. "It is magical to work together with people from different backgrounds, ages and expertises. With a shared goal, you will make the impossible happen." This is also how he and his team developed a novel product: Biotis™ SleepWell.

Contributing to a societal problem: having a good night's sleep

Jouke’s can-do attitude has made him a driving force behind Biotis™ SleepWell. Biotis™ SleepWell has been developed within FrieslandCampina's incubator programme, called the Milkubator. He explains with enthusiasm: "Through the Milkubator, employees are challenged to solve consumer problems through innovation, using a methodology based on fast prototyping and adjusting. Lack of sleep is a very common problem in society. We wanted to contribute to a solution and found it in the gut!"

Biotis SleepWell

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In my opinion, innovation means finding solutions to real problems. Only then it creates forward movement and therefore progress.

‘We researched sleep quality and the needs of people who suffer from sleep deprivation and insomnia. The concept is based on these real consumer insights." What fascinates him about innovation is its problem-solving power: "In my opinion, innovation means finding solutions to real problems. Only then it creates forward movement, progress. Biotis™ SleepWell is part of the newly launched Biotis™ brand. The products launched within Biotis™ can truly help people. To me that is the meaning of the purpose of FrieslandCampina: “nourishing by nature". I’m very proud of the team and for being able to contribute to it." The project has sparked Entrepreneurial Jouke to do what he enjoys most: developing innovative solutions for real life problems, together with a diverse group of like-minded people.

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