Finding a good internship can get your career as a baker off to a flying start. As a global leader in the baked goods sector, Puratos attracts a lot of talented young people. What sort of opportunities does an internship offer? Twenty-year-olds Wouter Temmerman and Lars Tilburgs share their experiences.
Temmerman hails from Ghent and is studying Bakery-Chocolate-Pastry at Ter Groene Poorte college of food in Bruges. “Puratos’ professionalism appealed to me when I applied.” So far it has exceeded all Temmerman’s expectations. “It’s great fun to work with customers from all over the world. All my colleagues are absolute professionals from whom I’m learning so much.” He says his knowledge of products had increased dramatically too. “In contrast to college, I can work truly independently here. It enables you to learn faster than when there’s always a tutor or fellow students around.”
Tilburgs agrees completely. He’s studying bakery at PIVA in Antwerp. “During my internship I’ve been able to make a significant contribution. I’ve also learned not to give up and not to be afraid to ask for help. There are so many people at Puratos. Sometimes you have to do things differently than you’re used to. That’s how you learn the fastest!”
Temmerman and Tilburgs’ internships alternate weekly between the head office in Brussels one week and at the Centre for Bread Flavour in Sankt Vith the other week. At both locations the working day starts early and according to Temmermans they have their work cut out for them! “In Brussels I start off finishing products for our staff restaurant ‘Club House’. From about noon on I serve and present the bread I’ve baked to all the meeting rooms.”
At Sankt Vith Temmerman’s tasks are more customer-oriented. “I bake bread here based on customer demand. Subsequently I demonstrate my work process and provide lunch and dinner for the customers.” According to Temmerman the most important requirement for this internship is that you work independently, precisely and neatly. “The biggest challenge is to create exactly the same product day after day, consistent in terms of quality, dimensions, taste and appearance. I really see that as my job!”
This internship helped Tilburgs to discover what he wants to focus on in the future. “I now know I want to specialise in traditional French products. I want to learn everything there is to know about them!” Temmerman’s passion for baking has only increased during the internship. “I’m really enjoying myself and I hope I still work here ten years from now. My dream job would be demonstrator. But however it pans out, everything I’ve learned here will stay with me for the rest of my career.” Tilburgs also hopes to be able to stay on. “It would be amazing if I could gain lots of experience at home and abroad as Technical Advisor.”
Do you also want to do an internship at Puratos?