Leaders-for-a-Day: Jeroen Vandevenne - experience

Today I got the chance to follow Dirk Jacobs for a day. Dirk is the Deputy Director General of FoodDrinksEurope, a European food organisation which protects the interests of their members (several food companies and food institutions). 

Our day started at 10 o clock when I was invited to join the directors meeting. This really was a great opportunity to see how the organisation is managed and lead. After the meeting, Dirk and I sat together for a while. He explained more to me about the company and the agenda for the rest of the day. I also had the chance to ask some questions about what he did before and how he managed to get where he is today. Among so many things that I got to know, the one thing that Dirk stressed most was: DO WHAT YOU LOVE!  

We didn’t have much time for lunch since we had to join a workgroup meeting in the afternoon. At this workgroup, there were more than 30 people from companies and institutions from around Europe present. The interesting thing was to really see how some people did not say a word during the meeting and how others shared their opinion on everything. 

After this meeting, Dirk and I went to Mella Frewen, the Director General. I already met with her in the morning during the directors meeting. Together, we went over her presentation for a conference in the coming week. We also talked about what it is like leading an organisation, the challenges and the opportunities. 

Dirk and Mella than invited me to join a reception at which Coca Cola introduced their new President for Western Europe. Again this was a great way to come in contact with new people and to experience the atmosphere in the food sector. 

Overall it has been an amazing day and I’m really grateful to JA Europe, Dirk Jacobs, Mella Frewen and all the others who have made this unique experience possible! THANK YOU! 

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