Willemijn van Norel

Employee portrait

'Got an idea? Go for it – that’s me!'

Project manager Willemijn van Norel’s personal motto for 2024 is ‘3, 2, 1 – go for it!’. Fortunately, Witteveen+Bos’s culture of entrepreneurship gives her the freedom to go all out, with Willemijn recently making a move internally.

Communicating can be learned

‘Following my studies, I worked here for two years as a premises and facilities project officer and really enjoyed it. But I’d always wanted to do a master’s and thought: if I’m ever going to do it, it has to be now. I chose the International Business degree at Maastricht University, specialising in change management (‘Management, Change and Consultancy’). This choice stemmed from that first period at Witteveen+Bos: so many different people work together here, and although communicating well sounds simple, it’s actually the most difficult thing there is. Delving into change management theory and its patterns, group dynamics, needs, and tactics seemed like a good place to start!’    


‘After returning to Witteveen+Bos, I started working as a project manager in the Facility Management department, focusing on the more complex projects. Returning to the company following my master’s had everything to do with the entrepreneurship in Witteveen+Bos’s DNA: ‘Got an idea? Go for it!’ A good example is when I came across the Training and Facilitation Skills course – not the first course you’d think of for a project manager. But I pitched the idea to my manager and within two weeks everything had been settled and I was allowed to take the course. It has since proved very valuable in my work. To me, this is a great example of how an employer can encourage entrepreneurship and get the best out of its employees.’


‘Every project can be seen as a puzzle: Do you do it together or alone? Start with the edges or first sort by colour? Do it all in one go or spread it out over the year? They’re all considerations that need to be gone through for each new project. On 1 March, I made a move within the company, starting as group leader for the Integrated Department Projects group, part of the Information Management and Digital Support department. This group was created because we’re increasingly taking on complex, multidisciplinary (international) projects across all departments. Our group offers the organisation a central point of contact that specialises in the trickier puzzles, which ensures more structure and knowledge sharing. For me, the latter is the big challenge: creating synergy so that one plus one equals three!’

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