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"Building the raft - while in the water"

Being a trainee at Young DSV has provided 25-year old Mads Snørteland from Norway with a network of colleagues all over Europe, a deep understanding of the business and knowledge to solve even the toughest freight forwarding issues.

Why did you choose to become a freight forwarder trainee at Young DSV?

I had just finished my Bachelor in Shipping and Logistics and was looking for a job within transport and logistics when I saw that DSV offered traineeships. I grabbed the opportunity and applied, as I really wanted to work at a large international company like DSV.

What do you appreciate most about the Young DSV programme?

I really appreciate meeting and networking with the other trainees when we have our theoretical modules at the headquarter in Denmark. The other trainees are from all over Europe and they all work in specialised areas within DSV so we can gain a lot of knowledge and insights from each other.

I was able to solve a client’s express shipment issue because I could reach out to one of the other trainees in the programme. So even though I was “only a trainee” I could contribute with my own network connection within DSV and solve the issue, which was great.

What is it like to be a freight forwarder trainee?

Now 1 ½ years into the 2-year programme, I do the same work and have the same level of responsibility as the other freight forwarders. In the beginning I learned the job requirements by being thrown into the deep end and getting the tools to build the raft while trying to stay afloat. At times it was hard and challenging but I learned the skills by doing the work.

One time my manager - Traffic Manager Adam Weise - even stayed with me 3 hours after working hours to make sure I solved a difficult issue I had with a client’s shipment. Adam did not do the work for me even though that would have been faster. Adam stayed and mentored me so I could figure it out myself - that way I never forgot and I am a better freight forwarder for it.

What is the best part about being a freight forwarder?

I almost get a "professional high" at the end of the day when all the pieces fall into place after being unorganised and unplanned when I came to work in the morning. Through a lot of phone calls and mails with suppliers and hauliers and some strategic coordination you get the pieces to fit together by finding the best solutions– almost like a Tetris game.

When my traineeship is done I hope to get even more responsibility and learn more about traffic management. In the long run I hope to become a traffic manager myself and perhaps one day even have a trainee to mentor.