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Oct 26, 2020

EMEA Recruitment was delighted to welcome Tjeerd van der Meulen, the Director Supply Chain Management at UPC Switzerland, to the podcast.

“Mistakes are absolutely okay, because it’s the best learning opportunity that you have.”

Tjeerd spoke to Paul Toms, our Founder, from his home in Switzerland, where he’s lived for 20 years. 

For those who’ve moved for work or are thinking of moving abroad, Tjeerd describes the cycle of underestimating the complexity of a move, to feeling at home in a new country, to finally feeling comfortable enough to do a good job. 

Tjeerd is insistent that those who move to new environments should make an effort to understand the culture and people, which creates an open exchange with your surroundings. 

Tjeerd believes there is always an element of coincidence when choosing your career, but he also feels that you have a choice. In the Supply Chain sector, expectations on the market are currently extremely high, but the digitisation of the industry is enabling Tjeerd to help customers as much as possible.

He’s always kept his eyes open for new opportunities, which Tjeerd says has served him really well. His positive, proactive mindset has also helped him take new steps.

When looking back at his early career, Tjeerd finds that aiming for perfectionism is dangerous, so he applies this to recruitment. In a time when the Supply Chain function is changing, he doesn’t feel that you can ever find the perfect match, so suggests seeking someone who can grow with the job.

However, something that he is always mindful of is the work-life balance. Tjeerd achieves this mainly through running an NGO with his wife, which they founded in 2011. 

Nevandra – Association for Human Rights operates an orphanage in India, to support around 20 girls with nutrition and education. Tjeerd hopes to give them opportunities to advance in life, but it also provides balance in his career. 

To find out more about the organisation, click here:

If you think this Supply Chain podcast episode may be interesting to your network, please share it.

You can use the timestamps below to find the section you’re looking for:

01:45 – Why Tjeerd chose Supply Chain
03:02 – Digitisation of Supply Chain
04:15 – Finding new opportunities
05:25 – Having a positive mindset
06:37 – The cycle of moving to a new country
08:03 – The mistakes Tjeerd’s made when moving abroad
09:37 – The key lessons Tjeerd’s learned as a Supply Chain professional
11:22 – Recruitment and retention in Supply Chain
14:08 – How the Supply Chain function has changed
17:06 – Being mindful of a work-life balance
19:00 – Founding an NGO with his wife
24:10 – Advice Tjeerd would give his younger self
26:27 – More information about Nevandra
33:07 – How to connect with Tjeerd


You can find Tjeerd on LinkedIn here:


We are proud to bring you the EMEA Recruitment podcast in partnership with international medical charity Operation Smile. To find out more and to donate, visit:


This episode was hosted by the Founder of EMEA Recruitment, Paul Toms, and Jenny Callum, our Senior Consultant.

If you’d like to find out more about us, visit our website at:

You can also follow us on LinkedIn:

To connect with Paul on LinkedIn, click here:

Or Jenny:


If you’re interested in hearing about particular topics on the EMEA Recruitment podcast, please let us know via LinkedIn. 


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