Joakim Bruun Nielsen is 26 years old and grew up in the south of Zealand, Denmark. Since high school he has known that he wanted to be a freight forwarder. He had heard positive things about the challenges and diversity of the work, and he found the personal opportunities in the freight forwarding industry appealing.
So, when he finished high school, he set about finding out where he could get an apprenticeship as a freight forwarder:
"I sent an unsolicited application to five different freight forwarding companies, which were the ones I just knew. Not all of them responded, but luckily LEMAN (and a competitor) did, and then I got in a hiring process with the two companies. I ended up choosing LEMAN because it was the company that seemed most interested in me and in developing and challenging me, and also seemed to be the company that could offer me the most exciting opportunities – including going abroad," Joakim says.
Planned deployment during training
Joakim then started on his two-year freight forwarding apprenticeship, which is a mix of practical, 'real' work at LEMAN and a small amount of schooling with freight forwarding apprentices from other transport and logistics companies. And in the spring of 2019, Joakim graduated as a freight forwarder.
"Already during my apprenticeship, I talked to my boss about the fact that I would like to be posted for a couple of years or three. LEMAN was also very willing to move forward towards that, and it's generally my opinion that LEMAN is very keen for new freight forwarders to get around the world and acquire international knowledge and experience that can benefit both the employee and the company."
The necessary help and preparation
LEMAN and Joakim saw common opportunities in a position at LEMAN's New York office, where the work area would be air freight, and therefore Joakim moved during the last of his apprenticeship to LEMAN's pharma department, where they work with air freight, among other things, so he could acquire the necessary knowledge before being deployed.
"This meant I was well equipped to go to New York and get straight to work, and from day one I felt welcome and as a part of our team over there. It all went quite easily and simply, and my wife and I even took over an apartment from a former LEMAN expat, so you could say I got all the help and preparation I needed. And by the way, I would also like to thank all my American colleagues who welcomed me and made me feel part of the team from day one."
Deployment is an education in itself
Now back at LEMAN's headquarters in Greve, Joakim feels he has taken home an incredible amount of valuable learning, which makes him better at his day-to-day work. But beyond the professional angle, the US deployment has also educated him personally:
"I feel much more mature, and it has developed me a lot to be deployed and try to live and work abroad. You could say that the deployment itself has been an education for me, which has benefited me both professionally and personally. To be able to go out and try to stand on your own two feet – with the professional network around you, of course – is definitely worth recommending, and I will advise all young freight forwarders to reach out for that opportunity, if they feel it could suit them," Joakim says and concludes:
"It is a strength for LEMAN that our colleagues can pass on experience from country to country in this way. Right now, I'm happy to be back home in Denmark and have a little more peace and quiet to reflect, but in the long term, I might well try to be deployed for LEMAN again and contribute to the development of both me and the business."
Three good and exciting years in New York
For Joakim Bruun Nielsen, it was a big plus throughout the beginning of his career that the process was so professional and well organized, and he believes that LEMAN generally has a good image in the industry when it comes to opportunities for deployment:
"If you are ambitious and have the courage to get out and soak up experience and learning, LEMAN is a really good place to be. It looks good on your CV, but it certainly makes everyday life easier to work in an international environment where it is both logical and obvious to think beyond national borders – for yourself and for others."
Joakim says he had three good and exciting years at the LEMAN office in New York, and he also managed to become a team leader and set up his own small team before returning home to Denmark as planned.