Today we'll introduce you to Alexander, our second summer MBA intern!
Tell me about yourself: Hey, I’m Alexander Davits, 29 years old, and I joined Logward for the MBA summer internship program. I'm originally from the Netherlands, and I started my career as a lawyer in corporate matters such as M&A (mergers & acquisition) and private equity. Eventually, I switched my career path to business and started working for a company called URW. Basically, what they do is to invest in construction and operation of malls. I worked for them in the Netherlands and in France until I resolved to leave a dying industry and to move into an upcoming industry. Finally in 2019, I decided to enter the MBA program at the IESE Barcelona, and this is how I ended up at Logward.
What made you want to switch careers from Law to business?
The law stage of my life was nice and I really enjoyed it, amongst other things because the cases I worked on appeared in the newspaper the next day. However, as I compared my own activity with the work of my clients, I always thought that their business and how they run a company was way more attractive than what I was doing.
What makes the tech branch more interesting than being a lawyer? The fact that there is still so much to explore and to do. Moreover, the industry is just picking up speed right now. So, first of all I like that the tech-industry is upcoming and evolves pretty fast. The other reason is that I like to be in the driver’s seat myself. I like to make decisions. When I was working as a lawyer, I was basically advising other people to make their “final judgement.” When you advise a client to go right, but he goes left, it’s their choice and there is nothing you can do about it. Where I am now, I get to push the button by myself. This, on the one hand, is nice, and on the other it’s quite scary. If I make a wrong decision at Logward I have to bear the consequences on my own.
Would you consider this step into business as the best decision in your career so far? Yes, I think so. I like the fact that things are moving so fast (at Logward). Anything is open for discussion, and if there are any better options, we will go for it. So much potential lies within the supply chain industry. There are so many opportunities where we can add value to a customer's business which we haven't even touched yet. That makes it really interesting, because it is only a matter of having the time and capacity before we move into these fields.
What does a normal workday at Logward look like? Haha, good question. There is actually no such thing as a “normal workday” at Logward. Anyway, for me it’s probably a mix of pushing projects forward that are under my control such as designing the “My Reports” section in our software or thinking of strategic issues. The other half of my day basically consists of wondering about why we do the things the way we do them. Why do clients act in a certain way? Why do we ask for a specific price for our product? Why is the relationship with different stakeholders as it is? Then I am always asking myself: Is it really the ideal way we can do it or are there other and better options?
A part of what a normal workday at Logward looks like: Meetings via Zoom
Would you say that Logward is as you expected it to be?
No, I don’t think so. I am really impressed by the drive of the team and also by the capabilities of the tech team. This is way better than I expected. On the other hand, I did also not expect the course of the company to be so flexible. This is partly what I mentioned earlier. We are building the ship while we navigate it (Editor’s note: Nice metaphor). While there is a plan in motion, we are also figuring some aspects on the go. I expected everything thing to be set in stone, but they are not. Because we're listening for feedback from the market and current or prospective customers, there is always the option to get better and to improve processes. This is definitely positive for me.
Why did you want to work for Logward and what grabbed your attention?
When I first talked to Jonas (CEO) and Tommy (CCO) I asked them what they would expect me to work on. Instead of giving me a list of bullet points, they answered: “Well, you will figure it out by yourself.” This really grabbed my attention. It was definitely a surprise and also a challenge, due to the fact I didn’t know anything about logistics or software development so far. Thus, I really had to figure out where to focus by myself, and that was pretty cool. What’s the best and what’s the worst part of you work at Logward?
The best part is that every team member is so enthusiastic. Additionally, if you have an idea there is always someone you can share your idea with and transfer it into reality.
The worst part, I guess, is that for every piece of work you’ll discover obstacles. In most cases it’s with external parties such as service providers, low data quality, or stakeholders.
Why do you get up every day?
I get up every day to learn something new and to discover something I didn’t know before.
What’s your biggest challenge in life you have solved so far?
I struggled to make peace with the idea that what I studied for six years, to become a lawyer, was not what I wanted to be. I mean I studied a lot, it took a long time, and I got a job at a great firm, but then I had to realize that it’s not for me and that I wanted something else. I had dug a pretty deep hole and had to somehow get out of it. However, I managed to do so and now am happier and more proud than ever.
What are the three things in life you are most thankful for?
The fact that I can pursue what I want to, I’m healthy, and finally that I can use what I’ve learned so far to make my life or those of a business or clients better.
What are your strengths?
I think my biggest strength is my persevering character. If I find a struggle, I invest a lot of effort in overcoming it, asking the right questions, reading myself into a certain topic and quickly getting into the matter. I’m willing to give everything to solve the problem, whether it means working hard, pushing people around, or being annoying. (Editor’s note: Certainly)
What do you do in your free time? What I really like to do is to go exploring either I am or in new places. This includes, of course, to take a look at special locations, but also to read about the history and why it became special. I love doing this regardless of where I am. Probably, you can spot me on a Sunday in Hamburg “Speicherstadt” roaming around and looking at Wikipedia entries about the quarter.
Alexander looking dapper. 100% chance this is his profile pic on a "networking" site.
Alright, Alex, you are Dutch, you worked in France, you study in Spain but currently work in Germany, and in your childhood, you spent a lot of time in Austria during holidays. If you had to choose a country where you had to live for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
That’s a tough question. I really like it in Spain because of its climate and attractiveness, but I also admire how things in Germany “work.” According to that, I’d most likely pick a combination of both (Editor’s note: Nope, that’s not how it works).
Well, then I would go with Germany, because of the proximity to the Netherlands too.
For what kind of thing would you wake up in the middle of the night? “Käsespätzle with Soße” (Editor’s note: Didn’t expect that one) What would you do if you had unlimited money?
First of all, I would treat myself. Then I’d continuing working and doing what fulfills me.
Would you rather fight against a duck in the size of a horse, or fight against one hundred ducks? I would probably fight against one duck in the size of a horse?
If I would visit you for dinner, what dish would you cook? I would cook “Boerencool” with smoked sausages. Not because you are German, but because it’s my favorite dish. Anyway, I think the Germans stole it from Dutch kitchen. (Editor’s note: Controversial hypothesis)
If you had to be one kitchen equipment, which one would you be and why? I would be a pizza scissor. Basically, a scissor to cut pizza. Because, first of all, it’s kind of unique. Moreover, it’s super useful which you wouldn’t expect.
35 or -5 degrees? -5
Suit or tracksuit? Suit
Teams or Zoom? Zoom
Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? Harry Potter (Editor’s note: Wrong answer) Walk in the woods or in the park? Woods
Logward is a Hamburg & Bangalore based logistics company.
We build software, move containers, and change mindsets.
If you have any questions or just want to say hi, reach out to email@example.com. Or you can visit us at www.logward.com.