Working life after MBE: Dennis Tran

Home/Posts/Article/Working life after MBE: Dennis Tran

Dennis Tran | Gemeente Rotterdam

My name is Dennis Tran, currently I am working at the Municipality of Rotterdam as project secretary. Last January (2021) I graduated from Management in the Built Environment in the subject of CLT – Community Land Trust (collaborative housing). The project was individual, which made it challenging but even more rewarding.

I have been active in the board of BOSS in the position of RECD in the year 2019-2020. Unfortunately the RECD had to be cancelled due to Covid, but the year was still fun and worth it. I learned a lot while preparing for the RECD which I still use to this day. Often these skills go unnoticed while you learn them, as they are not really measurable – however you will notice that you gained experience later in life.

After MBE
Before my P5 I already started my job hunt, to make sure there was something when I was finished. Covid was challenging when graduating (more than it is while working, as I can visit a lot of clients now). My laptop was metaphorically speaking staring at me from the moment I woke up until I went to sleep. However, it all worked out in the end.

MBE prepares you really well for the working life. The knowledge you acquire is readily applicable when you start working in the field. Next to this, the active participation in BOSS (committee, board) really helped with this. The soft and hard skills I developed during this time were recognized and appreciated. With the confidence I gained from this, and my graduation project I applied for a job at the municipality.

I just started in the position of project secretary – working directly under the project manager. However I have a lot of my own projects, and the project manager acts more as a coach. The work environment is great, diverse projects and a lot of trust which really helps get started. Currently I have six projects I am working on, differing in size and where they are in the development phase and their characteristics.

The work I do is for the PMB, the project management bureau – you can see them as the developers of the city. There is a common misconception that the municipality can be a bit stuffy or old, but this is not at all the case. The projects are challenging and the work is demanding and rewarding at a high pace. As we have to follow the same regulations as ‘regular’ developers, the bureau acts as a common developer but for the city of Rotterdam.

My favourite current project is the Floating office Rotterdam, I am in charge of the interior – from walls to curtains. It is nice that the project is so diverse and big. This challenges me to learn from every step.

Right now I really enjoy my place at the municipality of Rotterdam. However, I have a dream to get my hands on the whole of the supply chain in the built environment – with as the ultimate goal a holding of my own. You have to dream big, otherwise you can just as easily not dream.

Remember that students are the product of the university, this means that you do not have to stress about your work. When you can honestly say you have learned your course objectives, you should not have to stress about the deadlines. The quality of your work does not always represent what you actually learned.

Besides this, you will probably never do something as academic and research as you do during your graduation. This is challenging, but can be a good reminder to push through.