at VLOG: interlocking gears with a family feel
Zwolle is the control tower for almost everything AbbVie ships worldwide. We are
150 people with one mission: getting the right medication to the right place at
the right time. To do this, everyone needs to participate. From Quality
Assurance to Supply Chain Planning, and from Global Trade Compliance to Finance:
we are interlocking gears.
working at VLOG for about a year in the Logistics Finance department. I specialize
in Hedging and NPIs. Basically, I try to minimize the impact of fluctuating exchange
rates on our company’s earnings. AbbVie sells their products all over the world,
which means dealing with almost 20 different currencies. Given our large
shipment volume, even a small fluctuation in the exchange rate can have a great
impact. In addition, I focus on the financial side of New Product Introductions
(NPIs). Before medication can be marketed and sold, a lot of work has to be
done including financial setup.
dull moment – and that is an understatement
We work in a
strictly regulated industry, in a strictly regulated environment. That is why
we spend 15 to 20 weeks of the year working on audits. And it’s very important
that these audits are carried out correctly – otherwise everything stops. So
you could say that there’s never a dull moment at VLOG. And that’s an understatement.
There is always a lot to do and the work is complex; the forecasts change all
the time, and our team is relatively small. The entire Finance department
consists of only 25 people; yet we achieve so much together. That always amazes
me and makes me feel proud. I think it’s cool that I get to work with so many
bright people and that we have a real family feel.
goes for working with the other VLOG departments, by the way. And for working
internationally. Of course, it helps that everyone genuinely feels that they
are part of our mission. I mean, I don’t hand out medication to patients myself,
but I do know what I’m working for. And even if I didn’t, AbbVie always reminds
us by organizing events like Patient Experience Week, for instance.
from things you don’t encounter anywhere else
I started working at AbbVie right after my graduation in 2013, in the AbbVie
Finance Development Program. Since then, I’ve taken on a few different Finance roles,
mainly in Commercial and in Manufacturing. The bridge between those two? That’s
the Supply Chain. And that’s why I became interested in VLOG. It seemed like the
perfect place to learn and grow as a financial professional. The things you
encounter here just don’t happen anywhere else in the company. When it comes to
hedging, VLOG really is our global center of excellence.
I’m now on
a three-year expat assignment. My wife and I were lucky enough to be in a
position where we could do this. Our apartment in Chicago was a rental, we don’t
have kids, and we were ready for an adventure. We haven’t regretted it for even
a second. I’ve experienced the Netherlands to be quite nice in many ways – from
the buildings to the Dutch culture and lifestyle. I hadn’t been on a bike in
years, but now I’ve embraced cycling just like the locals! There are a lot of
small things that, together, make this an amazing experience – both personally
What will I
be doing after this assignment? I don’t know yet. But I certainly see myself
staying with AbbVie. So far, it’s been very positive. I’ve never stopped
learning, we do valuable work, and it’s a pleasure working with all these smart,
driven people. The company is large enough that there will always be a place where
I can find a good mental challenge while supporting our mission of having a
remarkable impact on patients’ lives!