Hey Haifa, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Haifa Almomani. I am 29 years old and originally from Jordan. If I would describe myself, I guess I would say I’m optimistic, organized and with a strong drive to achieve my dreams and ambitions. Back in Jordan I studied civil engineering and graduated from this study in 2014. Right after graduating I started working at an American/Jordanian consulting company that focused on infrastructural projects and construction management. However, it has always been my dream to work abroad and start living an even more internationally oriented life. So, I started applying at universities around the world which eventually brought me to the Erasmus University in the Netherlands! I got accepted with a scholarship and did a master’s degree in urban management and development. The road I have traveled so far has taught me a lot. Everything in this life is possible if you have the right motivation and focus. Planning has always been the most important part of my life and brought me to where I am now. So, it only made sense for me to chase a career in planning!
And how did you end up at Ditio?
Right after graduating from Erasmus university (two years ago), I was granted a working visa from the Dutch Government as part of a program to introduce more international workers to the Dutch labor market. I first found out about Ditio through LinkedIn and had my interview with the CEO of Ditio, Rick Ardts, and Manager Academy Monique van der Holst. To this day, I remember this interview as a very open conversation about my ambitions. I immediately knew Ditio was the right place for me to continue my international journey.
I’ve been working at Ditio for around two years now as a Planning Engineer. My job consists of making sure that all projects and developments I’m responsible for are planned within time and budget!
What can you tell us about your start?
To be honest, I was very nervous at the beginning. I didn’t know if I had all the right knowledge and of course I needed some time to get used to all the new systems, processes and Ditio as a company. For me this also meant learning all these new things while being far away from home. I always thought this would be the biggest challenge, but nothing could be further from the truth. Ditio made getting used to all these new factors so easy by providing me with good leadership. Any time I needed advice, they were there for me to point me in the right direction. That’s why I consider Ditio to be a milestone in my life. It truly gave me the opportunity to develop my skills and myself as a person.
Living in the Netherlands also meant learning Dutch for me. Outside of working hours I’m following Dutch classes to learn how to communicate and make myself understandable in basic Dutch. Since starting this course, I noticed it opens so many doors if you know a little Dutch!
What project (s) have you been on so far and with which clients?
So far, I’ve done two projects (with sub projects of course) with Ditio for two clients. My first project was for MCS (Maritime Construction Services) within the oil and gas industry. I was working for a contractor that was building a famous gas pipeline between Russia and Europe. I joined for the first 13 km from the beach inwards to the sea. Being the planning engineer in this project, I prepared daily, weekly and monthly reports while making sure all the activities from different departments were performed within the right time and budget.
My second project started in January 2020 at Schiphol under the capital program. Before corona this program consisted of four sub projects. But unfortunately, because of corona they had to postpone one of the projects until further notice. However, the pier project is still going where I’m focused on planning the engineering part.
What makes the work challenging?
The main challenging part was my first time in an airport industry. It has so many technical and structural details making the work very diverse. But being a fast learner, I got to know everything that I wanted to know to achieve my tasks and duties within the first couple of months of the project.
First, what makes planning challenging is that you have to know all the details. You have to have full knowledge, top down, about everything that’s taking place in a project. Second, another challenge of planning is communication with the team. In order to have the right knowledge you have to have the right communication skills. There’s a lot of ‘forces’ you have to deal with that require the most of your skills.
Can you take us into some of the “proud” moments of Ditio and your work?
It’s in the details. What makes me proud is that I’m always one of the youngest planning engineers on the job. Every day I work with professionals with more than 10 years of experience. This means you get the chance to prove yourself every day. While doing this you start to notice that you develop very fast! Going home after a long day knowing that everything is going in time and well gives me such a satisfaction. It motivates me to go the extra length every single day.
Can you tell me your thoughts about the culture of Ditio / Ditio as a company?
I could say that Ditio equals opportunities. It opens the door to success, achievements and personal goals. Those who ask me about my job and what I do in my life, always hear from me that the source of support is Ditio. I will always be thankful for the opportunities I’ve gotten. For opening those doors for me and providing support.
How do you envision your further career at Ditio? What are your ambitions?
I’ll be very honest. I would say Ditio is my plan. I have no need to search for other plans because I’m comfortable where I am as a person right now. But we as humans are always thirsty to grow and search for something more if the timing is right. Maybe a next step for both me and Ditio will be to become even more internationally oriented!
Are there any other things you want to say?
One thing I’m missing are the social events we always used to have at Ditio that are cancelled now due to Corona. In particular the ‘Bright Nights’ where knowledge from different working fields is shared! Once, Ditio decided to organize a Bright Night with a theme around international cuisines. I had the pleasure to make a few tradition dishes from Jordan for my colleagues. I’m not even a good cook so I was a bit nervous! Haha. Even my mother told me ‘Haifa, are you sure about this?’. But in the end the dish turned out delicious. The night turned out a big success and I can’t wait to have more of those nights!