GROWing as a Graduate 2022: Ally van Dalen
Getting started on one's career is definitely a significant life milestone. But how does one pick out which career path makes the best use of the talents, skills and interests already in place whilst ensuring optimal opportunities for development and progress along the way? Well, there is no magic formula, but here at BASF, we believe that providing the right environment to explore different career options within BASF's myriad business units and functions is the best way to help our GROW Graduates....blossom!
In 2022, BASF Australia welcome three talented GROW Graduates to the company, including Ally van Dalen. A graduate of Deakin University, Ally completed a double Bachelor Degree of Commerce and International Studies, majoring in International Trade and Chinese Language.
When asked about her choice of majoring in Chinese, Ally shared that she already studied Mandarin from Year 7 - 11 as it was a consistent passion that she had (alongside soccer), saying, "By the time it came to deciding my degree, I wanted to continue building on my knowledge and familiarity with the Chinese language. To be honest, I still need subtitles when watching Chinese movies, but what I'm very grateful for is how learning Chinese has expanded my world view and instilled an appreciation for the culture and practices from the Far East."
To balance her academic life, Ally’s extremely active in sports and has played soccer since she was four. "I'd say football is in my blood and I almost went to America on a scholarship to play college soccer after Year 12, although that unfortunately fell through," Ally shares.
When Ally first read about BASF's GROW Graduate Program, she was intrigued by BASF’s broad presence; available in almost every industry and the flexible opportunities on offer to GROW graduates, so applied and was successful.
Ally landed her first rotation role with general business, where she had the chance to be heavily involved in a project looking to further enhance BASF's customer experience digitally. “It was certainly quite daunting when first trying to understand what BASF is all about and the extensive number of acronyms," explained Ally. "It was only after first understanding the basics, that I was able to get to the details of my project and responsibilities, but since then it's been a fantastic experience.
Sharing her experience thus far, she mentioned, “In this project, I've had to deal with a lot of people from a variety of Business Units, developing a number of relationships locally and globally. That’s probably the most significant takeaway from this project as I've also had to learn how to address and engage various stakeholders, understand their needs, and manage the difference between geographic locations and time zones. I really get the support I need, and my mentor, Sarah Seddon is just fantastic and always entertaining my queries! I have a different task every week, and she empowers me to make my own decisions, and of course, if I meet any challenges, she has always helped me address them."
After three months spent on the first rotation, one major project, a plethora of experiences and perhaps just as many key learnings, we asked Ally if her initial expectations prior to joining this program were ‘met.’
“With my educational background, I thought I would be doing a lot of supply chain, international trade, and economic related matters, but I was surprised with the opportunities in other areas. I guess there’s much more to life than pure economics?” she giggled while sharing her initial expectations.
Ally is wrapping up her role with General Business soon and heading to Battery Minerals for her next rotation, focusing on sourcing opportunities with countries like Japan and China, where she hopes to get opportunities to further improve her Chinese language skills.
We wish Ally our best for her next role where she will get to utilise her knowledge in International Trade! Stay tuned to this space in the coming months as we continue to share more on our GROW Graduates' experiences starting out with BASF.