Aviation Academy

Wesley Frese as Project Manager Sustainability @ Leger des Heils


In 2018, Wesley graduated from the Aviation Engineering MRO Business track. Wesley worked as a YACHT Trainee. Currently he works for Leger des Heils. He will tell us something about his experiences after graduation and his outlook on the future.

If you asked me this question before starting my current role I would have had my answer ready. But now that I’m working within the highly dynamic and ever changing environment of sustainability practices I’m not sure where I do see myself in 5 years

Wesley Frese - Graduated in 2018 from the Aviation Engineering MRO Business track

If this isn’t your first job since graduation: what were your other jobs and at which companies?

YACHT Trainee 2018-2022

- Project lead Real Estate – Royal FloraHolland

- Project lead Data Centers – Siemens

- Regional Manager Corona Test Facilities – Lead Healthcare / Dutch Government (VWS)

- Assistant Program Manager Real Estate – Albert Schweitzer Hospital

How did you end up in your current job?

Going from Aviation Engineering to the Social/Healthcare sector may not sound straight forward but it may surprise you. After my graduation internship at KLM E&M I was curious about what other jobs/positions are available to me besides Aviation. This landed me at YACHT with a 3 year engineer traineeship. This traineeship focused on the development of soft and hard skills are allowed me to take on various roles in different companies. First I started as real estate project lead at Royal FloraHolland, using my technical knowhow gained during my studies to calculate cooling power required to keep the flowers fresh and my project management skills to complete different project. However, due to corona my time at Royal FloraHolland was cut short and I went to Siemens to work on data center projects. Bringing me closer to my aviation roots when I needed to fly multiple times to Switzerland to help the completion of a new dat center! After that I started working as Regional Manager of Corona Test Facilities. Something totally different, but it gained me a lot of experience and lessons about managing teams and people. Lastly I worked as assistant program manager, ensuring a smooth transition of ownership of real estate of Albert Schweitzer Hospital to an international buyer. During my traineeship I found out that I’m drawn to and passionate about the healthcare/social work industry and always had a component of sustainability and strategy in my roles. When my traineeship came to an end, this resulted in my application at the Leger des Heils as Project Manager Sustainability where I started last year!

What are your daily operations?

My job varies from day to day. Leger des Heils is a large care-provider in the Netherlands with over 600 locations. This makes Leger des Heils a company with a significant CO2-footprint. My role is to monitor and ensure that this footprint is lowered by 100% in 2050 using both technical and operational solutions. In my daily operations I lead different projects and teams, from solar panel installations to new energy management systems and certifying locations to the MTZ standard (Milieu Thermometer Zorg). As Leger des Heils operates throughout the whole country I work together with a small team of regional sustainability coordinators, they ensure that these projects and new initiatives are pushed through to our locations throughout the country. Another important part of my role is to connect with other healthcare professionals, local governments and branch associations to keep up to date on the latest sustainability legislation and techniques.

What do you like most at your job?

First and foremost I like the fact that I work for a company that has a sole mission to help people, of all kind, unconditional. This also connects to my values as a Christian. My office is next to a Domus, where addicts are sheltered and are provided help and are still allowed to use drugs. You may imagine that this sometimes results in interesting behavior and situations around the office by these people! Reminding you of the mission of Leger des Heils. Secondly, I find great purpose in my job, ensuring a sustainable world for many generations to come. Our impact as Leger des Heils to solve the climate crisis may be small if you look at it collectively, but we will do our best to ensure we did our part in as many ways as possible! Lastly, I get my drive by the many people I work together that share the same passion and drive to push Leger des Heils to become more sustainable and meet its goals and continuing its mission helping people in need.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

If you asked me this question before starting my current role I would have had my answer ready. But now that I’m working within the highly dynamic and ever changing environment of sustainability practices I’m not sure where I do see myself in 5 years. My work has goals set for 2030 and 2050 and they will not get easier over time, so I can imagine that there are many challenges yet to be solved! But I do see myself focusing more on strategic goals and management over time, within Leger des Heils if possible.

What did you like most in your education that helps you out nowadays in your work?

The broadness of subjects and engineering concept that I’ve learned during my education is still of great value and help in my current role. Although buildings are far alike aircraft, many technology and concepts are the same here as in the ground. Just think about an air-duct system, building structures or thermodynamics in climate-systems. Broad understanding of these concepts helps me when talking to our specialists and experts on these topics. What also helps me is that during my studies I’ve learned a great deal about working on projects and leading project teams. In the last year we even did the Aviation game where we managed ‘virtual’ airlines. Many of those concepts I learned back then I rely on today.

Are you still connected to the Aviation Academy?

Not really, I regularly check LinkedIn and read the posts of the Aviation Academy. But other than that I still have some friends from my studies at the Aviation Academy!

Have you been a member of the SVAAA?