Life at Avery Dennison

Rob de Koning, Legal Counsel, EMEA, The Netherlands

Years with AD

What attracted you to your chosen work? 
I have always had the idea that I should either work as a psychologist or in law. I chose the latter for reasons I can’t quite recall, though a certain movie and Keanu Reeves keep on popping up. Hey, I was 17! But jokes aside, I have greatly enjoyed the legal ride so far and hope to continue doing so. The great thing about being an in-house counsel is I get to be involved with a lot of different issues. No two days are the same and I keep on learning.

What skills did you develop early that are still useful today?
Partly driven by my own concerns of having inadequate knowledge on everyday world topics, in my mid twenties I started religiously following the news and reading books. And although I soon found out that there are downsides to constantly keeping yourself abreast with the latest news, it did trigger a curiosity in me that I still have today. This curiosity extends for example, to law, financial markets, politics, and personal development. Learning about these (often different but intertwined) areas helps me to understand everyday topics (including those that come up at work) a little bit better.

Life at Avery Dennison

What's the biggest stretch opportunity you've taken on?
Well, I only joined in September 2020 so I am still growing in my career and hope to continue doing so! 

What's the biggest stretch opportunity you've taken on?
In one of my previous jobs as a legal counsel I managed the move of the HQ to a new location. It was mostly non-legal project management work which even included supporting the design of the new office (interestingly, the new office looked very similar to our Avery Dennison office in Oegstgeest now). It was a stretch opportunity as I stepped outside of my comfort zone but the team and I managed to complete the project within time and budget and with minimal disruption to the business.

Life at Avery Dennison

What role has mentorship played in your career?
I’d like to figure things out on my own and I particularly dislike micromanagement. If I can live and work like this, information sticks better, everyday tasks consume less energy, stress is  less, and my overall performance is better. While I don’t have named mentors, there are people who support, and facilitate, this way of living and working and these people come closest to being a mentor. So “mentorship” (if you will) plays a (moderately) important role but not that important as I am keen on finding things out myself!

What’s the best career decision you’ve ever made?
After completion of a large acquisition in a previous company, I decided to quit my job and travel to south east Asia where I travelled for 3.5 months. My travels included an epic motorcycle trip throughout Vietnam and 6 weeks of surfing in the Philippines. It was the perfect break, after a great working experience, and with perfect timing (as I will become a dad in March next year) :-).

Life at Avery Dennison
I believe that if I can stay close to who I am as a person (which includes doing the things that I enjoy doing), good things will come my way and I will end up where I want to be.

As you think about the next steps in your career, what are the most important actions you plan to take?
I believe that if I can stay close to who I am as a person (which includes doing the things that I enjoy doing) good things will come my way and I will end up where I want to be. That means I don’t think too much about career planning but we all have ideas about the future, of course. Being in a managerial role is one of those ideas and getting exposure to all facets of our business can surely help.

What do you enjoy most about the work you do?
The diversity of it, freedom to operate and the fact that no two days are the same. On top of that, I have not met a single person within Avery Dennison that is not friendly and supportive.

Life at Avery Dennison


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