Work at FerroMac International


Maarten Hawinkel – second generation trainee

“I followed my brother’s footsteps when I spent a year with a Bolivian family after high school. As soon as I get the chance to travel to Latin America for business, I’ll be sure to pay them a visit.” Maarten Hawinkel, trader trainee at Ferromac might just be doing that this Spring.

I love market dynamics 

“Coronavirus. Trump’s love-war with China. Everything has an impact on our business. Understanding that impact and knowing how to deal with it, is what drives me most. That and learning from doing and from experienced colleagues is awesome. And you also know you’ll be traveling too. This is not a telephone or email business. It’s all about connecting in person. Persuasiveness.”

The I in Impact

“I didn’t make a single dime for the company just yet. But I know that I’ll be having an impact real soon. A lot more than any other person my age at Coca-Cola might have. You learn about geopolitical dynamics, negotiating, structuring your day, setting priorities, making decisions, working fast. And having fun while you’re at it. We all share the same drive and passion. Yet we’re all different.”

All the boxes

“Why did I join Ferromac? The job description really checked all the boxes. It’s as simple as that. I wasn’t really interested in the steel niche at first. But then I read an email from this friend of mine that triggered me. I called them and they said they didn’t do summer jobs. Months later, they contacted me to tell me about this traineeship. I was sold.”


Zoë De Schutter – first generation trainee 

“The steel business might be a man’s world generally speaking. But at Ferromac, it’s different. You’re one of the team. Man or woman, it makes no difference.” Zoë De Schutter, now a junior steel trader for the African market, started her Ferromac career as a trader trainee in 2018.

Not love at first sight 

“Steel trading wasn’t quite what I had in mind to build a career in. It didn’t have instant sex appeal. A friend of mine had written her thesis on the topic so I gave it the benefit of the doubt. And the fact is, once you get to know it, you love it. It has very interesting dynamics. Events like the coronavirus can have an instant impact on what you’re doing. Fascinating for a master in economics like me.”

The I in International

“One thing we all have in common at Ferromac is our love for international business. I always loved traveling. In my master years I spent six months in Hong Kong with Erasmus. And now with Ferromac you really get to go places and explore. You’re not just sending emails to Beijing or making phone calls to Lagos.”

A taste of Africa

“I remember my first trip to Western Africa very well. Me and my senior trader, first stop: Burkina Faso. Not quite your palm beach island. It was exciting and stressful at the same time. Especially for a young inexperienced girl in a country and culture you never met before. It was such a cool experience! And a threshold you have to cross.”


“This is no environment for shy people. It takes guts to get the job done. You’re facing deadlines all the time and need to make decisions fast. You also need to be able to be on your own. When you’re traveling for instance. That comes with a team who really look after you. We even have a dark room for power naps. And you can take up to three off-days a year. This is not your average environment, no.”


Oscar Van Hool – second generation trainee

“It’s quite funny actually, almost symbolic. I used to go to school right across the street. And now, every day, I’m looking down on the building I spent so much of my time as a kid. As if it had to be.” Oscar Van Hool, steel trader trainee overlooking the city from the Ferromac headquarters in the center of Antwerp.

Living the LatAm life 

“I always wanted to see the world. Figure out what life is all about. So as soon as I got my master in Finance & Accounting in Leuven I bought a one-way ticket to Argentina. I traveled around for about three months, also in Colombia. Then I took on this internship at a startup in Brazil.  I loved the informal atmosphere and liberty over there. And colleagues quickly became friends.”

The Ferromac family feel

“That’s exactly what I found here at Ferromac. The same informality. The international atmosphere. We’re trading steel all over the world. China, Africa, Latin America, you name it. It’s quite a young company, with a young mindset. And you get a lot of freedom and responsibility. You’re not pigeonholed like you might be in a traineeship at one of the usual suspects.”

Job on top

“You’re part of the family from day one. Right now, I’m designing our job application process and looking after our social media. And of course I’m looking forward to traveling and exploring local markets together with a senior trader. Also abroad. And despite the time difference with our key markets, we do get a lot of flexibility. People don’t expect you to work late or early. It’s up to you to get the job done.”

Steel self esteem

“The steel business can be quite tough. Trading, buying, selling, it takes quite a lot of self esteem and personality. You need to be able to make decisions quickly. Especially with all the players in the market fighting for margin. It helps when you’ve been around and have an entrepreneurial mind. Within two years you’ll be managing your own market.”