Why joining a committee was a great decision
by Romy Boer

We’ve probably all heard it several times: students in this day and age have it all! And are just spoiled and lazy, back in the days we really had to work hard, people used to have character, blah blah blah… But if this is true, how come we keep seeing burnout percentages among students rising? Why do students experience so much pressure?

I too, was one of those students that felt the pressure; working 30 hours a week, and be a full-time student, and try to get a workout in here and there, and have a social life… and… and… the list goes on and on. Sounds familiar? I bet it does!

Why do we do this? Because it is all expected from us. We have to study because otherwise, we do not appreciate the options we are given. We have to work because without work experience you will not be able to enter the workforce easily. We have to be social because we live in a society where networking is key.   

But what does this have to do with the title of this blog? What does summing up this pressure has to do with adding another one? Well, because it isn’t adding another one! Joining a committee is the smart way to combine all of the above, and I wish I had known this sooner!

Why? Because when you join a committee, you get a ton of work experience whilst your study progress being respected as being the main priority, you meet amazing like-minded people that are a great asset to your network, and as a bonus, you get to experience if the field of your choice is actually something you enjoy working in!

Here at the MAA, for instance, you can choose to join the Amsterdam Marketing Event, or Amsterdam Recruitment Event, to explore your interest and skills in the event management sector. Or, you can join the Media & Branding committee, to explore your copywriter/visual talent! Or perhaps, you can take it up a notch and apply for a board year!

While developing these much needed professional skills, and exploring where your real interest lay, you get the opportunity to meet like-minded students at the MAA events and monthly drinks! Occasionally, MAA members even find their next employer at these events!

Looking back at my experience as part of the Media & Branding team, I would highly recommend everyone to join a committee during their student phase! I was able to work on important professional skills at a variety of events, practise these skills as a copywriter within our committee, and expand my network with some amazing and talented like-minded students. And to come back to those burnout percentages; I was able to relieve a lot of student life stress, by just simply talking to each other about our experiences during the monthly drinks!

Are you interested in which committees the MAA has to offer, and what makes them all unique? Find out here!

Hilti, the global market leader as supplier of construction, arranged a great informal program to get to know the MAA members better. For 50 years they are growing harder than the economy does, because at Hilti they believe in a unique approach.

During the boat trip a couple of employees from Hilti explained a bit more about the company and the interesting vacancies they have at the moment. Their traineeships include a two-year program with the possibility to go abroad, which sounds very educational and challenging. In all the years that they have existed, they built up sustainable relationships. Not only product innovation and good quality are of great importance, but also taking care of their employees is a main key point at Hilti.

This you could clearly see at the BBQ @ Amstelhaven, which was very well organized. While you would not necessarily think Hilti is attracting many female employees, they explained this sector can actually be very interesting. They are not only busy with construction projects, where the main focus lies on instruments and tools. As famous international supplier they are market leader in many different sectors. They offer a wide range of products, from lifesaving fire protection technology in hospitals to fixing materials that protect human beings and buildings in earthquake-sensitive areas. Besides, Hilti develops software, services and aftercare to make their products function for the long term. All of the products they improve and launch are designed and investigated by themselves. Therefore Hilti is 100% confident and proud about their products!

Seen from the strong position Hilti has right now, they are striving to further strengthen their market leadership over the next few years. Therefore, they are looking for high performers who can help to let Hilti grow. Are you the talent they are looking for? Check out their vacancies now at https://careers.hilti.nl/nl-nl.

‘Building a better future’ is one of the main objectives of the company Hilti. The building element in their case literally building as Hilti is the leading company when it comes to supplying products in the construction industry. This B2B company is also a loyal partner of the Marketing Association Amsterdam. But what is Hilti exactly? And what is it like working in such an industry? Today we speak with Nadine Gijzen, trainee of Hilti. She will help us understand more about the Hilti career possibilities and what it is like as a woman working in a male oriented sector.

Hi Nadine, thank you so much for finding the time to do this interview with me. Could you first tell something more about yourself and how you got in contact with Hilti?

Of course! My name is Nadine Gijzen and I am 27 years old. My study career started with International Business and Management. After finishing my bachelor’s I started a premaster and completed a Master of Strategy and Organization at the VU. My father always worked in the construction sector therefore I had heard of the name Hilti before, but I never imagined myself working in such a company. After my master’s I was looking for a sales traineeship. Like most people I started looking on LinkedIn and browsed on the Internet,  until I came across a vacancy with Hilti which said that it was also suitable for women. I became curious and looked for more information. Next, I wrote an application letter and before I knew it I was scheduled for an interview. Afterwards, I was invited to an introduction work day to better understand a regular day at Hilti. I really liked that day and the rest is history…

Ah nice! And what do you like most about working at Hilti?

The thing I like most about working at Hilti is the work climate. Everyone is just really informal and casual. The feeling that I get when working with my colleagues is one of the main reasons I enjoy Hilti.  Nowadays, I am often on the road in this period of my traineeship. Still I speak to many colleagues every day. The contact between colleagues is very good. A couple of months ago we even went on wintersport together. That is a really good way to develop friendly relationships with each other.

Did you already have a passion for construction?

No, not at all actually. That is also not that important for Hilti. Of course you need to have some affinity or interest in technics, and want to learn more about the product of Hilti. Though, you do not need to have a technical background. It is more about what kind of person you are and if that fits with the culture of Hilti. It helps if you are easygoing and social to handle clients. The technical stuff you will learn along the way, so do not worry about that!

Still the construction world looks like a male oriented world from the outside, how is this world for you as a woman?

Actually there are also a lot of women working at Hilti and more and more are joining. However, from the perception of the client they sometimes still have to get used to this. For example, in the beginning the clients were testing me a bit more than my male colleagues. They are just curious where you came from. But if you show them you know what you are talking about and if you don’t know right away, they want to see that you handle it right.

Ah good to know! And could you tell us something more about your traineeship and the career possibilities at Hilti?

Yes, I started this two year sales traineeship in January 2016. With this traineeship you work as an account manager for 2 years but at the same time you receive coaching and training. Now I am working for the outlaws program, this is a business case inside the company. Besides the sales traineeship there is a technical traineeship, but you marketers are probably less interested in hearing about that. Also there is an international program, where you can work as an account manager for 1 year and after you go abroad for a new assignment. For me the sales traineeship was the most interesting because I want to stay in the Netherlands for now. Although, If you choose one traineeship there are still multiple possibilities. In these 2 years working as an account manager I am building my own client network and I have the autonomy to control for myself for what I want to do next. Hilti is a big company, but the nice thing is that you can easily switch positions for a different function or a different location. It is also possible to apply for one position instead of a traineeship. Also there are possibilities for internships. That is a nice way to get to know Hilti!

Ah, and what kinds of study background are you looking for in your new employees?

We do not pay that much attention to which study you have done. Your personality is more important. We are looking for people who are social, communicative, independent and creative. Also we speak Dutch internally so that would also been a requirement. Still internationals are welcome if they are open to learn Dutch. Also our new director from Germany is learning Dutch now!

What will you recommend to people that are still doubting if Hilti is a good fit for them?

There is always a possibility to get to know us better! You can just come over for a cup of coffee and we can talk about your options. It is important that you have some interest in sales and that you would like to improve your sales qualities for the sales traineeship. Also everyone will have an introduction work day to really discover how everything works at Hilti. So, I would like to recommend to you to come talk with us, and ask yourself and us critical questions. You are not only there to present yourself but it is also the other way around!

Nice to know:

  • Nadine’s favorite tool of Hilti is the new robotic total-station, it can measure everything on the construction site!
  • Nadine’s most memorable Hilti experience is when the whole company visited the head office in Lichtenstein, which was very impressive!

Written by Suzanne Bolander

The sharing-economy has opened a new door of ways to provide a service. From renting a room provided by people in different cities, to lending items in an area when needed, being able to buy and sell any products online, using your own car as transportation (Uber), and many more platforms online that are constantly being developed for this purpose.

Recently, another sharing-economy platform has been developed that targets hard-working students that could benefit from a flexible side job. This online platform allows people to sign up to become a babysitter for a tourist that come into town for a few days and want to have a night to enjoy themselves. A benefit of this is that the parents can choose a sitter that will speak the native language of their child, preventing language and communication barriers. Perhaps, you would like to choose a babysitter that could help teach your child the second language that he or she is already trying to learn. This is a new an innovative platform for the sharing economy that can benefit busy international students who are looking for part time work, as well as allows for parents to take some time off and enjoy the city they are in. This platform is new and is a great new tool to access a part time job. However, trusting your child with a foreigner can sometimes be unsettling. That is why background checks and interviews are needed within this sharing-economy platform. What about others? Do they use background checks or safety check for Uber and Airbnb?

 

This definitely is a benefit to the sharing economy, it has produced a lot of job opportunities as well as an easier way to access rides, babysitters, and rooms. However, when something goes wrong who’s fault is it? Is it the person providing the service through the platform or is it the company that has created the platform? Of course, using these platforms come at your own personal risk. On most of these platforms there is a rating system. For Airbnb for example, you don’t want someone staying in your apartment that has no rating yet, and vice versa, do you want to stay in someone’s apartment that has no rating as well? You sometimes just may have to take that risk if you are desperate, and maybe the photos seem credible? But how do you really know? This is a risk you are going to take; it can either go very well or can go horribly. In my personal experience, a problem has never arisen using Airbnb.

Yes, these companies have created a platform for people to make a little extra cash…. But what about those that have those job as a living and not just as a side job, for example certified car companies that have built up a list of customers over the years. When Uber presented themselves it became much easier to just go to the app to call an Uber rather than scheduling one in advance. Yes, the sharing-economy does provide a service and jobs but if this becomes more influential because of easy online accessibility, what happens to those other people that rely on those jobs? I guess it could just go back to evolution, and survival of the fittest. This is a very contentious subject as job markets and companies are constantly expanding, reshaping and reorganizing. Despite the ethical concerns of sharing-economy platforms, they definitely provide an easy and accessible business opportunity for expats, travellers and those looking to accommodate for the every changing travel industry.

Written by Daniella Janis

Thank you for making time to tell us something about your interesting history with the MAA and your experience at Heineken of course.

How did you hear of the MAA?

I did my Bachelor’s in Maastricht, but I wanted to the Master’s of Marketing in Amsterdam. During college, there was a promotional chat about the MAA and I was thinking: ‘This seems really nice!’

And then?

I applied for the Activities Committee, which is responsible for the organization of the social events of the MAA such as the annual ski trip.  It was a great way to meet new people in Amsterdam.  After I finished my Master’s in Marketing, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I decided to do a board year at the MAA. I was responsible for the external affairs, a great way to learn a lot of new things.  After my board year, I was part of the Lustrum Committee, and now I’m still a part of the Alumni Committee.

Has the MAA helped you finding your first job at Heineken?

Definitely! At a recruitment lunch from the MAA I talked to someone from Heineken. At first I wasn’t really interested in working at Heikenen, but my mind changed during the lunch. So I did a business course, which was quite intensive but I finished it successfully and I started as a trainee. The MAA is a really great way to develop yourself professionally but also socially.

What is a traineeship at Heineken like?

During a traineeship you have to complete 3 different assignments. My first assignment was at the trade-marketing department of Heineken. I worked on the speaker beer crate, maybe you still remember that innovation. For my second assignment I went to Surinam for 5 months and worked for Parbo beer.  I returned to the Netherlands for my last assignment at the marketing department and worked on a strategy to introduce Apple Bandit Cider. All in all, 3 interesting assignments!

What did you do after your traineeship?

During my traineeship I came to the conclusion that I really like marketing and it seemed appealing to me to manage one brand all by myself.  This brought me a lot freedom. I started working for Sourcy. Together with my colleagues we developed the ‘Vol Nederlands Karaketer’  TV commercial. Additionally, we introduce the new Sourcy products: water with all kind of fruit tastes.

You can check out the TV commercial Florence developed here:

This year, I’m responsible for Crystal Clear. This is a totally different brand, but also great to work for!  We’re focusing on the online market by making use of data-driven marketing strategies.  For instance, we focus on how we can reach person X with what kind of content.

What is it like to work at Heineken?

Of course, you learn a lot on a professional level. But is also really fun to work at Heineken! There a lot of social events like an annual ski trips and drinks.

Finally, do you have some tips for students looking for a first job?

It is really important to go to in house days and do for instance a business course. This gives the opportunity to get a realistic feeling of what it is like to work at a certain company.

Interested in becoming an active MAA member yourself and to join a committee? We’re hiring for the Amsterdam Marketing Event committee and the Branding committee! Application deadline is May 21st. Go to www.ma-amsterdam.nl/hiring for more information about this and other committees or to apply. Need more info? Contact Rick at secretary@ma-amsterdam.nl.

Written by Leonie Douma