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Although I had had a busy week, and university deadlines had been piling up on top of each other, I made sure I was able to attend the Amsterdam Commercial Night (ACN) event last week. Partially as a gesture of commitment as the MAA’s Chief Digital Marketeer, but mostly because it seemed like an event jam-packed with knowledge beneficial to me as a future marketeer! This blog post is here to tell you exactly how the event unfolded.

 Upon first entering Posthoornkerk – yes, a church – I encountered  the inevitable array of nuts, chips, crackers and free drinks: a display of the classic Dutch borrel. As I was barely on time (unsurprisingly), I had no time to enjoy these treats and had to scurry up to the main hall where the presentations were being held. I was in awe; the stage was set right beneath the church’s main spired tower you see from the outside, and the seats were lined by dimly lit, small bricked atriums that lead to the stage. 

 The main host of the night was Gijs de Beus, the strategic mastermind behind Friends & Foes: a creative agency located in Amsterdam. He opened the ACN Storytelling event with a little clip on how Friends & Foes was founded, while teaching us the basis of what storytelling is and how crucial it is for brand strategy. He paved the way for the three speakers of the night. The first speaker, Rik toe Water, represented GroupM: the world’s largest advertising media company, with subsidiaries that make beloved shows such as Love Island possible. It isn’t hard to imagine the source of GroupM’s success if all their employees have personalities and presentation skills like Rik’s. He was able to make the church echo with laughter while still remaining educational throughout his entire presentation. He provided exceptional visuals for the audience to understand the power of brand storytelling, as well as pitfalls that come with it if it isn’t done right. His take home message, repeated adamantly throughout the presentation, was to: use all platforms available, consistently engage with your consumers, scale your message, and stick to one main story.

 The second presentation took a surprising turn from the first one. Philips, represented by Dirk van der Horst, offered us an insight into their own (hi)story as game changers within the healthcare industry. We were taken back to 1891, when the three founding fathers of Philips joined forces to establish what has become a powerhouse of innovation. The presentation focused on Philip’s own success story while looking into the future at the incoming trends bound to shape the digitalisation of healthcare technology. Of course, a presentation about the healthcare industry would have been incomplete without a little side note reminding us students to take care of our  alcohol intake. Don’t get me wrong, it was greatly appreciated – but hilarious given that we were fortunate enough to have Grolsch sponsor the event’s supply of beer! 

 Following the two presentations, we had an interim break where we headed back to the borrel area to network, nibble on some snacks, and grab ourselves a bottle (or two) of Grolsch’s beer. The speakers joined too, engaging with students and divulging the companies’ secret recipes to success (or so I hope). At the borrel, Walters People – a recruitment consultancy firm operating  in major European countries – was there to help us with our LinkedIn profiles. I would like to take this opportunity to say that my LinkedIn profile was actually complimented by Walters People themselves…although they did say that my profile picture needed an update (to which I wholeheartedly agreed). After this ego boost, I went back into the main hall where I saw the opportunity to talk to the host, Gijs, and ask him what he was most looking forward to during the event.

 “I was really curious to hear the first presentation because it’s very close to what we [Friends & Foes] do, but with a slightly different take. The second presentation – yea, I know Philips intimately and have worked for them as a consultant. It’s such a complex organization, they’re going through such a profound transformation so it’s interesting to hear how story can be used in that transition. The third presentation I think is a classic example of marketing done well through the use of a story; we still need to hear it, but I’ve had a sneak peak of the presentation and I’m really curious to hear it – really excited.”

 After speaking to Gijs, and sharing his excitement, it was time for the  last company presentation of the night. Ard Bossema, Grolsch’s very own Marketing and Strategy Director, was the third presenter of the night. He kick-started his presentation with an incredible promotional video capturing the essence of the company, and continued to woo us with facts about the company that really set it apart from the rest. Did you know that Grolsch was the first beer to use a swing-top bottle cap? Me neither! Supposedly, it makes Grolsch’s beer bottle the second most famous bottle in the world – after the Coca Cola’s, that is. We were then immersed into stories of Grolsch’s explosive past. Literally speaking. Their first brewery in Enschede was destroyed by fireworks 19 years ago. Nonetheless, they made an astonishing comeback and rebuilt their brewery from scratch. Ard then dove into the company’s strategic trajectory, which included being completely transparent about how they were going to successfully entrance us, their target market, into choosing their new beer targeted to the youth. Watch out for Kornuit! 

 The evening concluded with even more drinks, nibbles, and a goody bag! By this time, everyone was way more social than during the interim break (thanks Grolsch!), and we all got together to discuss the presentations and other less important things, such as our impending workloads and unfinished theses. Overall, I’m glad I attended Amsterdam Commercial Night. I had a great time, felt productive, and left the event more equipped for my future career than I was when I came in.

By Derya Yildirim 

‘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

12 different companies offered students the opportunity to meet with them during presentations, workshops, recruitment lunches, and network drinks. The Amsterdam Recruitment Event, organized for the first time, was a big success for participants and attending companies, as it gave all attendees  the chance to build their bridge to success.

 

The presentations offered great information about the company’s focus, industry, and product portfolio as well as USPs. Most importantly they emphasized on explaining in detail their current job opportunities, graduate programs, and internships which were valuable information for job seeking participants.

Danielle: “It was great to have the possibility to personally ask recruiters questions and get information about what they expect.”

 

Gabriel: “The presentations gave interesting information about the company and job opportunities.”

 

The recruitment lunches provided perfect opportunities to meet companies and recruiters in an informal setting and to personally and directly ask questions. You could not only ask questions yourself but also benefit from questions other asks, as the recruitment lunches were in groups.

 

 

Floris: “Great opportunity to interact with recruiters personally.”

 

 

 

The workshops revealed, besides more information about the companies, insights into the industries. Participants had the chance to experience real business cases and to see what working at the company would be like. This gave a good idea for the students, if they could imagine themselves working at that company or in that industry.

 

Wies: “The cases were a great chance to gain even better insights into the companies and relating industries.”

 

Tamar: “When I was at the ABN AMRO workshop it really shifted my perception of the banking industry, as I thought it would be pretty dry. But it was actually really fun.”


The
network drinks at the end of the event offered the chance to talk to recruiters personally and leave a lasting impression as well as receive more information about what they are looking for. We asked Vivian Mohr, Corporate Commercial Trainee at Friesland Campina (FMCG) and Anne Veerman and Ivan Brkic from ExpandOnline (Online Marketing Agency) what they are looking for  in future employees.

Vivian Mohr (Friesland Campina): “For our graduate program and entry level positions we are looking for different aspects, but the most important one is that the candidate has one unique, outstanding characteristic, that makes him or her rememberable.”

 

Anne Veerman and Ivan Brkic (ExpandOnline): “HAPPY & HUNGRY”

 

All in all, it can be said that this event achieved all of its goals, by offering insights into interesting and future oriented companies to students that are looking for an internship or a graduate position. A huge thank you to the Amsterdam Recruitment Committee for their organization and success of the event!

Make sure you don’t miss this event next year!

Written by Meike Behrens