Following my graduation from VeCo in 1993, I immediately started a 2-year MBA programme at the Rotterdam School of Business. The MBA programme allowed me to hone more analytical skills, as well as apply theory in case studies and real-life projects. During the programme, I took part in two internships: a summer marketing internship in the professional haircare division at L’Oreal Germany, as well as a 1-month internship on Business Process Reengineering (BPR) at 3M Belgium.
Those internships gave me the necessary work experience to apply for a job in the European Marketing team at IT distributor Anixter back in Brussels. A friend was working there and referred me. Since I’ve always had a keen interest in IT since an early age, this seemed the right industry for me. The MBA had also introduced me to all aspects of business management and I knew that marketing was my vocation.
I have now worked in IT marketing for 19 years in a EMEA-wide but also Global Marketing roles, in start-ups and corporates. 4 years ago, I made the conscious decision to leave a managerial position in favour of a new social media marketing role within the same company, EMC. I was the first digital marketing person in EMEA for EMC and the role was created for me. It was a risk and meant I wasn’t a manager anymore, with zero budget, but I followed my passion, became a thought leader and change agent in the company.
My two recommendations for VeCo graduates are: 1. Get work experience during and after your B.A. studies. Use the 3 months summer holidays to learn about real life applications of your major. It makes you much more employable. 2. Follow your passion and instincts. If nobody else is doing what you are, it doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. It could be a risk, but the rewards can be huge!