Thomas van Niele

Well, for anyone who has the ambition to work in marketing – or any commercial capacity for that matter- I guess it’s useful to take some minor electives focused on business/marketing basics.

Management Trainee at RTL Nederland, the Netherlands

Class of 2009 (Graduated in 2013)

Why did you choose the IBCoM programme? Was it a conscious choice for a specific career path?
I am very interested in marketing/advertising and entertainment, and fascinated by the way that real value could be added to basically anything through the sheer use creative content. This is what I wanted to learn more about at IBCoM. I was also very interested in the advent of new media technologies, which would have major consequences for the way marketing and media production would be conducted. I’m not sure if I already knew this at the time, but I like to think that I had a hunch.

What other factors contributed to your decision?
Another factor that contributed was that it is a small program where you can get personal attention, things you simply don’t see at other programmes. Another was the international aspect, working with students from around the globe sounded very appealing to me.

Do you have any tips or recommendations for current students?
Well, for anyone who has the ambition to work in marketing – or any commercial capacity for that matter- I guess it’s useful to take some minor electives focused on business/marketing basics. Companies are craving for marketing students who are moulded in the digital landscape. Taking those electives and specifying them on your resume really adds to your track record.

How long did it take you to find a job after graduation?
It took me quite some time. After graduating in the Master Media & Business I noticed that the job market was pretty rough and the competition was incredible. I found my first ‘real’ job in December, so about six months after graduating. However, I didn’t get my dream job until a week ago: as of October 1st 2015, I will be working at RTL Nederland as one of the three new management trainees. This is very much centered on what I want to do: work in a creative and commercially driven environment and being able to sway millions of people.

How did you experience the job hunt and job application process?
The job hunt was tough. After a while I decided to broaden my search and to look for more realistic (and less fun) job opportunities for the time being. Key is to keep looking for other positions and don’t put all your hopes on a single application because then you end up feeling miserable. At a certain point in time I started working at Metrixlab as a researcher. Not my dream job but still, I needed the money. In the meantime I spent my evenings applying for fun jobs, knowing that it would happen to me sooner or later.

The application process for my RTL traineeship in particular was a lot of fun, but also very competitive with almost 400 applicants for just three positions. More than in any other application process, my IBCoM experience has helped me to land this job. One of the things they are looking for during the application process is an innovative angle on the media and entertainment business, and the ability to comprehensively and eloquently elaborate on this. This innovative mind-set is very much taught at IBCoM, and the ability to present even more so! 

What are your most prominent tasks in your current job?
In my last few weeks as a research manager at Metrixlab, my most prominent task were the development and monitoring of online surveys, analysing data using SPSS, creating graphs and tables with Excel and eventually the creation of the report. I also liaised with clients with respect to their marketing Key Performance Indicators and other goals pertaining to their campaigns.

I’ve learned a lot of things, especially in terms of SPSS, Excel and Powerpoint. However, I also learned that research isn’t the job for me. I didn’t really gain much actual knowledge or insights in the marketing or advertising business, even though I delivered dozens of reports to clients. Nevertheless I did add some work experience to my resume, which probably also contributed to the job I recently landed. 

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