IBA Alumni Interview #3
Can you give us a short introduction about yourself?
I’m Timo, 24 years old, and I studied IBA at Tilburg University from 2013 to 2016. Originally, I am from the Netherlands, but I currently live in Geneva, Switzerland, where I work for Procter & Gamble. You might not know the name, but you probably know some of our brands, like Gilette, Pantene, and Dreft.
What was one of the highlights during your time as an IBA student?
Without a doubt, my exchange to Hong Kong. I would encourage everyone to go on an exchange, where-ever it may be. It sounds super cliché but you really do learn to be independent, make friends for life, and likely have an amazing time.
What was the most instructive during your time as an IBA student
The fact that IBA is so broad was what brought me most for the job which I am doing now. Unless you really specialize (e.g. accountancy, finance, supply chain management), I think many jobs involve ‘general management’ which requires knowing something about everything. Even though I work in brand management, I still have to make analyses, understand the supply chain, and the legal world, the finances, etc.
What master study did you choose?
I did the master in International Management / CEMS at Erasmus University. Back then, Tilburg University did not have the QTEM partnership yet, and I really wanted to do another exchange and internship as part of my studies. Furthermore, I loved the fact that again I could study multiple subjects broadly, to prepare myself for a management job.
How did you prepare yourself for the job market?
As of the moment that I started studying at Tilburg University I became active at Asset | International Business & Management, and therefore got to join various career events very soon. I also did a board year in which I gained a lot of experience, as well as an internship. You do not have to be an active member to join career events, they are actually open to anyone, and I would highly encourage doing so. You really get a good overview of what companies out there have to offer you.
Can you give us an short explanation of your daily tasks at P&G?
I am currently Assistant Brand Manager for P&G Professional, the business to business side of our cleaning brands. My main tasks include 1) managing the upstream innovations for Mr Proper Professional Europe (new product development & campaigns) and 2) helping to deploy the marketing campaigns and launch new innovations for the professional business in 20+ markets (across Central Europe, South East Europe, and Turkey / Caucasus). Practically, it means managing a lot of different teams and leading different projects, which is very exciting and a great experience.
Do you have any tips for current IBA students looking at the future?
I would highly encourage being active in something. Something you are passionate about – may it be at a student association, study association, sports association, or having your own company. You build a lot of connections with people who have experiences of their own that they can tell you about, you learn a lot of skills, and it really gives you something to talk about when you are having an interview with your dream employer.