Alumni in the spotlight
Made in Maastricht
Haike Spek: "The online market in Germany requires durability and reliability"
'I actually advise most companies against taking their business to Germany'. I advise these relatively small companies to focus their efforts on the Dutch market first. The online market in Germany requires durability and reliability. German consumers are sticklers for certifications and standards like Amazon has, and not every company can compete with that. Because we usually work for commission, we always research everything thoroughly and create a strategy for a lasting partnership. That is why we prefer to focus on businesses that stand a really good chance.'
Paulien de Haes: "The perfect generalist for the job"
Ten months ago, Paulien de Haes (32) moved to Tripoli in Lebanon for the mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). With her degree in business economics and majors in organisation and sustainability, Paulien is the perfect generalist for the multifaceted job of Finance and Administration Manager. 'I have always been internationally oriented. I also find it extremely motivating to work for an organisation which I believe in. That really runs deep. As a result, it didn't come as a shock to my parents when I started working for the ICRC and was posted abroad'.
"It gives you so much courage to contribute having a positive impact in this world.”
Luise’s enthusiasm for her job radiated from a picture spotted on her LinkedIn profile. She was on this field work trip in Malawi, Africa. Extremely curious to hear what she was doing there and how she got this position, we scheduled an interview with her. It was Luise’s passion for international relations that brought her to Maastricht. She had been doing internships and volunteer jobs for various international and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like Amnesty International, women’s shelters and refugee aid organisations since she was fifteen years old.
Maartje Linzell: From psychologist to alumni coach
Who am I? In essence: I’m a ‘bon vivant’ who’s mad on wine, running and cycle racing. Following wake-up calls like thyroid cancer and a diagnosis of MS, I grab all the opportunities I can. Blogger on my website: www.maartjelinzell.nl. Mum to 2 boys and a wife. And a true lover of life. I persevere and push the boundaries. I’m proud of the fact that I took part in and raised money for the Alpe d'huzes challenge, and that I ran the Rotterdam Marathon on 9 April. That’s Maartje so far in a nutshell.
Lea Pfefferle: We live in an expat bubble in Brussels which makes it hard to really blend in
In 2008, Lea Pfefferle, 28 years, decided to study European Studies in Maastricht. She is originally from Kerpen, Germany and has been keen on learning more about politics from a young age. Additionally, “I was quite interested to do my bachelors in English and at that time in Germany there weren’t that many universities that were offering the opportunity for a degree in English.”
Sabrina Bos: Hey, come on, you’re earning well, why don’t you hang something decent on the wall?
Sabrina Bos received her Bachelor's degree International Business in 2011. Quickly after her graduation she found a niche in the market and started her own business. AccessART is an online platform for buying affordable art by contemporary artists.
Koen Willems: A Running Existence in Barcelona
As owner of Running Barcelona, 39-year-old Koen Willems never knows quite how his week will turn out, yet these last few weeks were especially hectic. “It’s been a busy period. With the birth of our second daughter on 25 April, my parents-in-law came over for an extended visit from my wife’s native country Argentina.”
Jasper van Mastrigt: Registered for the ‘diplomats class’ after graduating from European Studies
‘Naturally I chose Maastricht because of my surname’, he said jokingly. But no, that was not the reason. After he graduated from secondary school, he began a degree programme in Social Geography and Planning at Utrecht University in 2005. However, the programme did not meet his expectations. He quit halfway through the year and decided to switch to European Studies in Maastricht.
Robbert Rietbroek: one of Australia’s youngest CEOs, can already look back on an impressive career
After graduating in 1996, Robbert Rietbroek (41) quickly started working for Procter & Gamble. Was it easier to get a job then than it is now? ‘No, not really’, he says. ‘Back then it took an average of around twelve months before you could start your first job. Fortunately, I was always very active in addition to my studies. That helped.’ Now, 18 years later, he is one of Australia’s youngest CEOs, and he can already look back on an impressive career.
Bettina Klein: Working in an international emerging art market
Bettina Klein graduated in 2007 from her Master of Arts and Heritage. She now works as an exhibitor Relations Manager at Art Dubai in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Bettina is a very committed alumn and member of the External Advisory Board of her faculty which aims to maintain the quality of the programme and monitor the preparation for the labour market for it's graduates. We asked her a couple of questions about then and now.