“The opportunities I've been given here have helped me take a few steps on the ladder.”

From Regional Manager to Account Manager Inhome

I've been ambitious and enterprising from a very young age. I want to achieve everything within my grasp, make the most of my career.

Quicker career in practice

During my Higher professional education (HBO) in Commercial Economy, I completed a minor in Sweden. I would recommend this type of foreign experience to anyone! In actual fact, I wanted to study Marketing Management afterwards but I changed my mind after a year of working in the rental department of a car hire company, because I thought my career would get going quicker if I started working straight away. I was sure of one thing though: it wouldn't be within the car sector...

A good application letter...

My heart lies in food and retail; I was raised in this world. My father was in this sector and I naturally picked things up along the way. And what I heard, really appealed to me. So when a friend, who was familiar with Perfetti Van Melle, tipped me off about a vacancy for Regional Manager, I was very enthusiastic. I put a great deal of effort into my application letter as the job was exactly what I was looking for. And it worked: I was invited to two interviews and was then asked to start.

In at the deep end

As Regional Manager - the first step up the sales ladder - I visited an average of nine customers per day, ranging from supermarkets, petrol stations and tobacco shops to school and sports centre canteens. In at the deep end; that's how you learn quickest. And it was varied work; I had to push not only my own brands but also had to work with the shop owners on how we could expand the confectionery category in general.

Your colleagues can make the difference

I'd imagined I would be Regional Manager for around two to three years. But then, after just ten months, I saw the vacancy for Junior Account manager. I had my doubts because I was really enjoying what I was already doing. But, the fact that my colleagues and my supervisor encouraged me to apply, meant that I took the step. After an exciting internal application procedure with a robust business case, I was offered the job! Not bad at the age of 23...

Enough time for my friends

I'm one of the youngest in this area, I'm quite sure of that. But they encourage you to develop at Perfetti Van Melle and I'd already indicated that I wanted to move forward. My aim was to end up at a higher level after three years than I would have done if I'd stayed at university. And I did it with ease. And even though I have a responsible job, I have plenty of time at the weekend to go out with friends and meet up for a beer or meal.

Ideal next step

My position as Junior Account Manager Inhome was the ideal next step in my development to Account Manager. I was the representative for our product portfolio for a number of retail chains, including AH to go, Spar, Poiesz, Boon and Van Tol. I also supported the Sales Manager at the Albert Heijn supermarket: fantastic to get a glimpse behind the scenes of the biggest retailer!

More and more responsibility

After 12 months, my supporting role came to an end when 3 own customers were added to my account: Coop, Deen and Boni. And so my responsibility increased, allowing me to clock up even more hours. I did so so successfully that I was promoted to Account Manager Inhome a year later. In this position too, I've been able to quickly move on and up to gain even more responsibility. By now, I represent our product portfolio at large national retail chains, who jointly account for more than 15% of the total Inhome market.