As a small child I wanted to become a veterinarian. Whilst working various part-time jobs in my teens my interests gradually shifted. At seventeen years old I worked in a factory with fully automated systems and was in awe of the intricate control processes and the company’s profits! I found out then, that I liked to analyze and diagnose business processes. I realized I shouldn’t have a career healing animals, but companies.
With this new found interest I decided to study industrial engineering at the TU/e University in Eindhoven. During my time there, I learned to view business processes from the perspectives of people, technology and organization. I wanted to instantly apply what I learned so I decided to start a company selling garage doors online whilst studying. I was the first garage door retailer with a proper website and using Google AdWords to find clients. I remember times when I would be having drinks in the pub with fellow students, and then a prospective customer would call. I would just run out onto the bar street and make a sale.
For my graduation, I went to the bustling city of Shanghai. There I joined the research department of Philips Asia where I was asked to map the geographic dynamics of China, giving me a great opportunity to travel China and learn about its culture. Not wanting to return to Europe after my graduation, I accepted a job at Philips Lighting Shanghai. My entrepreneurial blood had other plans for me though, and soon enough I found that Philips was not for me. I felt like a small cog in a giant machine, too far removed from where the money was made.