From marketing intern to a unique traineeship: how Tim grew at VI Company
What is a graduation internship like at VI Company? We spoke with our graduation interns Tim van der Nol (marketing) and Johan Geluk (backend development) about their experiences. In the first of two interviews, Tim takes us on his journey at VI Company and Alloq, and clues us in on a surprising turn of events.
What made you want to intern at VI Company?
“I studied Entrepreneurship and Retailmanagement at the Hogeschool Rotterdam. When I was looking for a graduation internship, a friend of mine pointed out VI Company and the fact that they’re in FinTech. I had previously interned at a bank and had an interest in trading and investing, so I applied. The creative financial niche of VI Company really made it click for me and after a second meeting with Tycho and Renske I couldn’t wait to sign the contract.”
What did your graduation project consist of?
“Alloq, a product of VI Company’s which is an allocation management tool, wanted to increase their brand awareness. The more I mapped out the organization and interviewed colleagues, the more that was confirmed. After that I researched solutions and put out two experiments.”
What did you experiment with?
“My first solution consisted of email marketing. Alloq wasn’t using that at all yet, while VI Company already had a valuable network we could use.. The second solution was to increase organic LinkedIn posts. There was almost no publishing prior, so I picked up on posting consistently. As a bonus, I tested paid campaigns to see if that would help with brand awareness. In the end, email campaigns were a good tool, but my advice is to build qualitatively rather than going full force right away. Also, consistent posting on LinkedIn yielded much more. Far above the benchmark set on LinkedIn.”
Those are great results! How did you enjoy your internship?
“Despite serving a serious market which is usually averse to risk, VI Company and Alloq are quite the opposite. When I came here, I expected anything but this: Friday drinks, Counter-strike nights, FIFA games after lunch. It made me feel at home. But most of all, I really appreciated the coaching and guidance I received. Not only from my formal internship supervisor, but also from other Alloq colleagues and partners of VI Company. My own interests were encouraged and everyone was very willing to help, but initiative is a very important keyword. You have to speak up when you need help and that was a pitfall for me.”
Sounds like a few lessons learned. Any words of advice for interns-to-be?
“Honestly? Ask for help if you can't figure it out and make use of the network of the organization. Be proactive. You need to express yourself and think of yourself as a colleague instead of ‘just an intern’. Your insights are just as valued as those of someone who has worked here for ten years. If you don't agree with something or think that it can be done differently, speak up. They truly are willing to take that on board. It's a very open culture here. It's not like: ‘Okay thanks, we’ll make sure to think of that.’ But rather: ‘When can you help us implement your idea?’.”
What are you most proud of?
“In the first place, I’m proud of the LinkedIn-growth we realized. But most of all on the exception VI Company is making by offering me a traineeship in software development. I indicated that I was interested in software development and after discussing it, they offered me this opportunity. In addition to that, I’ll be staying on to do marketing. So two days of marketing within Alloq and VI and the rest of the week will be filled with the traineeship. Which will be part internal and part external and even offers coaching.”
That sounds like a huge opportunity!
“I’m stoked. I hope to be a full-fledged software developer and work within VI Company and Alloq afterwards. My interest in software development really sparked during my internship. I always doubted a bit whether my studies were really my thing. I always questioned if the direction I was going would make me happy later. And then I saw that with programming and development you can actually solve a problem. That just seems so cool to me, that you can turn a problem into something tangible.”
Can’t wait to intern at VI Company or Alloq? Or looking for a different opportunity within our team? Check career opportunities here or feel free to send us a message at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.