Feature: Emma Kruijswijk
Hello Emma, could you please briefly introduce yourself?
Hi, I’m Emma Kruijswijk, 24 years old and currently living in Amsterdam. I was born and raised in Groningen and studied there as well. In 2011, I started with the Bachelor International Business during which I went on exchange for a semester to Lisbon in my third year. Thereafter, I started the master Finance and during the same period I participated in the IFP program. After graduation I did an asset management internship at IBS and in September 2016 I started working at PwC as a Deals trainee. My hobbies are mainly sport related; I play basketball and go to the gym several times a week. Besides, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, celebrating the weekend on Fridays and travelling around the world.
What have you done within Risk?
My first experience with Risk was as a participant of the IFP program in 2014/2015 to Colombia. During this program I got to know Risk and its activities better. I decided to become a Risk Active Member by organising the London Banking Tour in 2015. Next to that, I was part of the Risk Investment Team for about half a year (until I moved to Amsterdam), participated in the Dutch Banking Tour in 2016 and went to several Investment and Accountancy Evenings.
Why did you decide to become an Active Member of Risk and what did you learn during your active membership?
During my IFP period I got to know Risk, its activities and members which all really appealed to me. The social aspect and the fact that I was in my master phase and needed to orientate for job opportunities made me realise a committee could be a valuable experience. As I was curious about the City, of which I heard many extreme stories, I decided to apply for the London Banking Tour Committee.
The social aspect and the fact that I was in my master phase and needed to orientate for job opportunities made me realise a committee could be a valuable experience.
During my period as a Risk Member, I got to know a lot of companies, even several of which I had no idea they existed before meeting them. Besides that, I also developed myself professionally by organising the event in a professional manner and through proactively chasing companies to participate. Via Risk I got the first insights on how companies actually operate, rather than just the theory about it.
You were in the London Banking Tour Committee, during your visit to the City you were not triggered to work in London at one of the companies you visited?
That is correct, I did not feel like working there. During this tour I got my first experience with the financial district in London. It was a great experience and very valuable to me. It gave me the insight that I’m not made for that kind of life. “Work is life” for the people working in the City, is how I experienced it. Although I do like my current job a lot, I also enjoy a lot of other things, which I still like to be able to do. That's why I decided not to apply for any of the banks we visited.
You also joined the International Financial Program to Colombia, what was the most striking thing you learned/found out about doing business in Colombia?
Fist of all, I was amazed by the high number of women in top positions at the banks we visited. Colombia has a more equal men/women ratio than the Netherlands. Secondly, it was very cool that we got interviews with CEOs and CFOs of the large banks. I don’t think that the people in the Netherlands, in those positions, would have made time for us. In my opinion, this mainly has to do with the fact that the people we interviewed were really proud of their country. They were very eager to tell us about how their country was improving, both politically and economically, and thereby becoming an attractive opportunity for foreign investors. I really liked this passion they showed.
My decision to apply at PwC rather than the other big four firms or banks was partially based on intuition.
You started the Deals Traineeship at PwC one year ago, how did you decide to choose this traineeship and how do you like it so far?
When I graduated in February 2016 I was considering a career in M&A or asset management. To make a thoughtful decision I decided to first do an internship. I liked my internship at IBS but also thought I would be more challenged in a project-based working environment. My decision to apply at PwC rather than the other big four firms or banks was partially based on intuition; at recruitment days I met several employees from different firms and I liked the ones from PwC the most. The other part was based on the fact that, at that time, PwC was the only firm that offered a Deals Traineeship. I saw this as a big advantage as I wanted to see the complete Deals cycle before specialising in a specific part of it (e.g. strategy, financial due diligence, etc.).
So far I really enjoy the traineeship. I’m very pleased that I’m still happy with my decision to start working at PwC as I think it is a really hard choice to make after graduation. Thanks to all the social activities and my trainee group working sometimes feels a bit as an extension of my student life. The content of the work is also very interesting and I learned so much already in my first year. Furthermore, I like the real-life experience I am gathering after much theory in university.
I wished I started earlier. Besides, those events are also a lot of fun (and drinks are regularly for free).
What advice would you give to students who are at the beginning of their career?
Start orientating for potential employers and career opportunities early by going to recruitment days, inhouse days and other events. I only started looking in my master phase and figured that was pretty late. At that time, I had no clue about all the career opportunities that existed at different firms. Of course, you can always catch up, but looking back, I wished I started earlier. Besides, those events are also a lot of fun (and drinks are regularly for free).