Hi, I am Jop Heuvelmans and in this story I will tell you more about my two biggest passions, why I am a member of AIESEC, and what I do as an acquisition manager.
I’m 21 years old and I live in Tilburg. In January I started a premaster in Data Science and Entrepreneurship at the Jheronimus Academy of Data Science in Den Bosch. One of my biggest passions is wine. My dad is a wine merchant and when I was sixteen I started my first wine course at the Wine & Spirit Educational Trust. The year after I also finished the advanced course and started selling wine accessories together with three friends. A few years later I began giving wine tastings to students, friends, and companies, which I still do today. My mission is to convince everyone wine is a beautiful product (www.winesolutions.nl)!
My time in AIESEC
Apart from wine, my other biggest passion is AIESEC. Since July 2016 I have been a member of AIESEC’s local committee in Tilburg. Initially, I joined AIESEC for two simple reasons: I wanted to get to know more people and I wanted to interact with companies on a professional level. Through this I wanted to see, whether I wanted to stay an entrepreneur or pursue a more corporate career. Little did I know that AIESEC is so much more than just an organization facilitating voluntary work and internships.
Pretty soon after I started my term, I realized that AIESEC is special. We are an organization with a very clear mission: peace and fulfillment of humankind’s potential. Now, to outsiders this might sound like we are all hippies hugging trees, but the impact we make is real. Every student that goes on an exchange through AIESEC, whether it is an internship or voluntary work, will change for good. Further, they will learn about their strengths and weaknesses and how to deal with difficult situations. Additionally, they will learn to work in a team and ultimately what it means to be a leader. It is those leaders we develop that will shape the world of tomorrow and if we add all those leadership stories together, we can make a truly remarkable change in the world.
AIESEC and personal development
So how do I contribute to AIESEC’s mission? As an acquisition manager, it is my responsibility to open new internship opportunities in my region for foreign students. This means that I have to convince companies to hire a trainee via AIESEC. I do this mostly by networking, cold calling, and appointments. Throughout the year AIESEC has provided me with lots of trainings to educate me for my function. Among those trainings I learned about sales, acquisition and partner management. The best part of being an acquisition manager is that it’s very diverse. One day, you’re sitting at a playful startup ran by two friends and three employees. The other day, you’re at a billion-dollar multinational, seeing that even they can benefit from partnering with AIESEC.
Now, all the things I’ve learned put aside, the very best thing about AIESEC is its people and the amazing time we have together. Throughout the year, there are many local and national events. Every Monday, I have dinner with my team, followed by a meeting with my team and the entire local committee. Additionally, twice a year we go to a castle in Limburg for our National Conferences. In these three-day events we participate in trainings, listen to interesting speakers, solve each other’s functional problems and, of course, party! The atmosphere at our conferences is very open and I love to sit down with people I don’t know yet during lunch or dinner and get to know students from all of the world.
This post was written by AIESEC in the Netherlands. We offer international voluntary projects and professional internships with the aim of developing leadership in youth.