Working for a major boardsports brand brings a range of travel opportunities, especially to the beach and mountains. We spoke to Annelies Soenen, Marketing Co-ordinator for Quiksilver, Quiksilver Women and Roxy, to find out more.
Tell us about the job/training you’re doing now?
I am responsible for all marketing activities of Quiksilver, Quiksilver Womenand Roxy in Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg). The idea is that I implement the European guidelines that are being set out by head office, on a local level – so I take care of events, retail and trade marketing, PR, sponsorships, team-riders…
What is the most exciting aspect of your work?
The diversity of the job content, meeting new people all the time, the opportunity to travel, attend amazing international events and meet some of the world’s biggest boardsports athletes, spending a lot of time at the beach and in the mountains,and free clothing!
Would your classmates from school be surprised at what you’re doing now?
I don’t think so…from time to time my mother runs into someone and when she tells them what I’m doing they always respond in the same way, ‘I didn’t expect anything else’.
What school subjects were you good at and have any been surprisingly helpful later on?
I was really good at languages and it has helped me a lot actually. In my first job (Marketing Wrangler at European head office) English was very important. I was the only Dutch-speaking person in the team and was responsible for communicating with all local (in country) marketing managers. After a while you actually start thinking in English!
In my current job I mainly use my mother tongue (Dutch) and French – Quiksilver head office is based in the south of France and the majority of the marketing team is French.
How did you decide what you wanted to do after school?
I always loved to write so after school I went to university to study Communication Sciences, planning to become a journalist.
But then along the way, I discovered marketing and after five years of studying, becoming a journalist didn’t even cross my mind anymore. I wanted to be in marketing / communications.
Initially I thought of working for an advertising agency but then the people from Wrangler called me. I went over and before I knew it I had this amazing first job as Marketing Assistant at the European head office. I got to be involved in all the marketing projects and it was the best way to learn and to find out what I do and don’t like!
If you went to university what was your university experience like?
Well, I had these images in my head of big classrooms where you could be totally anonymous and disappear in the crowd and the first year was exactly like that and I loved it!
But overall it was a great experience: you gain independence; meet new people; discover all this knowledge; and if you’re lucky you really find out which road you want to take career-wise.
What was the proudest moment of your life so far?
Job-wise, I guess when I got the job at Quiksilver. I still consider myself quite young and I didn’t think I would get such an opportunity at this point in my life, so when they called to make me an offer I was really like YEAH!
What advice would you give someone still at school who wants to do what you’re doing now?
I never had a clear plan in my head, I just wanted to do something fun and exciting and ideally in a nice and cool company for a sexy brand so I’ve been really lucky!
I guess the only advice I can give is that you need to feel good about what you’re doing and do what you really want to (I never applied for a job that I didn’t want 200 per cent. Motivation is SO important) and aim high!
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