What is the most interesting project at work? Why is it so interesting?

In my previous job with Devex I found data projects very interesting. Devex is a global community of 650,000 development professionals and 1,000 funding agencies, companies and NGOs in 100 countries, so as a marketing data analyst I was excited to have so much data to work with. Some of the tasks included compiling and evaluating data and identifying trends to help the e-commerce team make data-driven decisions. I also provided data analysis to other teams investigating aspects of user behavior.

Devex is scattered across three continents so there was a lot of communication with people from other offices. I could start my day talking to the Philippines office and finish it by reaching out to someone in our Washington DC branch.

How did your study/internship in the Netherlands help you to build your career?

After finishing my degree it took me some time to land a job in an area and place that I liked. But having international experience and a degree from the Netherlands definitely helped at all stages. I could say my experience was not very typical because I wanted a particular job in a certain country (NGO sector in Spain). I lived in Spain on several occasions and tried to find a job there, but later I started working at an NGO in St. Petersburg, "Warm Home," which helps children from vulnerable families that are at risk of being placed in an orphanage. That job helped me gain experience in the non-profit sector and also save some money to go to Spain again. After several attempts I succeeded and found a job at Devex’s Barcelona office.

Studying at Groningen gave me an advantage in my area. The Master’s in Marketing Research programme was one of the very first of its kind in Europe and was taught by renowned professors in the field (Peter Leeflang and Peter Verhoef to mention but a few). There were many practical tasks and lots of real-world data to work with, which later helped me in my future jobs. Data analysis in marketing is a growing field and there is always a demand for these specialists, especially now when companies use data insights extensively on a daily basis.

Why do you find NANR useful?

NANR is great for networking and finding new friends since it helps in meeting like-minded people who have shared experiences. I have participated in numerous NANR events and I always find them enriching since you meet people with different backgrounds and always learn something new. At NANR events there is always a very special atmosphere that makes you forget where you are for a moment. It takes you back to the happy and tranquil times when we were students in the Netherlands. 

Apart from NANR activities, I also really enjoy attending lectures by The Netherlands Institute in St. Petersburg, as they invite Dutch professors and philosophers to give speeches on various topics.

What can you learn from the Dutch in your opinion?

I think you can learn how to be easy going and open-minded. Dutch people historically have travelled very far and I think that somehow this curiosity for the world and traveler’s spirit remains in modern Dutch culture. Also, one of my observations while living in Holland was that Dutch people have a great sense of comradeship and enjoy doing many things in big groups. To me, Dutch people have a special connection with nature and try to be sustainable in daily life, which is also very admirable. 

What is your biggest professional ambition?

I would like to develop myself professionally in the non-profit sector and work for NGOs and social organisations that can make an impact. I see it as ambitious in and of itself since it is rather hard to get into this field and find a job that could combine my marketing background and interest in social causes.