In July 2019, Maarten de Schipper joined the WUA ranks. He will be launching our Digital Customer Journey Traineeship. Get to know Maarten in this interview where he talks about the different companies he founded (he isn’t one to sit still), previous work experience, and dreams.
Hello Maarten! We are so glad that you joined the WUA team back in July 2019. How did you end up at WUA and what will be your role within the company?
Following my adventure in the field of big data and data science, I was excited to explore a different area of innovation and rapid development.
So, I deliberately kept my eye out for opportunities at a leading company in the digital market, and via my son I came in contact with Henk. At WUA they were open to the idea of creating a traineeship focused on customer journey thinking. This directly related to my experience that traineeships are most effective and make the most impact (for both the trainee and the organization) when the trainee is provided with a ‘knowledge injection’ from the experts in a niche company.
That is why we’ve now created a WUA Digital Customer Journey Traineeship. Now, a couple of months later, this is ready for its first trainees.
When you first started working here, what was your first impression of the company?
Energetic! Although WUA has existed for 10 years by now, it still has the energy of a young start-up. Young people with a friendly and open-minded vibe. Everyone is eager to learn and to reach their goals both individually and as a team. In my very first week, I had the pleasure to experience one of WUA’s team outings. We went to Zoelen to conquer a WipeOut parkour. It made me feel at home right away.
What about your previous work experience?
I was a physiotherapist, before entering into Health Sciences. After this study, I started working for a company in which I helped set up a traineeship for hospitals. Subsequently, I did this for my own company (Xomnia) as well, but focused on big data. So I guess a common theme in my career is that I like to support people while they keep improving themselves. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be doing that for WUA.
What do you believe in? What is your life motto?
Improve a little bit every day! By doing a lot of new things I aim to learn new skills. But I also like to reflect a lot on my actions during the day. I like to mirror this philosophy of learning in the work that I do. For example, if I receive any feedback on the trainee programme from clients’ trainees, I will not stop improving the programme accordingly until it is perfect!
WUA’s motto is “living dreams”. What dreams do you have?
I have many dreams! My latest one is to own my own camper van, so I can drive down to the beach on a Friday, surf and relax during the weekend, and come back on the Monday morning, holding on to that holiday vibe. As far as work related dreams go, I dream about building a new boosting business unit at WUA, making an impact with the best digital traineeship in The Netherlands, therefore making an impact on the young talent and clients!
What area are you unbeatable in?
I would have said skiing, but it turns out there are quite a few talented skiers at WUA. So, I would say I am unbeatable in my entrepreneurial drive. Turning ideas into reality – which is an opportunity I was given at WUA as well.
How entrepreneurial are you? Do you have a website, Instagram account, or something else we don’t know about? Any secret plans for a great company?
As a partner, I helped Xomnia grow from a little startup to a company that has over 80 employees, which was kind of a rollercoaster experience for three years, to say the least.
I recently funded Clean Ocean Events. With this foundation, we strive to teach people a bit more about ‘the plastic soup’. We collect plastic from beaches and use it to create art. After crafting artwork, we put on our wetsuits and conquer the waves on our surfboards. Clean Ocean Events hasn’t been in business for that long, and we won’t strive to build it as a full-time business… Instead, we focus on the groups that are looking to combine fun with awareness around plastics in the oceans!