You don't have to work at a big agency for big deals
With over 1800 members, Financial Study Association Groningen (FSG), is one of the most active and professional study associations in the Netherlands. Boudewijn van der Hart, Jelmer Haites and Lisan Hutten studied in Groningen and share their story with economics and/or finance students in Groningen who are interested in working at JBR.
Baudouin: A click the counts
Boudewijn's story began with an introduction at the 2020 FSG Conference. He had organized the previous conference and was tipped off to JBR's workshop at the 2020 edition by a roommate. Iemke Imhof, Rocher Hulst, Rick ter Maat and Melvin Zandstra gave the workshop. Boudewijn says: "I immediately felt a click with the people and their work appealed to me. That's why I kept in touch with Iemke and went for an interview after graduation. After an interview with Iemke and Rick, I was hired.
What Boudewijn particularly noticed was the content of the work and the good guidance from a personal mentor, which he experienced at JBR. Unlike some large companies, where executive work can take over, at JBR employees are given the opportunity to take responsibility and actually contribute to various projects.
He continues: "The last deal I worked on was a major international M&A assignment in the Maritime & Offshore sector. Kramer Group, a company offering all facets of container logistics in the ports of Rotterdam. During this project I was responsible for the information memorandum (IM) as a business analyst. Together with my colleague Melvin, we also did sales support. By dividing responsibilities, it really becomes your assignment. When gathering information, you also have contact with the customer. Because of this, I regularly visited Kramer Group in Rotterdam. This is a good way to gather information and at the same time get a feel of the company. Meanwhile, among other things, I am working on the next assignment in the Maritime & Offshore sector."
Jelmer: from Groningen to Utrecht, same heat
Jelmer talks enthusiastically about his studies: "Like Boudewijn and Lisan, I studied economics in Groningen. During that time I enjoyed being on the Finance Society and the Investment Team at FSG. After my masters I immediately moved from Groningen to Utrecht. Utrecht feels just as cozy as Groningen! During FSG's Conference day, I attended a workshop by JBR. They came across as professional and substantive and went into more depth than companies I had visited before. What also appealed to me is the specialization in the Maritime sector. M&A is something I find very interesting."
After contacting Iemke Imhof and Rick ter Maat, he quickly became part of the JBR team. Jelmer shares his appreciation for the opportunity to contribute content, despite his duties as a trainee being supportive.
His involvement in strategic and corporate finance projects, such as the healthcare monitor and a large Maritime project, highlights the diversity of work at JBR. Jelmer's experiences illustrate how new employees are immediately integrated and taken seriously in all aspects of work.
He says, "We have a nice team, we play sports together, on Fridays we often hang out for a beer and we also sometimes go to dinner together in town. I enjoy going to work and I'm glad I started working here. You get responsibility quickly here and you have a seat at the table right away, even in negotiations if you can!"
Lisan: A unique path to JBR
Lisan's run-up to JBR, while less spectacular, was certainly no less meaningful. After seeing a job posting in FSG's newsletter, she contacted Iemke Imhof. Due to the challenges of the lockdown in December 2020 and with an infection coronavirus of her own, Lisan oriented and applied online, before she had even visited the office.
During her internship at JBR, due to coronagraphs, she sometimes worked with only three people in the office. After her master's, she stayed and now works as a business analyst.
She explains, "At JBR, you work on projects from A to Z. Unlike larger companies, where you often only work on small piecemeal projects. Here you get full guidance and confidence to use your abilities. I worked on projects such as Real Face Value, where I was involved in various aspects ranging from preparing sales documentation to financial analysis. Of course, this varies from assignment to assignment. While retrieving the information, you have contact with the client yourself. You also visit the client, both nationally and internationally. Then you learn so much more and you hear the customer's own story."
Finally, Lisan adds, "Of course, it all sounds like a promotion, but that's really how it goes. I didn't have the chance to physically visit the companies during my master's because corona provided limited or no contact. That's why I love FSG doing the Business Tour every year. This way students can already get a good orientation on what they want after their studies."
A shared experience of collaboration and growth
What emerges clearly from the experiences of Lisan, Boudewijn and Jelmer is the close contact and cooperation with colleagues and clients. JBR offers not only the opportunity to be involved in projects from start to finish, but also to gain valuable experience in negotiating, analyzing and presenting business information.
With a strong emphasis on personal development, collaboration and substantive engagement, working at JBR offers a unique opportunity for economics/finance students in Groningen to put their knowledge and skills into practice. So, if you are curious about a career that goes beyond the usual and in which you have a seat at the table right away, a look at JBR is definitely worthwhile.