Juniors Blog – In At The Deep End!
100 days and counting…
‘This week, it’s official; we ‘survived’ our first 100 days working at the NFIA Headquarters! And not only did we ‘survive’, but we also enjoyed it!’
Junior Project Managers
It all started back in April when the three of us started our jobs as Junior Project Managers at the NFIA Headquarters in The Hague. This week we reached the milestone of working 100 days at the NFIA. So, what have our first 100 days been like? Without further ado, it is time to introduce you to the newest additions to the NFIA Netherlands team: Sjoerd Habing, Maxime Notenboom and Rosanne van der Leer.
From left to right: Rosanne, Sjoerd and Maxime
As all three of us recently graduated in business-related studies, we were eager to dive into the world of foreign direct investments and to experience working in an international business environment and, so far, we have been experiencing precisely that! Being part of an organization with 28 offices worldwide we are able to work together with international companies as well as with colleagues with different nationalities around the world.
In addition to working with international businesses and network partners, we also work closely together with our regional partners here in the Netherlands. Within the Invest in Holland network, twelve regional partners collaborate under the one umbrella. This network provides us with a dynamic working environment and enables us to work together with a variety of (inter)national parties and to learn a lot about the Netherlands and our great Dutch business climate.
Foreign Direct Investments
Before sharing our experiences with you, we would firstly like to tell you a little about FDI in the Netherlands since the effect of foreign direct investments is not always widely understood. Did you know, for example, that foreign companies invest heavily in the Dutch economy, helping to create jobs, facilitating technology transfer and providing a major source of capital? That is why helping foreign companies to set up business in the Netherlands is so much fun: being able to work in an international network, to promote the Netherlands across the globe and contribute to the Dutch economy is our dream job!
At our HQ in The Hague, we work together with a team of 36 enthusiastic colleagues. If you were to ask us what was the highlight of our first 100 days here, all three of us would answer unanimously: ‘The NFIA spirit and being part of the NFIA team’. The team is very much hands-on, open, and always willing to help us. The strong work ethic is also balanced with opportunities for informal socializing such as the end-of-week get-together on Friday afternoons.
So what do we do on a daily basis? We help foreign companies! To do so, the NFIA has in-house project managers, as well as sector-specific specialists, to provide companies with the best possible advice. Maxime and Rosanne assist the project managers, and Sjoerd provides support to the NFIA specialists in key sectors. We contribute by performing desk research; i.e. presentations, benchmark studies, value propositions, help in the preparation of Fact Finding Trips and Investor Relations visits, and collect analyses and other useful information for the promotion of the Netherlands as one of the world’s top business locations. Even though the Netherlands is home for us three newbies, we still learned many interesting things and discovered facets of our economy and culture that were new to us.
As part of our introduction to the work of the NFIA we were able to join some colleagues on a ‘fact-finding trip’; a trip where the NFIA organizes meetings with relevant parties, as well as providing personalized guidance and counsel on tax, government and permit procedures, location options, and business solutions. Occasionally, we also join Project Managers who visit companies which the NFIA has assisted in the past. Known as ‘IR-visits’, they allow us to learn about various issues that these companies experienced while engaged in the process of setting up activities in the Netherlands.
Field trip to Limburg
As mentioned earlier, we work closely together with our colleagues at NFIA HQ in The Hague, as well as with our NFIA colleagues abroad. It turned out that we were not the only newbies in the NFIA ‘community’ as a number of new colleagues also joined our overseas offices. In order to be able to promote the Netherlands and to meet our regional partners in person, we went on an introductory tour throughout the Netherlands. Together with colleagues from our offices in India, Japan, UAE, and the USA, we met with 12 regional partners; visited 9 cities; 6 science and innovation parks; heard 5 testimonials; listened to 22 presentations; and ate 12 cheese sandwiches for lunch (see the blog from our NFIA colleague Adeline during her trip when she visited the Netherland last June). We learned much about the Netherlands and of course we had fun introducing our country to our foreign colleagues.
So far, we have learned a lot over these past 100 days and are very happy to be a part of the NFIA team and to play an active role in contributing to the Dutch economy. We hope that you have gained a little more insight into the work of the NFIA and some of the recent activities we, as junior project managers, have been a part of.
One thing that we have learned so far… is that we can be justifiably proud of the business climate we have here in the Netherlands.
If you are interested in doing business in Holland, please contact us for more information.