My Personal Profile

Wat is dit?

I am Linda Smits, born on the 1st of April 1987 in Nijmegen. I have one 21 year old brother and together with my parents he lives in Nijmegen. The same counts for me, although I live in the city centre in my own room.

I describe my personality (qualities) as: enthusiastic, motivated, responsible, organized and communicative.

My personal interest are in fashion, sports (tennis, salsa, horse riding, running&yoga), traveling, music and books. Spending quality time with family and friends is very important in my life.

Education and qualifications:
2001-2006: Lindenholt College te Nijmegen, Degree Atheneum
2006-2008: University of Utrecht, Law (propedeuse degree completed)
2008-2011: Arnhem Business School, IBMS (propedeuse degree completed ‘Cum Laude’) + Spanish 2010-2011:Study Abroad: Kingston University London, Placement Abroad: Q-Railing Europe GmBH

After I got my Athenaeum diploma I actually didn’t know which study I would like to do. I did have an interest in IBMS back then, but since I got my atheneum I had the feeling that it would be a shame if I didn’t choose a University. International Business at University level didn’t appeal to me so much. I choose for Law instead with the aim of pursuing International Law and grow further in that area.
Seeing now, I don’t quite know if Law was the right choice for me. My father always talked about him wanting to finish law, but he couldn’t because he had to join the military service. I imagined it to suit me very well, but already in the beginning fase, where all law elements were combined, I saw that private law was the only aspect I really liked. I did not see myself doing this in a future career. But at that time, this vision didn’t come to me at all. I wasn’t busy with finding out what I liked, but more with how other people saw me and liked about me.

I moved to Utrecht because the University there was much more internationally oriented, but this was a decision not supported from back home. It was one choice I thought I really made for myself, but because I attached so much value to the opinions of others (also my father’s approval), this choice backfired in the end. I did not know anyone in Utrecht and was really insecure about myself. I lasted 1,5 years with the best study grades and trying to adapt myself to everybody’s liking. I had made friends, but in the end found out that they didn’t really knew me. I had even lost touch with myself.

I have always been a perfectionist and only having everything perfectly organized with the best results would be a reason for me to feel satisfied. Doing everything ‘right’ was also a way I thought people would like me. This bubble I lived in burst when I lived in Utrecht. I had everything perfect but wasn’t happy with my life at all. I didn’t like the way of teaching at University level. What I had learned during high school was that I liked to interact with other people and was a good communicator. In Law, it was mostly self studying and this made me turn more into myself.

I had to make some tough choices but finally decided to take life in my own hands again. I am enjoying my life again and realized from my experience that the way to do this, is doing the things that make me happy.
So I choose for IBMS. It has been difficult in the beginning, since I wasn’t used to group work anymore and still had to deal with my perfectionism and wanting to control things.

The HBDI profile from year one IBMS gave me a triple dominant profile. With the highest rank in the green, than blue and then red areas. My descriptors in these fields are factual, critical, rational, logical, controlled, speaker and emotional. I would say this is quite a fitting description, although since I have made this test I have gone through some experiences which made me develop myself more.

Especially during group projects I learned to let go some of my perfectionism. I also learned to think ‘outside the box’ and taking in different opinions as very good ideas instead of thinking just black and white and following one path. Dealing with critizism has also been a good learning point.

Where in year one, I wanted everything to be clear to me and an assignment mapped out completely, I now enjoy the challenge of figuring things out for myself and feel even more satisfied in the end.

My placement has been a major contribution in this development. I was completely lost in the beginning as I had six months to provide the company a good worldwide competition analysis, although I had no clue of the market or where to start. Because I had to rely only on myself, I learned to trust more on my own choices. Although I felt really insecure in the beginning, I learned to change the way of asking for confirmation by interacting with people and get them enthusiastic to assist me in my project. I had to deal with quite a few setbacks and this was a challenge for my perfectionist vision. Since I was satisfied with my work in the end, I was confident to present my research to the entire company. I was very content about my learning process during this time and the companies feedback on my work (they got the feeling of dealing with a professional organization) made me even more confident to rely on myself including strong and weak points.

This confidence I grew over the year has made me far more relaxed and adaptive when it comes to new situations and change. Living here and now and not worrying so much about what comes next has been a change in my thinking pattern.
My Placement period was also a good time to reflect on the departments and the direction I want to go in after my IBMS degree. I really liked the marketing department and especially the promotional elements. The project management department, where I worked in, did not appeal to me that much because it was far too technical. Mostly because of the industrial industry in railing systems they were in.

I wanted to combine this knowledge of products and the marketing elements with my passion in the fashion industry and this is why I came to my ‘dream’ job as brand manager of a nice fashion label.

I am not the type of person that can sit behind a desk 9 hours a day and when I am passionate about something I would like to know everything about it. As a brand manager you have to deal with all departments of the company. From selecting materials for shows, looking over the purchasing department, tracking competition, product management and marketing to visiting stores to promote your brand and mind your brand display in existing stores.
It would be a very demanding job, but really excites me.

In the last years I learned that you are never on your own and operating in a team is essential for a good outcome. Since I would like to connect to my colleagues I would feel most comfortable in a smaller organization. I believe respect and appreciation for each other’s work is very important and when everyone is in his element you can achieve the best results.

As I dream further, I would even see myself setting up a business of my own, but for now, I would like to stick a little bit more to reality and strive for my ambition as brand manager.
In my free hours I spend a lot of time on fashion and styling in my own and friends closets. As an IBMS student I have a good back ground for brand manager, but in fashion I do not have any experience so far. This is why I would like to do an Graduation Internship at a company in the fashion industry.

I know I want to work in the Netherlands. Since my social life, family and friends are a major element of my life and I learned to appreciate the way they make me enjoy it, it makes me want to stay close to them. This also made me choose London and Germany for my year abroad and not somewhere outside Europe. I know I would like to travel the world, but then for short trips and holidays with my friends. My work should be here. Preferably in an international company, but finding a way to enter the international market myself would also be a nice challenge.

The job of Junior brand manager in the fashion industry already requires some years of experience so I have a long way to go from here. But ever since this career idea came in my head last year, I can’t get it out anymore and I believe to have found my ‘dream’ job.

I know, as in every job it can’t always be nice, but this dream gives me the drive and enthusiasm to go for it.
As my experiences in this field and future development go on, this vision might change along the way. But I can see this as a good thing. I can deal with change now and as long as I stay close to myself every decision will be the right one.

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