EconomicDinner 2015_12_01_97

50 Porsches and Mark Rutte: the Economics Dinner in a nutshell

Hidde Kienstra
Hidde Kienstra is a student in the master Economics, with a specialization in the field of behavioral economics. Since he started being active he has joined several committees at Asset | Economics, of which a year in the board was his absolute highlight. Hidde has a broad interest in economics and the application of economics into sports.

There was once a beautiful December evening in Tilburg. The food tasted delicious and was served magnificently, the attendees were dressed up very classy, the moon was shining through the trees, it was a wonderful evening. It all sounded too good to be true, but it actually was. This in short was the story of the fifth edition of the Economics Dinner, hosted by one of the committees of Asset | Economics. Let me briefly take you through my evening as a participant of this recruitment dinner at Villa de Vier Jaargetijden, from the moment I entered this ancient building until the last sip of a Hertog Jan Beer. 

Arriving with my bike I was immediately impressed by the royal villa, which is located in the city center of Tilburg. This moment was preceded by some days of waiting after the registration moment, to give the three participating companies time to select their favorite students on basis of their resume. A difficult task, but eventually fifteen students were selected by these companies and were invited to participate in this dinner.

The Economics Dinner enables students to talk with possible future employers during a three course dinner, possible futures employers operating in all sorts of sectors. It is the perfect way for students to expand their network. After each course the table setting changes, which allowed me to extensively speak with all the three attending companies.

EconomicDinner 2015_12_01_71The first company I got in contact with was BoFEB, a traineeship supported by the Dutch government, with which together I enjoyed the starter. (Maybe focusing a little too much on the dining etiquettes) I took place next to Tim Gelissen, who as a former BoFEB trainee was one of the representatives of this company. ‘A visit at ‘het Torentje’ (the office of prime minister Mark Rutte) is not very uncommon for me, Mark actually is a nice guy’ Tim said in his current role as Assistant Advisor to the Prime Minister. Very inspiring to hear as a student in economics, some of his ideas and analysis are even directly being brought forward during debates in the Second Chamber.

Then after quickly emptying my glass of white wine the first course was finished. My adventure continued at the next table, at which I enjoyed some drinks and the main dish together with Deloitte, a company that is also known as being part of the ‘Big Four’. Deloitte has been very active in Tilburg with respect to recruitment the past months. Anouk Mastwijk (Corporate Recruiter Deloitte) said the following about this: ‘Deloitte has finally acknowledged that students from Tilburg University are of high quality compared to other competing universities’. So students who are looking for a challenge in this sector, I would advise you to keep an eye on their vacancies at the career portal of Asset | Economics!

‘A visit at  ‘het Torentje’ is not very uncommon for me, Mark actually is a nice guy’

The third and final course was the cherry on the cake, the dessert. It was, just like the other courses, a real taste explosion. While enjoying this dessert I spoke to representatives of the business bank NIBC, with an outstanding balance sheet of around 23 billion euros. Porsche seems to be one of their favorite clients: ‘Porsche is probably the only which we would prefer to not pay back their outstanding loan, leaving us with 50 brand new cars as a pledge’ Associate Director Martijn Koning jokingly said. This quote might be symbolic for especially the merger and acquisitions part of this company, where work weeks of 60 hours or more are not unusual and their client portfolio consists of several large enterprises.  

At the end the waiters kindly asked us to leave the table and finish the night with a closing drink, where as a real student I replaced the wine for a cold beer and shortly spoke to a happy chairman of the Economics Dinner committee Astrid van Leer. ‘As the organizing committee we very much enjoyed our time and thought it was a magnificent evening. We hope that the participating students and companies had a similar experience.’

At least I enjoyed my time and I went back home after a pleasant night that delivered me some useful network contacts, a night to remember!

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