Ever wonder what is it like to work in Sales at a fast-growing market leading company? Merel Arnoldus, a Business Developer Manager, talks about her working week at Backabase usually looks like. Merel is originally Dutch and has worked around the world before joining Backbase. Scroll down to learn more about Backbase working “routines”.
Hi, my name is Merel, 29 years old, I'm Dutch and after working in Mozambique, South Africa and a couple of years in London I made my way back to Amsterdam. Being inspired by Backbase CEO Jouk’s vision to make a real impact in the financial services industry together with like-minded, international and FUN colleagues, I was very excited to got offered a position as a Business Development Manager in the Amsterdam based Sales Team. Not having a background in complex software sales, it became my #goal to gain the domain knowledge and to get up to speed as soon as possible. Working in an industry where the needs of the customer and state of the art can change any day, I can say there is no boring day at Backbase!
Coming back last night from a sunny and long weekend in Barcelona with friends, Monday morning is the day where you go straight back in the work-mode. But first, cappuccino - all prepared by the baristas in my favorite coffee shop on the 2nd floor of our building. Together with my team, also known as the Dream Team, we always start the week with a team meeting where we discuss the latest (and greatest). As a Business Development Manager, it’s key to find new opportunities in the assigned territory.
I have the honor to cover Central and Eastern Europe with a sidestep to India. Since traveling is a big perk of working at Backbase, I would love to go to India one day to experience the work and local culture. Once a bank has a digital initiative, it’s my job to create awareness of Backbase within the bank and support them in any possible way in the digital transformation.
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After weeks of preparing and inviting relevant people of the industry, it’s time for the Backbase Digital Banking Summit. Twice a year we organize an event, together with our Marketing team, where we bring together customers and industry leaders to discuss best practices in digital transformation. Early in the morning, I arrive at the beautiful venue along one of the canals in Amsterdam where I already see some of my invitees who has a been traveling from all around the world to join the sessions to get the root of digital transformation. A few people from Bank of Kazakhstan brought me chocolates - how welcoming! Today I have been busy shaking hands, speaking to existing customers, sharing notes on how to strategically plan the digital initiatives and listening to the keynote about Banking 2025. Overall a very interesting day where you get the possibility to network with a lot of relevant people in the industry. Summer can be quite hot in the Netherlands (surprisingly), luckily we got on the Backbase boat with a group of 50+ people. Dutch style, we even had the place to bring our bikes on the boat. It was a long summer night on the boat with drinks, food, and music .. happy days.
Wednesday & Thursday
Please mind the step, off to the airport to jump on the plane to Prague, Czech Republic. I got invited for an exclusive dinner of one of our partners at a unique location in the middle of the old center with great views. Before dressing up, a quick stop at the partners' office to meet with my colleague to present the latest about Backbase and discuss new strategies. Tonight the dinner is all about meeting people from the banks in the region whilst getting a tasting of different types of Chacasa by a Brazilian expert and having juicy meat from the grill. The next day I woke up early to have a quick walk around the town, it’s my first time here and from what I’ve heard it’s stunning. I will definitely come back to explore more. Most of my last day in Prague exists out of meetings with IT departments of banks. After a long but interesting day, it’s time to head back to Amsterdam. Sitting in the plane and seeing the sun go down, I feel very happy to get the opportunity to travel for work.
Last day of the week, I hop on my bike to the office listening to my Spotify playlist and watching the other people on the road starting their day. Amsterdam is a beautiful city with a great vibe, people who have moved here, don’t want to leave anymore. Today I have to go through follow-ups due to the busy week. Emails kept on coming in and after speaking to many people this week I have to collect relevant information to answer to their requirements. As most of it it’s technical, I involve my colleagues from the Pre-Sales team - our engineers - who are always there to support us during the sales cycles. It’s Friday aka Burger Day, together with my squad we go to the restaurant downstairs where we grab the delicious burger of the day together with crispy fries. Since the Dutch summer keeps surprising us, we all sit outside getting a tan, munching the food, laughing about everything that has happened last week and discussing plans for the weekend. A few more hours of work to do .. and then we all go to our local ‘Roest’, our very own beach bar in the city next to the office. Think of a lot of drinks, good fun, and you understand why we never leave early 😉
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Amsterdam + Summer equals festivals. One of my favorite things to do from May to September during the weekend is to go to one of the smaller festivals here in and outside the city (except when it’s raining, I still don’t get it how to make a poncho look fashionable). Before going to the festival, I am meeting up with my friends at my place. I live in the city center of Amsterdam with a great rooftop. Ideal for getting some sun and having the convenience of blasting music and having the fridge nearby for cold drinks. After a brunch, we hop again on our bikes - off to shake our bodies. After midnight I can’t feel my legs anymore and I fall in a deep sleep .. Sundays are for doing nothing and chill and where else can you do this better than at the beach?