Britta van Schaik is one of our fresh faces as she became a Digital Innovator in March 2021. Well equipped with a Masters in Strategic Product Design, experience at a Design Agency, a start-up and a corporate, she decided to change course and signed up for our Digital Innovator Program. We spoke with her about how she experienced the first couple of months of the program.
Britta, the first time you set foot in the office of B. Amsterdam. Tell us, what’s it like?
This was super scary and exciting at first, but I already had a good impression of The Talent Institute after the interview process. I started with another girl, Emma, which was nice. Everything was really well organized and everybody was extremely welcoming. I felt at ease from the first moment.
The first month, the onboarding month, revolves around a business case. This is a real life problem or challenge a company could have, and you’ll have to find a way to solve it. It’s really a roller coaster ride as you’ll get to work immediately. I was interviewing people on day 2 and setting up online experiments in my first week. Everything was new, but this also made things exciting. You learn heaps in a short amount of time.
What did you learn? What was your experience?
I learnt a lot of digital skills such as setting up Facebook experiments, working with Google Analytics and creating a chatbot from scratch. But the most important thing I’ve learnt is that you can always find a way to figure something out. Learning by doing. You need to be open minded and have to stay curious. That’s probably my most important take-away.
The first weeks were very intense. You’ll have to figure out a lot of stuff on your own and things get very technical, and I’m not that technical at all. But it’s all worth it when you get that euphoric moment and proud feeling once you’ve finished the project. It’s awesome to see what you can achieve in such a short amount of time.
How does the onboarding month end?
At the end of the month, you’ll have to present your findings to some of the people at The Talent Institute. Expect some critical questions, they really make you reflect on what you’ve done and why.
And when the onboarding month is over… then what?
That’s when you get a placement at a company. For me, this went very quick. I started at Philips the day after I finished the onboarding month. You’ll have an interview with the company to see whether it’s a match, and you can start on a project soon after.
At Philips I’m working on a project for which I’m exploring & validating new business models for male grooming. I get to use the skills I’ve learnt during the onboarding month, such as consumer research, setting up Facebook experiments and presenting data to the client.
What kind of skills are useful to have?
You definitely need to have a strong interest in innovation, in creating something new that’s actually useful for customers. Being curious also helps. Being interested in people and their behaviour. I think that’s important.
What would you like to say to those considering joining the Digital Innovator Program?
Do it. It’s an absolute adventure and you’re going to be thrown in at the deep end from day one. You’ll learn a lot by ‘just doing’, and you’ll gain so much new experience. I think I’m going to learn a lot in these 2 years, especially if I look back to what I’ve learnt in just 3 months. I think there’s so much more to come. It gives me a lot of energy to try new things and to see the impact you can make at the companies you’ll work for. During the program you’ll learn a broad set of skills which you’ll be able to use in any kind of context or project. It makes you flexible and volatile.
Connect with our Digital Innovator Britta van Schaik.
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