Ward Kroft

Ward Kroft

Name                         : Ward Kroft
Current job title      : Customer experience designer at KPN on the Young Talent programme (March 2018)
Year of graduation : 2016
Nationality               : Dutch
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Why did you choose this MSc?
“After my bachelor, I was determined to get more out of my master than just a piece of paper. When I visited an open day at RSM, I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiastic professors and eager student representatives. I chose the MSc in Marketing Management because the content of this programme was closest to my heart. I was always interested in learning how consumers make decisions and how you can influence that process, so the choice was easy.”

How would you describe the programme and RSM?
“I experienced RSM as a university that provides you with all the ingredients to make your studies a success. But it's up to you to decide how you want to use those ingredients. I invested a lot of time in the studies, because I thought the courses were really interesting; the professors gave us challenging assignments and my fellow students were eager to deliver high quality. At the same time, you can also participate in a lot of extracurricular activities if you want. The diversity of the students makes sure there's no status quo, so it is really up to you to decide what kind of experience you want your master to be.”

What was the biggest challenge in this master?
“In addition to the regular lectures and workshops, we always worked on various projects in small groups. That was really fun but could certainly be challenging at times. For example, we had to figure out how to make sure you do not just divide the work, but really work together as a team. Or how to convince the others to change the direction if you think that's better.”

What made the greatest impression?
“Those projects were also perfect for applying theory in practice. For example, in the communications and advertising course we had to design our own advertising campaign based on evidence-based principles. And in the brand management course we researched the gap between what customers thought about a certain brand and what the brand actually wanted customers to think, and we made suggestions on how to reduce that gap. The tools I learned in these projects are really valuable in my current work.”

How did your studies at RSM shape your career?
“During my bachelor, I didn't really know what I wanted to do in life. It felt like I was studying because it was the logical thing to do after high school. During my master at RSM, I discovered that I really wanted to work in marketing. It taught me a lot about the various aspects of marketing, and also some very specific tools. I think both are necessary for a first job in marketing. And how RSM shaped my career more specifically? The first recruitment talk I had with my current company was during the Erasmus Recruitment Days!”

What are your future plans?
“I work as a customer experience designer. That means I do a lot of customer research and based on the insights we get from that, we improve our products and services. As a next step, I want to move to a more general marketing role, so I learn more about the broader aspects of running a business. My plan is to start my own business some day.”