Maaike BloupotMarketing Manager Belsimpel
''Groningen is a city that never stands still.''
Taking responsibility and continuing to grow. That's what Maaike Bloupot (30) does as marketing manager at Belsimpel. After living in the suburbs for a few years, she is back in the old nest. ''Groningen is a city that never stands still. Always evolving.''
The western village of Aduard in Groningen is Maaike's birthplace. She studied in the city. She started with tax law, but after a few weeks, she knew this was not her thing. Communication studies were instead what she really liked. Through her internship, she ended up in Amsterdam. That took longer than expected: she stayed there for more than three years. But she returned. ''Especially during the corona period, I noticed that Amsterdam was not my home. Too urban, too little nature. I wanted to change jobs and take on more responsibilities at the same time,'' she says.
That responsibility is all right in Groningen. As marketing manager at Groningen giant Belsimpel, she experiences all the freedom. She didn't know that in the Randstad. In Groningen, you have more room to develop yourself. More flat organisations, less organisational hassle. Here I can make an impact''. And she does. She has a say in a lot of facets of the organisation. From putting together media campaigns to liaising with tech giants like Google and Apple. ''The great thing is: at Belsimpel, we don't outsource anything. We just shoot our commercials here in the studio. It's important to leave things close to home,'' says Maaike.
''We need to bring the expertise back to this region.''
According to Maaike, the working climate in Groningen is marked by its innovative power. ''The city and province are brimming with tech companies. From start-ups to established names. All this makes up for the working climate for the digital sector.'' She is therefore not surprised that more than enough tech talent are running around in Groningen. But there is always room for improvement. Groningen should take the lead in tapping talent in the digital sector. Plenty of possibilities and opportunities.''
She also endorses the human scale in Groningen. After all, work is not just about making hours, but also about human contact. ''Here in the north, we are a bit more personal, a bit less detached. We are mainly concerned with how you can develop as a person inside and outside the company.'' On top of that, the lines of communication are shorter in Groningen, but the networks are ironclad. ''I meet not only acquaintances on the street- but also business partners. Friend or colleague: things are always friendly.''
According to Maaike, the future lies in Groningen. The city that never stands still. Just take the Forum on the Nieuwe Markt. A building that symbolises the growth of Groningen,'' Maaike says. And like many, Maaike praises nature outside the city. ''It doesn't matter which way you go: within 15 minutes there is greenery all around you.'' For those thinking of going to Groningen, Maaike has some advice. ''Just do it. Groningen is suitable for every stage of life. Living, working, studying: it's all possible here.''
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