Alumni in the Spotlight

What do other alumni do? Where do they work and how do they look back on their study period?

Sabyasachi Sengupta

Sabyasachi Sengupta  (1985)

  • 2007-2010 Analyst Lehman Brothers Mumbai, India
  • 2010-2011 MSc Business Economics
  • 2011- present Business Development, risk cluster ABN AMRO
  • 2016- present Professional Speaker SabynSachi

Study

Sabyasachi Sengupta started his studies MSc Business Economics in 2010 and graduated in 2011. Before he came to the Netherlands he finished his bachelors in Commerce at the University of Mumbai, India. “Studying at the University of Amsterdam was a great decision. I had a great time. The Professors were very cooperative and erudite. The courses always encouraged to do a deep dive analysis on subjects and that skill has been very effective and useful at work”.

Crazy Environment

After his Bachelor Sabyasachi started his first job as an analyst at Lehman Brothers in Mumbai.  “It was a great, stressful and crazy environment. Working 12 to 16 hours daily was no big deal. Monday to Friday. you have no life outside work.  In 2011 when I started working in the Netherlands at the ABN AMRO as Business Developer I  learnt for the first time in my live the true meaning of work life balance. Work can be stressful but nothing like the Lehman days!”

Professional  Speaker

Next to his Job at the ABN AMRO Saby has his own company in professional speaking called SabynSachi. “Public speaking was a hobby for me and I practiced it through Toastmasters. In 2014 and 2015 I became an European champion in public speaking. It was an outstanding experience to speak in a big stage and get applauded and appreciated by 400 people in the audience. And then there was no looking back and I launched my company in professional speaking in 2016. Some of my award winning speeches can be found on my website sabyasachisengupta.com

Friends

Saby is still in contact with his old classmates. “Some of them are very close friends and we catch up every now and then. A lot of my classmates moved to different city, but if we are in the same city we surely catch up for a drink. The main benefit of this contact is networking and exchange of ideas.  I think it is very useful to have a close-knit alumni network as it is essential for networking, very useful if you are looking for career movement and along the way you make great friends!”

Ambassador

Saby is an active alumni ambassador since 2016. “I liked to stay associated with the UvA because I had a great time. I wanted to give something back. I also want to help students and alumni on their way to the job market. And I meet other interesting alumni ambassadors. Try it yourself!”

Nienke van den Bergh

Nienke van den Bergh (1988)

  • 2012 Bachelor Economics & Business
  • 2013 Master of Development Economics
  • 2014 Global Venture Development Intern at Rocket Internet
  • 2015-present Corporate Supply Chain/Operations Trainee at FrieslandCampina

Student days

Nienke has great memories of her student days: ‘I was driven to complete my degree, but also especially to develop myself in as many directions as possible. I was active in a student association, I organised the Amsterdam Career Days, I was the chairwoman of the Sefa study association for a year, and I had several fun part-time jobs at the Faculty of Economics and Business. ‘

Philippines

‘After graduating I went to the Philippines for six months. Working on behalf of Rocket Internet, I helped set up Carmudi, an online transportation marketplace. Rocket Internet‘s goal is to capture a leading position in the market as quickly as possible, and consequently the focus of the first phase was largely on sales. As a business developer, I was responsible for setting up the entire sales department. It was a unique opportunity to operate at both the strategic and operations levels, and to work with people from a completely different culture!‘

First job

‘I began working for FrieslandCampina as a Corporate Supply Chain and Operations trainee in March 2015. The traineeship comprises two year-long assignments, which gives you an opportunity to really get to know the company in a relatively short period of time. My first assignment is in Leeuwarden at one of FrieslandCampina ‘s largest production sites. This is where products are made for Asia, Africa and the Middle East. My assignment involves working with people from all sorts of departments. I might spend an hour talking with a forklift operator about his work, followed by a meeting with a production supervisor, and then spend the next hour working with the supply chain manager. Thanks to this diversity, the responsibilities I‘m given, the focus on results, and the teamwork with great colleagues, I ‘m really happy at FrieslandCampina!‘

‘In my current position I am benefiting tremendously from the skills that I acquired during and alongside my studies. Thinking critically, daring to ask questions, drawing accurate conclusions, and working in a structured manner are important skills in my daily work.‘

Alumnus

‘I belong to the Economics & Business Network LinkedIn group. I like to stay informed about what ‘s happening with the faculty and Sefa. It‘s a fun way to stay in touch with other alumni and keep track of each other. I also have regular contact with alumni from my study association, Sefa. In addition to the friendships, it‘s valuable to my network. ‘

Tips

‘My advice to newly graduated alumni is: Take initiative! Applying for a job is not just a matter of sending out letters; more than anything it‘s about approaching people, making a call instead of sending a quick email, and expressing your enthusiasm in different ways.‘

Published by  Economics and Business

9 September 2016