Problem solving is in his blood, and entrepreneurship runs through his veins: Joost van Wetten is a born Strategic Account Director. We met up with him to discover what makes him tick, what his most important career lesson has been and much more.
Tell us about yourself and your role at Emakina.
Well, hi! I’m Joost. I’m a Strategic Account Director at Emakina. I was born in Heerhugowaard and grew up in Apeldoorn. At a very young age, I already loved business and entrepreneurship. I was buying and selling all kinds of popular items of that time such as (MP3) CD’s and designer clothing. I decided to study Small Business & Retail Management in Enschede which had a clear focus on developing entrepreneurial, commercial and problem solving skills. After my postgraduate degree I took on a Master Business course. The opportunity to have lots of sun and the beach at my doorstep made that even more interesting, so I moved to Miami Beach, Florida.
After finishing my studies I went back to the Netherlands and settled in Utrecht. That’s where I still live, and celebrate life with my family and friends. I enjoy being a Strategic Account Director at Emakina because entrepreneurship and problem solving are the foundation of my role. As an Account Director I take care of our existing clients and help them define challenges and opportunities on the cutting edge of strategy, experience design, business and technology. My aim is to involve the necessary experts at the right moment and to orchestrate the process. At the same time, I’m in close contact with stakeholders on the client side to help drive the decision making process.
Tell us about your career journey.
Throughout my career I’ve worked at several companies, always in a commercial role. I also started multiple small businesses. Before Emakina, I worked as a Client Service Director at Lukkien. Although grateful for the opportunities I received and the clients I serviced, I had the opportunity to make an interesting career move and join Emakina. To me, Emakina is the Champions League of digital commerce. I was, and still am, really impressed by all the work Emakina and its clients had created over the years. From the moment I started at Emakina I have been responsible for a variety of clients ranging from large online retailers to business-to-business companies. All of them are evolving into digital commerce with our help.
What’s the most important lesson you learned in your career so far?
It’s hard to point out the most important lesson. Treating people the same way you want to be treated, is a basic (life) lesson. To me, that one is helpful in any situation, both in my work and private life. Having an open mind when learning from others, whomever that is, I found helpful. Often there is no right or wrong, truth or false; it’s more about perspective. If you are able to see a challenge or opportunity from different perspectives, it helps you define a solution that is more likely to lead to success.
How do you celebrate success with your team?
My aim would be to not only celebrate successes with my team, but also to involve the client. I seize every opportunity to move from a more traditional client-supplier division of roles and responsibilities by emphasising the joint effort within the partnership. Whether it’s organising drinks, taking the Emakina boat out or dining with our clients, celebrating success is definitely important in establishing partnerships.
How would you describe the work atmosphere at Emakina?
I find the work atmosphere at Emakina to be very pleasant. There’s an open and transparent way of communicating with each other. There is room for me and my colleagues to express what we think, and more importantly: our input is valued. That means our work is meaningful, and we know that it truly contributes. Also, I don’t really feel hierarchy; I don’t feel held back in talking to our Managing Director on opportunities or threats that I see. Furthermore, I feel the work-life balance at Emakina is well respected which ultimately makes me perform better at work. Last but not least, we have all kinds of events throughout the year. The yearly ski-trip and the Emakina beach party, to name a few, help me connect with my colleagues in an informal setting.
What do you love most about both your job and your team?
As an Account Director, I feel responsible for all the teams that I work with to serve our clients. I love it when a client not only values the time and effort we invest into helping them move forward, but is also truly amazed by what we’re achieving together.
What’s the most important trait someone in your role needs to have?
To start with: an open and likeable personality. People need to have your name top of mind. It’s important that they want to involve you in order to get help on a particular topic. That doesn’t mean you always have an answer immediately though. It means that you should be seen as the right starting point to get to the answer.
If you had one extra hour each day, how would you use it?
Just one available hour a day? That’s an easy one; I would definitely spend it with my little girl. She sparks me with her enthusiasm, smiles and almost endless perseverance.
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