Starting a new Team Academy hub in Rotterdam

When I moved to Amsterdam 4 years ago I already knew that I would be moving back to Rotterdam when I was finished with my bachelor degree. Did I expect it would be with the opportunity to start a Team Academy hub in Rotterdam? No way. I’m Stefan Buijsingh, 4th year student at Team Academy Amsterdam and this is my story (until now).

After trying 2 different Bachelor studies in Rotterdam and quitting them both within a year I started working at one of the biggest fresh produce companies in the Netherlands. I started to work in the UK department and would assist the commercial side, speaking with English customers gave me a great feeling and got me thinking that I would like to work abroad. Within half a year I got a sales job in Belfast as a Cisco pre-sales specialist, one of the best experiences of my life. During my 7 month period in Belfast I learned 3 major things;

  1. I was horrible in cold sales. (I actually only made my sales target once during the 7 months)
  2. I loved working in teams. (Even though I didn’t make targets my manager always thought me an added value towards the team)
  3. I wanted to get a bachelor degree. (Actually the first time I really wanted to achieve this)

Stefan Buijsingh presenting at 10 year anniversary event
Through research and having a friend who attended Tiimiakatemia in Finland, I found out what Team Academy had to offer. Me still being in Belfast my parents visited an open doors, I will never forget what they said when they called me after; ‘This must be it, otherwise I don’t know what would work for you’, guess they have been right all along.

Coming from the area of Rotterdam I had to get used to my fellow teammates, actually, I think they needed to get used to me. The direct Rotterdammer who would lay his emotions on his tongue and would speak out if things weren’t going as he wanted, I guess I have improved this over the last 4 years (or my team can just cope better with me then they could then). During the years of Team Academy, I have always been actively involved in the sales of Team Academy Amsterdam. I have done a lot of presentations on Team Academy and by doing this I learned more and more about the concept and what it’s all about. This resulted in me going to Romania in my second year to do sales for our Romanian Team Academy (The Entrepreneurship Academy). From this point onward I knew that I wanted to stay attached to Team Academy in my further years, I started thinking, why shouldn’t I become a coach at Team Academy?

Starting my third year I had the first talks with Team Academy on what I want to do after Team Academy, for me it was clear; I’m going to become a coach at Team Academy. Team Academy, however, gave me a big curveball; how about starting your own Team Academy? At first, I thought it was a joke but how further we got into my third year I saw that Team Academy was real about this. Team Academy wanted to start a hub in South-Africa and I was planning my third year learning journey. This was the perfect opportunity for me to see if I really liked this and to use my expertise as a consultant. Coming back from South-Africa I knew it, I want to start my own Team Academy and improve Team Academy in the best way I possibly could.

So now we are a couple of months into starting Team Academy Rotterdam, and I must say that I have learned a lot. Making new connections and getting into my new role is something that I enjoy doing. I guess the biggest challenge I have faced is that there are more stakeholders in play than I have ever dealt with, at the beginning this took me a while to figure out but now I feel that I’m taking more ownership and knowing how to deal with this. We have organized our first open doors together with The Student Hotel in Rotterdam, this has given us a couple of leads but also insights that we need to work twice as hard to get students to the open doors. We are busy with our marketing campaign and have our next open doors planned on the 20th of March. We still need to do a lot of work to start in Rotterdam, but we are working with a great team and a great concept so why wouldn’t it work?

Want to grab a coffee or get more information about Team Academy Rotterdam? Please send me an email on stefanbuijsingh@teamacademy.nl, and don’t forget to sign up for the open doors of 20th of March!

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