The Final Stretch
We touched down in Amsterdam at around 8am that Saturday morning. The morning was cool, calm, and collected. It was a stark contrast to what we had just left in New Delhi. I was very impressed with Amsterdam and everything they had to offer. I had never been to Europe before this, so it was a new experience for me. Amsterdam felt like a more refined American city. It’s what I pictured a future U.S city to look like. People were riding their bikes everywhere, the canals made the city look beautiful, and there seemed to be so many different people speaking so many different languages. I spent Saturday exploring the city and eating some really delicious foods. It was a very relaxing day that I needed after a busy week in India.
On Sunday we met back up with Chicka! It was nice to see a familiar face all the way in Amsterdam. He introduced us to a previous MAP, Marie, who also spent the evening hanging out with us! After walking around for a bit we walked back to the hotel to regroup before going out to dinner. At dinner we met with other BCD employees, Marlou and Tom! They gave us a lot of insight on the company and allowed us to ask any questions we may have had before visiting Utrecht the next day. Marlou and Tom were very genuine when speaking to us, I felt like they really cared about us entering the company and are invested in how we grow with the company.
On Monday we took a train down to Utrecht to visit the main office. It was a very peaceful train ride, and a good time to gather our thoughts before we went in to the main office. Once there we had our first meeting with Cees. He deals with finance within BCD and gave us the rundown on how important finance is to the company. It is the foundation on which the other business functions are built upon. It was interesting to hear how finance interacts with other departments such as account management and supplier relations! Our next meeting was with Tom, who met the night before, and Linda! They gave us some info on how BCD compares to other TMCs in EMEA and globally as well. One of my big takeaways from this meeting was hearing how BCD can provide a standard process, but with a local touch. I believe this to be one of their greatest strengths. After this meeting we had lunch in the cafe upstairs and came back down to meet with Detricht. He talked to us about the sales side of BCD and what really gives them a competitive advantage. That’s some highly classified information so I won’t go too far in detail about it.
Lastly we met with Stewart Harvey, the president of the EMEA region. Stewart’s talk with us could be described as informative, inspiring, and interesting. He gave us a vast wealth of information from which to draw from later. One of my biggest takeaways was how he described the EMEA region. I had never really given a lot of thought to the diversity within Europe itself, and how different business is conducted just from country to country. But after this meeting I can see how that could be a challenge for the EMEA region. Everything is so different, yet so close together. It is a very unique region. I’m glad we had the opportunity to visit The Netherlands, and I can’t think of a better introduction to Europe than this country. Our final destination was Stockholm, and after meeting with Stewart we had to dash over to the airport to make sure we got that to that flight!