You are Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Hiltermann Lease. What exactly do you do?
‘I’m administratively responsible for the company, together with two other colleagues. As COO, I’m also responsible for HR, Information Technology & Data and the acceptance and preparation of lease contracts for customers. At Hiltermann Lease, we take the financing of cars, vehicle pools, machinery and equipment off our clients’ hands. This enables entrepreneurs to free up more money for other investments. This makes our organisation more of a financial institution than a car company - kind of a bank actually.’
How did you end up doing Policy-oriented Economics in Nijmegen?
‘Via a detour. I first went into business administration after the hotel school. I come from an entrepreneurial family, so business administration seemed a good choice. However, from the very first moment in the lecture hall, I thought, ‘I don’t like this at all, I like economics a lot more.’ I switched immediately, and it turned out to be the right choice.’
Were you already interested in economics as a child?
‘Yes, I was always doing things with money. My parents said I often played ‘bank’ while friends played cowboys and Indians outside. I think I’ve still got all kinds of bags of old coins hidden around the garden. I found an old report card from primary school the other day. It says I was social. serious and, admittedly, good with numbers.’