Takeaways of The ECD

At the start of November, the Econometric Career Days took place organised by FAECTOR. Some of our writers participated in it. In this article you will find their impressions of a selection of ECD events.

Grand opening


After a warm welcome of the ECD committee, the three guests introduced themselves in an eight minute presentation. Former CEO of Shell, Jeroen van der Veer, was the first speaker. In stone-cold English, he talked a bit about his career path but mainly gave five essential qualities to become a CEO. And with a lot of self-mockery, he joked that the mastery of the English language is not one of them. 

Afterwards, Ference Lamp (managing director at Bank of America Merill Lynch) shared that nearly every bank he worked for went bankrupt (so Fortis and Lehman Brothers). But he showed how to overcome the misfortune he had to endure.

And last but not least, the only econometrician and current CEO of Swinkels Family brewers, Peer Swinkels, talked about the critics of his appointment and the interesting changes he made to deal with the corona crisis. Because of these changes, Swinkels’ revenue grew during the last year. 

After the presentations, the host had a couple of questions for the three of them about their student years and the breakthroughs they had. And their final conclusion was: Be curious, work hard and try new things. And let that be a perfect point of departure for the following events.



The main focus of the Vodafone-Ziggo presentation was to introduce to the attendants to The Discover traineeship programme. This consists of an 18-month programme working at Vodafone-Ziggo while developing your professional skills. It is aimed at recent graduates and provides you with a great kickstart to your professional career. While applying you get to choose your path based on your areas of interest, for example you can choose to work in data, finance, B2B sales and many other paths. During the traineeship you will be involved in at least three projects, two will be within your path while the other has to be chosen from outside the path, this way you can get the notion of what other branches of the company do and how they operate. 

Overall, this programme seems to offer a really good entry point for young recent graduates interested in the private consumer-oriented sector. It doesn’t require previous experience and it invests a lot of resources in training and developing the professional skills of its participants. Whoever finds itself through the selection process is bound to a great start to their professional career.

For more information go to The Discover Traineeship website.

Building Blocks

Building block is a young company that specializes in providing artificial intelligence powered services and tools to other companies and organisations. If you are interested in AI and other data science-related topics, you will find their work highly stimulating. One of the main focus of their presentation was the development of a conversation bot to help customer servicing for Samsung. Their goal was to use AI suggestions together with human input to reduce the time of their customer service interactions. Moreover, since it is a relatively small and young company, they also emphasized their efforts of building a tight-knit group of employees by highlighting their bonding trips and other experiences.

If you are interested in working in a young ambitious company and like data science and/or AI, definitely check out their website for more information and job opportunities.


Nearly every academic paper about the Dutch population or population growth is published by the Centraal Bureau van de Statistiek (or simply CBS). So at their presentation, two employees explained the projects that they are currently working on and what their jobs look like. While the methods they use vary from AI to basic statistics, they all accomplish the same goal: to make a more accurate view of the current economic or social state of the Netherlands. So besides the political impact you can have, the CBS has a special association for younger employees called jongCBS. At jongCBS, you can invest in yourself through workshops, company visits and social activities. So if that would make you more curious about the company, you could visit their website.



In this case the employers from PGGM first told us about the pension business where they are active in, they manage pension money for pension funds and earn return over it. The case itself was a real private equity investment opportunity that they got several years ago from an Indian property developer. First they presented the situation as they faced it back then, then we had to check if this proposition met their philosophy regarding property investing and if the yield was attractive enough.

After making a quantitative analysis about the expected return for which you needed knowledge from finance, and a qualitative analysis about voting rights, reliability and diversification we had to present our findings to all the other groups and the people from PGGM. And lastly, the best presenting group won a chocolate bar.

Hopefully you now have a better idea of what to expect during the ECD. We hope that next year you can get your own impressions by participating in some of the events!

About this article

Written by:
  • Arnau Duatis Tarradellas
  • André de Mots
  • Floris De Vries
  • Max Hedeman Joosten
| Published on: Nov 29, 2021