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Claudia Mennen

Claudia Mennen - Vermeule graduated in Information Management (’96) and Accountancy (’99, post master). She started her successful career at PwC and after positons at Dockwise and Green Gas International was appointed Chief Financial Officer at BrandLoyalty in 2012. 

"Set goals for yourself and grab the opportunities, be ambitious! But don’t take yourself too serious, also enjoy life"

Why did you choose this program? Why Tilburg University?

“With a technical high school profile, interest in business and roots in Zeeland it was obvious to enroll in information management or econometrics in either Rotterdam or Tilburg. Tilburg University offered a full program in information management and the province of Brabant appealed to me. It’s been my home ever since ……”

Who was your favorite professor and why?

“With Mr. Bijl, lecturer and my thesis advisor, I had a very personal connection. He taught quality of information systems.  During the post master Accountancy Frank Hordijk was my favorite professor, his lectures on administrative organization were very interesting.”

Can you share an interesting anecdote from your student days?

“My program was very student centered which meant we worked a lot in study groups. “The bunker” in the A-building [now Cobbenhagen building] was one of two places on campus where we spent a lot of time. We went to the bunker for study groups and to the library to study. In addition, I could be found at study association ISABEST, where I was chairman and at Vidar, where I rowed in the club 8 and was tournament commissioner. With a lot of pleasure I look back on fantastic student days.”

What has your career been like?

“I learned during my study that information systems in itself didn’t fascinate me, I wanted to work with the numbers and people behind the information systems. I continued studying in the post master Accountancy and joined PwC in their international practice. I came in contact with many companies and had a great time. Nonetheless I decided, after 10 years, not to enroll in the partner track but look for a positon where I would sit at the helm myself.  I found this at Dockwise, a maritime company in transition from shipping to oil/gas and therefore very dynamic. After the CFO left, I was offered the position temporarily (because I was still very young). This position was very appealing to me and I continued in this role, first at Green Gas and since 2012 at Brandloyalty.”

What are your ambitions?

“The financial position suits me well, but I also want to broaden my career. At BrandLoyalty I’m commercially responsible for a number of countries, I like that very much. In time I might aspire a CEO position. I’m also involved in organizations like the “Stedelijk Museum”, AgriFood Capital and Van Lanschot where I can further develop and deploy my skills and interests.”

What role did Tilburg University play in your life and how did it influence your career?

“Your student days are of course a time in which you develop your personality and the study offers a solid foundation for your professional life. Programming taught me logical and structural thinking which benefits me on a daily basis. And not to forget, I met my husband Huub on campus!”

Is Tilburg University still a part of your life and if so, in which way?

“I’m still in touch with a number of fellow students and earlier this year BrandLoyalty became partner of the Jheronimus Academy of Data Science, the new educational institute of Tilburg University and others. Therefore the ties with the university have been strengthened. It is great to be involved again.”