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Ingrid Doerga

Ingrid Doerga studied Economics (’88) and Acountancy (’90) at Tilburg University. Ambitious, focused and engaged she plays an important role at industry organizations in her field and has a successful career in business. She has been called one of the most powerful women in the Netherlands.

"Numbers are only a small part of business - the human touch makes the difference."

Why did you chose Tilburg University?

“In Suriname I attend a high school connected to the nuns at the Oude Dijk and the friars of Tilburg. When I came to the Netherlands to study, the choice for Tilburg was obvious. I studied business at the Katholieke Leergangen and almost immediately started teaching at a high school. Upon graduation I became lecturer at the HTS and studied information technology at Eindhoven University of Technology. Here I also met my husband. When I graduated in ’85 I was still hungry for knowledge and continued studying at Tilburg University: Economics (’88) and Accountancy (’90). Later I also enrolled in the post-graduate Tax program. I consider it a privilege to have studied here.”

Who was your favorite Professor?

“There were many good Professors like Duffhues, Schoorlemmer, de Jong, Maagdenberg, Bannink (who I graduated with), but I would have difficulty choosing one as my favorite Professor.”

Can you share an anecdote from your student days?

“Piet Maagdenberg taught costs, value and profits and my entire studies I had interesting discussions with him. During the oral exam he asked me what grade I would like to get. But that’s a discussion I chose to avoid, that had to be his decision! He gave me a 9.”

What has your career been like?

“My thesis I wrote at Esso, next to working at the HTS. Upon graduation I started working as Financial Director at a family owned logistics company experiencing difficulties. After two years of re-organizing and a management buyout, things calmed down and I sold my shares to a larger logistic company. For the next 10 years, I was Head Concern Control and Auditing at the Louwman Group (European importer of for example Toyota, Suzuki and Chrysler).

After completion of the negotiations regarding the takeover of Chrysler by Mercedes Benz, I switched to ABP (in 2008 implementing organization APG) to establish and manage the department Risk, Compliance and Control. In addition I have always been strongly involved in industry organizations like NBA (Nederlandse Beroepsorganisatie Accountants, previously NIVRA) and IFAC (International Federation of Accountants), where I represented the Netherlands in the board and was chairman of the Audit Committee.

I work in a men’s world which sometimes led to misunderstandings – I have been asked to serve coffee or take notes. But I was able to quickly establish my reputation. I’m direct when problems need to be solved. I’m not a ‘check the box’ type of person, numbers are only a small part of business – the human touch makes the difference. Emotions play a big role in decision making at every level in an organization.”

What further ambitions do you have?

“I have been able to fulfill many ambitions and continue to learn and expand my horizon daily. A necessity since the world is not that predictable anymore; Panta Rhei, everything is in motion. I would like to share my knowledge and experience with society, for example as non-executive director and auditor at various companies and organizations, like I do at Tilburg University.”

What role has Tilburg University/School of Economics and Management played in your live and how has it effected your career?
“The education at Tilburg University provides a solid foundation for further development, I greatly benefit from this. I feel privileged to have received such good education and by continuing learning, both by expanding my knowledge as well as gaining experiences with different cultures, I’ve been well prepared for the changes in society.”

Does Tilburg University/School of Economics and Management still play a role in your live?

“Of course I’m still in touch with fellow students and also through the Friends of Cobbenhagen network I stay connected. In the past I have been a member of the advisory board of the EDP auditor program at TIAS and currently as a member of the Board of Governors of Tilburg University I’m very involved in the university.”