Interview with Quint Zieltjens, Brand Manager at McDonald’s Netherlands
"I noticed pretty quickly that contributing a psychological background to the marketing field is a big advantage. The psyche and behavior of people is your perspective, something that - for example marketing study programs, don’t really focus on."
How do you remember your time at Tilburg University?
"I think back on a very nice time on one of the most beautiful and cozy campuses in the Netherlands. I have made lifelong friendships and gained a lot of knowledge. Especially my Master's in Economic Psychology with many international classmates in a small setting has been a very informative springboard to my career."
In the beginning, I found it very difficult to switch from a relatively free student life to a very structured 40-hour work week.
How was the transition from study to work?
"In the beginning, I found it very difficult, to be honest. To suddenly make the switch from a relatively free student life to a very structured 40-hour work week was harder than expected. I could hardly imagine that this was what society expected of me - until my retirement!? But after a few weeks I began to settle in more and found a lot of energy from working with colleagues.
In terms of the actual job, it was not so bad: I discovered that a different way of thinking is much more appreciated than I had expected.
Skills such as logical reasoning, analytical abilities, and project management skills, turned out to be much more important than actual theoretical knowledge. I also noticed pretty quickly that contributing a psychological background to the marketing field is a big advantage. Your perspective is the psyche and behavior of people, something that, for example marketing study programs, don’t really focus on."
Can you describe your work?
"My current work is very diverse. Most of my time goes into launching brand and product campaigns in collaboration with various agencies, such as creatives and media. Based on company objectives, briefings are drawn up with corresponding budgets to eventually turn into large-scale campaigns with TV ads, bus shelter posters, radio commercials, social media posts, and more.
I am responsible for the entire campaign from planning to execution, including evaluation. This includes pre-testing and post-testing research to measure effects, which ties in nicely with the master’s program: you really dive into the motivation behind consumer behavior.
Another large part of my time is currently spent on the content strategy of our digital menu boards in the McDrive.
The content of the products we display changes depending on a variety of contextual factors such as the time of day that a guest arrives at the boards. We base the products shown on sales potential, the operational impact on our kitchens, and guest needs, among other factors. It's a great example of how the interpretation of data and statistics is translated very concretely into practice, something that Economic Psychology has helped to understand and comprehend."
What is a typical workday or workweek?
"An average workday mainly consists of emailing, calling, meeting, creating presentations and presenting. Since you never really do anything by yourself, cooperation is very important. This makes work better and easier because there is always someone who can help you. For example, I am fine interpreting data from dashboards or indicating what I would like to get out of them, but others are much better at doing the actual data analysis.
I especially get a lot of energy from working together with different people, it really makes time fly!
My work also allows me to be creative, for example when assessing (and creating) campaigns and the accompanying commercials and ads. It's also great fun to be at product photo shoots or the shoots for TV commercials, which is a welcome change from a 'normal' day in the office. All in all, I get a lot of energy from working with different people, because time sure flies then! And a background in Psychology fits like glove!"
Interested in the MSc Economic Psychology?
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