Alumnus Ronald de Mol

Ronald Mol has remained true to himself

Job Bio 5min. Lea Körber

Our alumni have interesting careers. Take Ronald Mol: he decided to strike out on his own as a legal entrepreneur and faced some tough competition. Ronald reflects on his student days, a rocky start, his drive, and his success.

At the end of 2021, data of Statistics Netherlands (CBS) shows, the number of legal consultancy firms in the Netherlands stood at 8,565: more than double the 2011 tally. This obviously creates opportunities for students on the job market. Independent legal entrepreneurs certainly face tough competition, but opportunities also arise. Ronald’s business, RM Arbeidsjurist, is a case in point.

“If by being yourself, you can stand out, you’ll never want for work. And it’s essential to know your target group. Who do you want to work for? One-person bands should not expect business from large corporations but should instead target SMEs and private individuals as their client base. It is these clients that need a friendly and committed adviser. That’s where an independent operator can make a real difference.”

Ronald Mol

Being disciplined and motivated will help you achieve anything

Ronald Mol - Owner of RM Arbeidsjurist

Student days

When Ronald graduated secondary school at 18, he had no idea what he wanted to do. “But one thing I knew for certain: I wanted to gain practical experience as quickly as possible. That’s why I first opted for a broad program at a university of applied sciences, which allowed room for specialization further down the road. I took an interest in private law, so when I graduated at 21, feeling too young to start working full-time, I chose to pursue a law degree. The transition from Avans University of applied sciences to Tilburg University was smooth, and I fully committed to employment law in my Master’s, building up true expertise. In 2011, I completed my Master’s in Law & Management and entered the job market.”

A key lesson in life Ronald learned at university is this: “You don’t need to be the smartest student to graduate. I certainly wasn’t the best student, but I had to work hard even so. To some, strong academic performance comes naturally; to me it didn’t. That’s where discipline comes in: it’s an asset. Being disciplined and motivated will help you achieve anything.”

Rocky start 

When Ronald graduated and began looking for work, “the job market was down in the dumps”, as he qualifies that period. “The list of vacancies for lawyers was decidedly underwhelming and my area of expertise, employment law, was somewhere at the bottom of the list. By November 2021, the number of vacancies for public service lawyers and corporate lawyers had dropped by 45% and 47% respectively as compared with 2010. To me, these numbers were not just numbers; they deeply affected me. It took well over six months before I had found a job. Today, that is hard to imagine.” At the time of finishing his studies, Ronald had been working at a supermarket for eight years and for a while he pulled extra shifts. “Meanwhile I kept on the lookout for job opportunities. Eventually I spotted a vacancy at DAS Rechtsbijstand and I was fortunate enough to be picked as one of their new staff. I started as a junior employment lawyer in February 2012 and worked there for nearly five years. I learned a lot at DAS, rapidly gaining extensive experience. After only three months I was allowed to bring legal proceedings on my own!”

Teachers play an important role in students’ lives

My source of inspiration
Listening to my own heart

For me there are no specific sources of inspiration. I decide from the heart what I want to do in life.

Best advice
ever received

In personal leadership trainings I learned to think about who I want to be in my life. At the end of the day, what matters most is not performance.

My advice
to others

Don’t compare yourself to others, because sooner or later you only have yourself to answer to. Follow your heart and remain true to yourself; success will follow.

Teaching at a university of applied sciences

“At DAS, I mainly helped private clients deal with employment law issues. To diversify my development, I felt it was important to not only help resolve legal disputes, but to also take a proactive, precautionary approach by giving advice, mainly to entrepreneurs. That is why after having left DAS I gained experience in assisting entrepreneurs in dealing with employment law issues. I did this for well over eight years and by the end of that period I was keen to take up teaching. Teachers play an important role in students’ lives. Everyone can recall a great or horrible teacher. My vision is to help people, not just in a legal capacity, but also in terms of their personal development, which is an important part of being a student. It’s a wonderful thing to see students grow from their first class to the day they graduate. It energizes mee. In 2018, I joined Rotterdam University of applied sciences, where I have since been teaching employment law to HRM and Business Administration students.”

The drive for entrepreneurship

“While I was happy teaching, I missed the practical work and I started thinking about setting up my own firm. Doing so with a full-time salaried job to fall back on is ideal, because it significantly reduces the risk. My business, RM Arbeidsjurist, has been operational for 18 months now and I’ve cut back my working time at Rotterdam. I am proud and grateful that over a relatively short period of time I’ve been able to help many people and entrepreneurs resolve employment law issues. It genuinely gladdens me. In the coming years, I hope to continue to grow my business.”

To be a successful entrepreneur, Ronald believes it is crucial to remain true to yourself and to largely leave the outside world be. “Make your own plan and have faith in it. As with academic pursuits, commercial progress depends on discipline and motivation going hand in hand. And it does matter to appreciate small steps. Also, investing in networks and people you click with is vital. They, too, can help you advance to the next level.”

People want real advice, not ifs, buts, and maybes!

Giving legal advice about employment issues

“As a person, I am committed to the entrepreneur or employee retaining my services and I seek to build a genuine connection. I believe this to be vital to the success of my business. People want real advice, not ifs, buts, and maybes! Of course, it’s my job to give legal advice and to offer counsel, but behind every issue there is a person. And that person deserves attention.”

Résumé

Education

2007 – 2011 | Law & Management (Dutch Law, focus area: Labor), Tilburg University

2004 – 2007 | Management, Economics & Law (major: Banking & Insurance), Avans University of applied sciences, Breda

1998 – 2004 | Pre-university education, Markland College (profile: Economy & Society), Oudenbosch

Experience

2020 – present | Independent employment lawyer and owner of RM Arbeidsjurist, www.rm-arbeidsjurist.nl

2019 – present | Lecturer in Employment Law (for HRM program) Rotterdam University of applied sciences

2018 – 2019 | Employment lawyer at ABAB Legal, Tilburg

2017 – 2018 | Employment lawyer at Sense Advocaten, Eindhoven

2016 – 2017 | Employment lawyer at ABAB Legal, Tilburg

2012 – 2016 | Employment Lawyer at DAS Rechtsbijstand, Den Bosch

Whereabouts and other activities

Ronald was born in Oudenbosch and has been living in Breda for nearly ten years. He is a referee for the KNVB (Royal Netherlands Football Association) and teaches arbitration.

Where have your studies in Tilburg taken you?

Tilburg University closely monitors the quality of its degree programs, both in terms of their academic standard and regarding their alignment with the job market. That is why we keep track of our alumni’s careers, and as a graduate you can be of real help to new generations of students by telling us about your career.

Let us know where you work