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Marketing intern Thomas talks about his time at Gpi, his studies and his future plans

‘At Gpi you’re given a chance to see what happens in the real world of business’

He once considered the idea of becoming a journalist, but when it came to the crunch Thomas Bakker opted instead to take a degree in Business Economics at the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences. It was during his second year, when he had to find an internship for his marketing management specialisation, that Thomas came across a vacancy for a marketing and communication internship at Gpi. He quickly made contact with the marketing manager and a few months later he took up an internship at Gpi Tanks.

‘‘I’d already heard of Gpi because the company sponsored my football club in Lopik. I also have a friend who works here as a welder. When I saw the vacancy and spoke with the marketing manager, I was quickly convinced I could learn a lot here. I also live close by, so it’s easy to get to by bike.’

The marketing department at Gpi has certainly made an impact, with its websites, social media and other channels. Thomas tells us about his work at Gpi: ‘I do a lot of online marketing. For example, I’ve helped with the content and lay-out of a new website, made improvements to existing ones and gained valuable experience working with tools like Photoshop, Google Analytics and Semrush. And every now and again other things crop up in the department which makes the work interesting and varied.’

Thomas Bakker at Gpi

Choice of study

‘A hard-working student who wants to get the most out of his studies.’ That’s how Thomas describes himself on his LinkedIn profile. By opting to take a degree in Business Economics he is following in the footsteps of his father and sister, who also work in marketing. Thomas explains how he came to make this choice: ‘Journalism has changed a lot recently and jobs are hard to come by in the profession, so I decided eventually that there were just too few prospects. At the same time I had developed an interest in marketing and sales and it was spoken about a lot at home. I finally decided on following the Business Economics degree programme after taking some sample lessons. The course will give me a broad grounding and help me discover what specialisation suits me best.’

What’s an internship like at Gpi?

‘I’ve enjoyed the internship; every day has taught me something new. I’m allowed a lot of freedom and I’ve realised that much of the theory from my studies can be applied in practice. The guidance is helpful and I get feedback and space to seek out my own solutions, so that I really can learn something. I enjoy working with experienced professionals operating in the field. At the same time, as intern at Gpi you’re given every opportunity to see what happens in the real world of business’

Would you recommend it to other students?

‘Yes, I can definitely recommend Gpi to other students. There’s a good rapport amongst colleagues. And although the mood is professional, there’s always time for a laugh or two. What’s more it’s an educational internship. I’ve learned so much about business-to-business marketing, which I find so absorbing. Because the company deals with a diversity of customers, there’s so many different things to learn. You work with tools and you form part and parcel of the marketing team. There’s very much a focus on online marketing and the big bonus with that is that you can see and quantify the results. Not only can you analyse what’s happened, you also get to think about how this might be improved in the future. Having experience in Photoshop and Google Analytics, for example, always looks good on a CV.’

After the internship

Following his internship, Thomas will stay on in the marketing department as a holiday replacement. He explains what his future career plans are: ‘I’m happy I can stay on at Gpi after my internship to build on this experience. The internship has taught me a lot about business marketing. In future, I’d also like to get some business-to-consumer experience for a brand where there is direct contact with the end user. That could be a sales internship. Nevertheless, I still think that marketing is my thing first and foremost. There’s considerable scope for creativity and it’s good to see a business growing and how it’s possible to inspire others and show what you might mean for them. Ultimately, I’d like to see myself working as a marketing manager with the freedom to flesh out a company’s marketing plan myself.’