Entrepreneurship according to MBA’er Tamara Evers
Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Stewardship. These are the core values, embedded in all the education programs from Nyenrode Business University. In these interview series, three female participants of the Executive MBA education program tell us how they experience these LES values and to what extent the education program was able to contribute to this experience. This time around, independent entrepreneur Tamara Evers lets us in on how she did not only get to know herself as an entrepreneur, but even more who she is as a person.
At five years old, Evers told her mother: “Mom, I want to go to Australia and need to save money. Can I start delivering newspapers?” This anecdote shows that Evers’ entrepreneurial mindset became apparent early on. “To me, becoming an entrepreneur begins with determining your goals”, explains the 33-year old entrepreneur, “followed by working your butt off to realize those goals”. When she got the opportunity to become columnist of the Noordhollands Dagblad (local newspaper) on her fifteenth, she ceased it with both hands and not even less than five years later she worked for the front page of the Telegraaf (Netherlands national newspaper). “Taking and creating opportunities also means being an entrepreneur to me. When I was about seventeen, I wanted to expand my experience at the Telegraaf, so I asked them in a letter if they could use my help during summer recess. I ended up working for them as a freelancer for nine years.”
But the need for new challenges kept growing. “As a journalist, you work from story to story. I started looking for more strategic components and long-term goals”. Evers started taking more classes and she set up her current business in the field of strategic positioning consulting and media trainings. Journalism still always plays a major role. “Journalists look for great stories. Companies have great stories which they can use to position themselves strategically. I happen to know both sides of the story and understand where to find the ‘win-win’. It is the most fun when the person who the story evolves around, tells the story him-/herself. That is why I give media trainings as well. That way I get to combine the creative aspect of journalism with the target-orientation from the corporate world, something that always gives me energy.” Development is key to Evers, and in 2018 she decided to further develop her entrepreneurial qualities. She started looking for an educational program, that could offer her challenge and reinforcement as an entrepreneur, ‘full-spectrum growth’, as she calls it herself. This is exactly what she found in Nyenrode’s Executive MBA education program.
To Evers, the greatest strength of the program is the close-knit group you work and go in-depth with together. This helps you getting to know yourself immensely. Her coaching group gave her the feedback for example that she is a true organizer. A quality she was somewhat aware of, but which gave her more confidence in the use of it. “The little voice that says ‘you can do it’ still helps me when I start a new project for example.” That quality of Evers immediately resonates with Laura Steur, Manager Corporate Communication at Transdev Nederland. Connexxion’s parent company often asks Evers for support, among others during crisis situations in regards to communication. “When we run a risk of reputation damage because of media attention, I give Tamara complete freedom to fix the issue and she always delivers. I know that I can totally trust her in this, which is a great feeling.”
Evers was less aware of another quality the group attributed to her: how she captivates people with her enthusiasm. When she shared her outrage with the group about a diving experience she had had with a boat destroying the coral, one of the participants told her: “You are telling your story so catching, that I actually want to protect the coral myself”. Now she uses that knowledge about herself in her own business. “It is great to be able to get people on board with a project through my own excitement, because good cooperation is crucial.” With that exact same excitement she was able to set up the project ‘De Tweede Kelder’ for VodafoneZiggo, a political TV program for and by young people with items covering election raps, interviews in game form and debates from a bath tub, which received a European nomination for the Digital Communication Award. “When I think back to that, it immediately makes me feel super happy. Getting things done together with other people, that is what brings me the most energy.”
And it is that type of energy that has become the essence of her business ever since following the MBA. She has always been target-oriented, but during the program she learned how to make conscious decisions and to not simply grab all, but especially the right opportunities. “Energy is the key word for me. Since 6 months I have a whiteboard in my office with the things I want to achieve. I constantly look at what will give me the most energy and decide on that whether I do, or do not take on a certain opportunity.” As far as Evers is concerned, her goal to develop ‘full-spectral’ has been achieved. “I really feel that reinforcement as a professional. Not only have I become stronger from a knowledge standpoint, but also as a human being.”
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