Seauton alumni are our best ambassadors. Although they all follow very different professional paths after their stop-over at Seauton, we continue to follow them closely. They all have one thing in common; they are perfectionists and absolute go-getters. And we are very proud of them. Our first alumni here is Elise Vandermarliere.
Who is Elise Vandermarliere?
Worked at Seauton from January 2011 to October 2014
You were at Seauton for some time. Where do you work now and what do you do?
I'm currently working at D'Ieteren in the marketing team for the brand ŠKODA. I am responsible for CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and the digital content component (including strategy and maintenance of the various web platforms, social media and other digital projects).
Do you have a favourite anecdote or story you would you like to share about your time with us?
Gosh, I have a lot of nice memories from my time at Seauton and think about this occasionally nostalgically ;) I was able to work on great, huge projects and thanks to all the different projects, I visited lovely locations. Some highlights: study trips to Chicago, Istanbul and San Francisco, congress support in San Diego, Lyon and Lisbon, meetcentive in Cadzand and Leuven and team weekends in the Ardennes, among others.
But one to share is actually a memory of my first day at Seauton :) A few days before kick-off I received a message from my future colleague Sophie Verreet: On my first day I was allowed to join the site inspection to Cadzand!! Wow, hello new job! As I was nervous, I wanted to make a good impression and come in the right outfit for the day. Since I did not really know what the site inspection meant, I did not know what dress code applied. I sent Sophie a message with this question and immediately got a message back: "As long as you do not get into your bikini, everything is fine, and actually that would be fine too :)"
Well ... because of this I was ready the next day in high heels at the office (still in Leuven at the time) and a few hours later I was plodding along on the beach in Cadzand, from the hotel to the restaurant :) :) The workout was then rewarded with a delicious tapas lunch. The tone had been set and I wondered whether this first day with 2 amazing women (Shanna and Sophie) was representative of all the work to come at Seauton, and now I can say yes it was.
PS: The day ended when I could not keep my eyes open the whole time on the way back home. Each time I woke up and said to myself: "Elise, this is not really professional, stay awake, at least Shanna and Sophie haven't realised". In retrospect, I was not entirely correct on the last one ;)
What good advice would you give someone who is dreaming about a career at Seauton?
Do it! :) I would advise you to prepare yourself as well as possible for each project. There will always be things that go wrong during a project, but if you have prepared everything properly, you can only do your best on site and make the difference for your client if something does not go 100% according to schedule. Overbooking on a trip from San Francisco to Brussels, although you told the airline twenty times that they were not allowed to add a margin. A hotel that cancels your booking at the last minute (or was it days) before the start of a neurological conference. A strike by a train company or a driver who does not show up or does not speak a word of English, but assumes you speak Italian fluently.
But where there is a will, there is a way and being fully prepared gives you a good basis.
And the most important thing is to enjoy yourself :)
It is sometimes a tiring and stressful job, but the unique locations, the exceptional experiences and the amazing team in particular make it worthwhile.