Working for KLM and applying for jobs

Dennis is an alumni of Tilburg University, he did the bachelor Communication and Information Sciences with the track Human Aspects of Information Technology (the former CSAI track). And after that, he did the Data Science and Business and Governance (the former Data Science and Society) master and currently, he is working at KLM as a Marketing Science Analyst. We interviewed him to find out more about his current job, the impact of the GDPR law for a company like KLM and the application process he went through.

The responsibilities of a Marketing Science Analyst
Since April this year, Dennis has been working as a Marketing Science Analyst for KLM. KLM is the national airline company of The Netherlands and has more than 30.000 employees. Dennis is responsible for the data about the passengers who buy a ticket direct online in the region Benelux. He analyses website visits, e-mails, sales after campaigns and more. With this data he builds dashboards for other employees, so they can access certain data. For example, he made dashboards for the division e-commerce about the website. Besides analyzing Data, Dennis is also responsible to do A/B tests to optimize the conversion rates. Lastly, he works on different data science projects to predict sales for online campaigns.

As a Marketing Science Analyst, Dennis works together closely with a lot of stakeholders and other teams. This is one of the things he likes about his job the most, as he said: “The best thing about this job is that it combines my bachelor and my master. I work together with the marketing and the data science team.” The workload is good, and he really likes that he has got a lot of responsibilities.

When we asked whether there are also downsides about his job, he responded that he mainly misses the “Brabantse gezelligheid”. The KLM office is located in Amstelveen (near Amsterdam), and because getting up very early was not his favorite activity, he moved there. The only thing about the job that is sometimes a bit inconvenient, is that there are so many parties involved. When he wants to know more about a specific dataset, it can be hard to find out the source.

The role of the GDPR law in a company like KLM
KLM has a lot of data bases, and a lot of ways they collect data like e-mails and profiles. Employees are mailed every now and then to check whether they need all the data they have access to. When you have access to certain data, you never get everything. For example, if someone has access to the sales from the last two years, you can’t link the sales to the personal data about who flew when. Because you only get the data of the sales and not the personal data. This makes the data GDPR proof. There are also a lot projects running to check this.

The application Process
According to Dennis, applying for jobs is a skill you need to develop. Therefore, you need to start in time to look around and orientate what you like or dislike. When he was writing his thesis, Dennis started looking at vacancies in the IT and data science sector. But because of his CIS bachelor, Dennis wanted a bit more than only IT or data science.

When he was applying for the first things, he got rejected a few times because of sloppy mistakes. According to him, this is part of the process. Everyone has to make mistakes in order to get it correct the next time. One example he gave was: “Once I got a seemingly hard question, namely ‘How can we make sure you don’t want to work here?’ I hadn’t prepared that question, so my answer wasn’t really coherent. But later at another interview, I got the same question. And the second time, they were impressed at how well I could respond. It showed how I thought about the ‘working life’.” He also encountered some companies that he didn’t like that much. So, sometimes he stopped the application process.

For his application at KLM, Dennis had to get through multiple rounds. And because he liked the company a lot, he took it very seriously. He used all the experiences he got during his other applications and after two months of getting further and further in the application rounds, he got accepted.

 A final message

As a final remark, Dennis said: “Find something that suits you. For me it was a combination between data, IT and marketing, and for your it is something else. It is important to go to work with a good feeling, so the balance between enjoying your work and having nice colleagues is also very important. If you want to know more about the ambiance of a company, ask them if you can come by. This shows that you are long term oriented, and that finding your place in a company is more important than the money you earn somewhere. Find your own path, and dare to think long term. If you do what you like, you will find a job that suits you.”

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