Meet Eva Groot, a recent GBSB Global’s Alumni and aspiring entrepreneur! Eva moved to Barcelona from Amsterdam to study her Master’s in Business Administration. With over six years of professional work experience in media and e-commerce, she was looking for a program that would embrace diversity and touch on “green” and “sustainable” topics – the things Eva cares a lot about. During her studies at GBSB Global, Eva had a new business idea and decided to join our G-Accelerator Program that provides mentoring opportunities for young entrepreneurs and supports their businesses.
Read the full interview where Eva talks about what motivated her to apply for the program in the first place, gives her feedback on the mentoring process and shares her plans for the near future.
Please introduce yourself and let us know what brought you to GBSB Global?
I’m Eva Groot, 28 years old and recent Master’s in Business Administration graduate. I grew up in the Netherlands, Amsterdam, and now find myself closer to the sun in Barcelona. In the past six years I’ve worked in the e-commerce and media business. I have held different roles such as Media Consultant, Digital Sales Manager and Account Manager, in which I have gained experience with large corporations, been active in different sectors, and had the pleasure to work with many inspiring global brands.
I’ve always been eager to grow and last year I felt ready to take my career to the next step, for which I decided to pursue my MBA at GBSB Global. With this degree I gained practical skills and methodologies in various facets of the business spectrum. I chose GBSB Global because of the modern teaching approach that this university applies, with a strong focus on relevant topics as sustainability and diversity. It also offered me the chance of broadening my horizons by working together with inspiring business-oriented people from all over the world, providing me with an international business perspective and the necessary skills to work in markets across the globe, which is crucial in the current globalized economy.
What made you decide to apply for the G-Accelerator program?
It was kind of a timely encounter. Over my past work experience, I noticed the importance of a proper company–employee match. I saw that employee engagement directly influences work performance; employees are more likely to excel when their personal values match the company values, and vice-versa. I believed therefore that it was essential for recruiters to find candidates that proved to be a good match with the corporate culture, based on their personal values.
During my spring semester at GBSB, I started planning and looking for an internship for the summer. Within this search, I stumbled on the difficulty of finding companies based on their values, not merely on what they do, and specially determining our alignment. I wanted to offer my input and work (for free!) to support a company that had either a strong social or green purpose, but I was limited by traditional recruiting methodologies; mainly focused on education and experience. Then the idea of a reversed recruitment system came back to me. When true internal motivation is triggered, employees are more likely to grow, develop and increase their performance.
While assembling my thoughts to create a new and improved model, I found out about the G-Accelerator Program during a class of my MBA. Seeing this as a perfect way to develop my ideas, I immediately decided to apply.
How has the G-Accelerator Program helped you through the process?
First of all, it pushed me in my determination to really go for it. I remember the long nights during the final exam week, working in the middle of the night on my start-up pitch, having only a few hours of sleep but feeling more energized than ever. Applying for the process, receiving the first feedback on my idea from professionals within the field, it was a very motivating experience. I have always exhibited an entrepreneurial mentality but never felt like it was the right time to follow-up on my ideas. The G-accelerator Program is showing me that there is no right time, you just have to take a leap and go for it!
One of the many benefits of the program is the ability to test the idea with a team, discuss possibilities and formulate a sustainable strategy. When starting a business, it can be overwhelming, there are many things to do and many roads to take. The G-Accelerator Program helps me turn concepts into products and provides a steady roadmap to follow in order to not get lost in the sea of possibilities.
How does the mentoring process look like?
I meet once every two weeks with Xavier Arola Perez (director of G-Accelerator) and Isabel Cordova Samaniego (professor at GBSB Global). These sessions bring great input for the process of my start-up, as well as my personal growth. It has been very valuable to get provided with personal advice from two professionals with many years of relevant experience. All three of us have different backgrounds which results in broad knowledge, different working methods and discussions - something that is absolutely necessary in order to create a value-added business model. Xavier and Isabel always provide me with direct constructive feedback. I really appreciate their effort and input and their experience within the field of entrepreneurship helps me formulate guidelines and prioritize my activities.
What is your business idea?
There is a grey area between candidates looking for purposeful jobs and companies searching for talent that matches their corporate values. Everybody deserves a job where they feel like they belong. This doesn’t only benefit the individual, but also benefits the company: a study by the Social Market Foundation shows that happy employees work harder, collaborate better in teams and are 20% more productive. The match between candidate and companies will be made by using gamification and creating an un-biased algorithm with a strong emphasis on shared values and common goals. Using matchmaking technology increases the scalability of the recruitment process and it avoids human biases and selection discriminations. My idea is driven by the belief in the ability of employees to learn and grow if the ‘why’ is strong enough. Therefore, working for a company that is in line with your internal motivation should be number one priority during your job search.
What are your plans now that you have graduated from GBSB Global?
I would like the start-up to grow into a successful business, not just for myself but mostly because I really believe it is needed in the current economy. I want to help people like me find a job that truly matches with their strengths and their values, to increase employee retention and overall work happiness. Additionally, I try to soak up as much knowledge as possible during the mentoring sessions and the start-up process. It is a great opportunity to learn and grow, on a business level as well as on a personal one. I would also love to combine my start-up development with working in a field that allows me to put the new skills, gained from the MBA, into practice.