Meet Marleen, member of Female x Finance! During her bachelor’s studies in Economics and Business Economics, she navigated her academic journey without a clear career path in mind. It was through Female x Finance that she gained insights into the possibilities available to women in finance, helping her chart her own course. Now pursuing a master’s degree in Finance Marleen continues to shape her academic and professional journey, exemplifying the transformative impact of Female x Finance on her career.

  • Werkstudent M&A Corporate Finance – BDO

  • Thesis Intern – KPMG

  • Bachelor, Economics and Business Economics, Utrecht University

 

During my Bachelor of Economics and Business Economics at Universiteit Utrecht, I was not thinking that much about which way I wanted my career to go to and did not know what all the options were. That is when I first came in contact with Female x Finance, they gave me insights about possibilities as a woman in the finance sector and about which ways you can fill in your own career path. When enrolling for the master program Finance at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam I got in touch again and started to shape my master’s degree.

“Insights of what all your possibilities are when you are interested in a career in finance is one of the most valuable things, I got out of my meetings with Female x Finance.”

Expect the unexpected

Upon completing my bachelor’s degree, I initially envisioned a straightforward path by jumping into my Finance master’s, completing this within a year and starting my career after the summer. Because I reconnected with FemalexFinance at the beginning of my master’s programme my perspective underwent a significant shift.

I had been in contact with Female x Finance during my bachelor’s but was not really looking for anything ‘extra’ back then. I resumed contact shortly before starting my master’s and for me, that was the moment I gained more insights from the conversations. At that point, I was working as working student at an M&A firm and had learned that I wanted my career to be in the finance sector. However, I did not know what specific aspect would fit me best, so I concluded I wanted to broaden my view.

Engaging with Eva from Female x Finance, together we explored other ways to shape my master’s journey, getting insights such as the possibility of postponing my thesis and opting for an internship. This newfound perspective challenged the notion of rushing through my master’s and instead opened doors to valuable experiences that could enrich my understanding of the finance job market.

On a new route

Reevaluating my initial plan to complete my master’s in one year, my conversations with Eva made me reconsider whether this was truly the optimal path for me. Instead of rushing ahead without a clear plan after graduation, our discussions made me reconsider which approach was the best option for me. Together, we delved into various internship options and explored what areas of interest I wanted to focus on during my internship months. This process not only challenged my original timeline but also encouraged me to think more about potential paths that align with my aspirations.

These insights into alternative paths and considerations were eye-opening, and I realised that I might not have gotten them independently. Talking about these things with someone like Eva, who had faced similar decisions and knew a lot about the subject, was incredibly helpful. Her firsthand experience and guidance provided a unique perspective that I would probably not have gained on my own, emphasising the significance of seeking advice from those who have had similar academic and professional journeys.

Trusting the insights of FxF

When I made the decision to postpone my Master’s thesis and create space for an internship, things truly got started with FemalexFinance. I communicated my preferences regarding the type of companies where I envisioned doing my internship. In response, I was provided with a list of potential companies that aligned with my interests. Taking this personalized selection into consideration, I chose companies to which I would send my motivation letter and CV. The support I received in crafting these motivations was very valuable, even as the insightful guidance throughout the entire process FemalexFinance offered.

When I secured an interview opportunity at a private equity firm, the assistance Female x Finance gave me went beyond my expectations. I not only received study materials and a lot of potential interview questions but also received advice regarding presentation, including what to wear. This extensive support significantly eased the anticipation and stress associated with the interview process. The close connection with Female x Finance not only gave practical assistance but also created a sense of trust and comfort, playing a big role in securing a successful internship opportunity.

Starting the journey

Starting your journey to build your career in finance might seem challenging at first. The financial sector is broad, and the choices can be overwhelming. During this, insights and support from Female x Finance became a valuable resource for me. Through conversations and guidance, I not only gained clarity on the diverse opportunities within finance but also learned how to tailor my academic and professional journey to suit my individual goals. 

Female x Finance not only provided practical advice but also shared real-world examples, illustrating how other women have successfully dealt with similar challenges and created their own paths in the financial sector. This knowledge transformed my approach, going from not knowing how or where to start to a clear path with personalized strategies.


Marleen’s final thoughts:

In essence, Female x Finance is more than just a recruitment platform; it provides a feeling of companionship, comparable to talking about your career goals with a supportive older sister. The financial industry’s choices may be overwhelming, but with Female x Finance by your side, the journey becomes navigable.

When faced with uncertainties about which path to choose, Female x Finance extends a helping hand, making what once seemed so challenging feel like logical steps toward a fulfilling career. Reminding aspiring women that their unique journey is not only valid but also filled with opportunities waiting to be explored.