Be Proactive! Oxyma shows us how it's done
Written by: Emily Tuohy
We walked into HNK, a hip and trendy building filled with flexible office spaces and working hubs. Oxyma, the winner of the FD Gazelle 2016 Awards, has its own full floor in this building of bustling energy. Christian Seidl, Junior Marketing Consultant at Oxyma, picked us up at the reception and gave us a tour through the office. The company is like HNK, based on a flexible working environment. People don’t have a permanent desk spot, they are encouraged to move around to work together better. We immediately felt enthusiastic about the place – people whizzing past on steps, sitting in one of the various meeting locations laughing together all while seriously working, they have a personal approach. “We’re in this together” is painted across one wall, the other is a collage of employees’ personal photographs. Oxyma already seemed like a very pleasant place to work.
So Christian, tell us about yourself. What do you do at Oxyma and how did you come to work here?
“I am originally German, I studied HBO Business and Administration there and finished my Masters of Marketing in Groningen, the Netherlands. I liked it so much here that I wanted to stay. After Oxyma’s workshop at the university about more than a year ago, I was invited for an in-house day and I really enjoyed it. I got a good impression of the company, we received some practical cases and the CEO even gave a speech. There weren’t any jobs open at the time, but I applied anyway. A few weeks later I got a call that there might be a job for me after all. I went to the selection day, which happened to be on St. Patrick’s Day. There was a big party in the office, lots of green decorations and Guinness beer. I was immediately convinced that it was a fun company to work for. My plan for this year is to introduce the Oktoberfest party.”
“I started in September as a Junior Consultant. The first thing you do at Oxyma is following a series of bootcamps and trainings to learn about all of the aspects of the company. I really liked that because they introduce you to the company in a structured way, unlike in other companies where they just give you a seat at the desk and leave it up to you to ask questions. After the bootcamps, we had a look around at what project would be best for me. The company has very big customer teams on a project basis. We have four areas of expertise: process, creative, technology, and insights/marketing intelligence. The focus is to help clients find solutions for their omnichannel questions. There is always something to do, for example, internal projects are available as well. I started this way by helping to organize a large, international marketing conference held by Oxyma in Rotterdam. It was a good way to get to know a lot of people within the company. Soon enough, I was asked for a project for a Belgian lingerie brand. It was such a great project, we started off by going to Gent to get to know the client. It felt like I was living the ‘consultant life:’ being on site, in a hotel and drinking Belgian beer in the evening.”
So consultants have the fabulous life, huh?
“I have to admit, that was one of the exceptions. It doesn’t always go like that. I was super lucky to start off with such a cool project. After that five-week project which was about data-hacking, I moved on to Vodafone, where I mainly focused on e-mail marketing to get to know the basics. Seeing as Oxyma originally was an e-mail marketing agency, we think it is important that every employee is able to operate this. Oxyma as a brand doesn’t get seen by the end-consumer very much; we are a business-to-business company but always have the end consumer in mind. We always want our clients to achieve what is best for the customer. I am working together with Vodafone B2B to find new ways to generate leads for them. I work closely together, but I have a lot of responsibility and freedom, which is so cool seeing as I am still in the beginning of my career with Oxyma. I am also working on a project which focusses on how to stay an interesting employer in 2020 in order to attract new talents.”
Why did you want to work here, specifically at Oxyma?
“Besides the company’s informal culture, I was overwhelmed by the positive first impression I got. I was offered a job in Germany with a really attractive salary, but I still decided for Oxyma. I mean, where else does the CEO sit with you during the selection days? There are no barriers here, I can ask anyone questions and everybody is happy to help. Even though we are constantly growing, I still try to get to know more and more people within the company. It’s great that the teams get switched up with different clients, depending on the focus of the project. I can ask my manager if I would like to develop myself in a new position or with a new client, so it’s quite easy to rotate and grow in the company.”
What do you love most about your job itself?
“I love that I am working on satisfying the end-consumer, even though people don’t see that it’s us. It’s basically all that I learned at university, and now I am doing it. I am helping the customer reach their goals. The variety of projects is also something I really enjoy here, it gives you new focus. I learn something new everyday.”
What was your major learning point or experience in the company?
“Oxyma gives you a lot of freedom, but they also have high expectations of how you use it. You are expected to have your own vision and how to achieve it. You should really have this, otherwise you can get a bit lost. On the other hand, there are also jobs that have less freedom and are more structured. But I really like being able to organise and structure my work myself.”
Nowadays, there are so many digital marketing companies. What makes Oxyma stand out of the crowd?
“Oxyma has been changing. It came from being an e-mail marketing agency, but e-mailmarketing is becoming more popular. It is still just as important, a very cost-efficient and effective way of marketing, but more and more of our clients have started doing it themselves because the technology is getting easier, and thus slowly changing into a commodity. We changed our focus to omni-channel consulting to stay ahead of the market. Our customers can reach theirs via any channel through Oxyma. We can make anything possible from a viral social media campaign to mobile apps, online ads and much more, all through our sister companies. This complete package makes Oxyma unique.”
How is the team of Oxyma? What kind of activities are organized within the team?
“We have weekly ‘borrels’ on Fridays, and quite often we go partying in the weekend but this isn’t organized, it happens naturally because of the open-minded people that work here. Once a year, we have a Company Incentive depending on how well it went during that
year. Last year, they went to a festival for two days. The year before that, they went to Paris. Maybe this year we can go to the Oktoberfest! The flexible culture is also represented in the work times. People can determine their starting times in the morning and where they work, as long as they do it efficiently.
We also have Oxyma Fit, an app through which you can register your sports information. Then you can see internally who is doing the most sports or who has run the most.”
What tips do you want to give to the students who would be interested in applying at Oxyma?
“Be proactive: don’t take no for an answer! Also, here in Holland, it’s important who you are and not necessarily what you did. Practical experience is a definite reality check for what you learnt at university, take as many chances as possible. For the students who are interested, we have a few job openings coming up soon: Junior Consultant and Junior Campaign Manager, both starting in September. I would like to add that fluency in Dutch is necessary. The vacancies should be online in a few months.”
Last but not least, what is your life motto?
“If you want something, do everything to achieve it and go get it!”
We left the company completely energized and thrilled with our goodiebag. Thank you Oxyma, for showing us how its done at such a cool company!