Interview: Talking Marketing & Our Magazine with Amir Abdin

Amir was born in Germany, grew up in Dubai and moved back to Germany at age 16. In one year, he learned German, making him trilingual (English, Arabic and German). Later, he moved to Leeuwarden and studied Media and Entertainment Management. After that he decided to do his last year’s internship in Amsterdam at Payments & Cards Network. There he moved his way up from intern to become our Head of Marketing.

How did your path lead you to your current role? How did past roles contribute to what you do today?

I was an intern, and I’ve since become the head of Marketing here. Because I started when we were still small, I helped build the department, and set up strategy. First, I needed to prove myself worthy of the position as an intern and achieve my targets. Before this job, I’d done some other marketing work, but at that company I didn’t feel as if I had any real say. I learned I need to stand up for what I want and to communicate clearly. I studied and focused on media in school. The program emphasized marketing and content marketing specifically. This is where my interest lies, in content creation. Nonetheless, I am also appreciative of how important management is and how my role takes on a lot of management aspects.

What do you like about working here?

I like the people the most. We work with people who we respect, value and we work in teams. It's fun here. We are an international team. Having this diverse team means we can come up with a lot of innovative ideas because everyone has a unique outlook. I also love the office and living in Amsterdam, not to mention our Christmas parties and half-way events.
Marketing_AmirAmir at his desk here in Amsterdam

We’re currently looking for an Advertising Sales Intern. What would you look for in someone to come work here and what advice would you give to people trying to make their way into the industry?

Well, of course education gives insight but hands-on experience is so important. In marketing there’s always a lot of new things coming up. For example, we as a recruitment agency aren’t looking to advertise on the radio. So, we want to educate ourselves on relevant trends and keep up with them. Take a look at thought leaders in the field, see which proven strategies they used, how things work. I’d also recommend internships as they’re a great way to be productive, take initiative, be creative and get feedback. For our internship, we look for someone who is proactive, takes initiative and knows how to balance having a fun time at work with really getting work done and accepting critique. We value fresh ideas.

Our magazine has grown in the past year quite rapidly. We now have 80,000 readers a month. Tell me a bit about how this grew:

Absolutely. So I started the magazine to show who we are and to help introduce us to people in the industry. We received feedback that it was interesting, but not enough that people were going to request it or look forward to it each month. After about 5-6 months of doing all the design and content alone, we brought in Duc Dang to help us design the magazine as it today. We wanted the magazine to keep up with the trends each month in our industry, to become a place people could go to find out about thought leaders and influencers. We also made sure that as we redesigned it that it remained a magazine accessible to all—this means no jargon. The result is a monthly magazine that’s easy to read and covers the evolving world for professionals in the industry.