Meet Ludmila & Rolf: 1 year at Venture IQ

Written by
Ludmila Cmarkova
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Ludmila Cmarkova and Rolf van Baar both joined Venture IQ a year ago as interns and stayed with us as technology analysts. In the past year, they worked on a wide variety of technology scouting projects for our clients. We’re happy to have them on our team as technology analysts and look forward to many projects to come. In this blog they will share their experience at Venture IQ and provide a glimpse at what an internship at Venture IQ could look like. If you’re interested in our internship opportunity feel free to reach out or check the vacancy here.

Please, introduce yourself…

Ludmila: Hey there! My name is Ludmila Cmarková, and I was born and raised in Slovakia. After finishing my secondary education in 2018, I moved to Amsterdam to pursue my bachelor's degree in Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam. I graduated in January 2022, after spending a semester in Paris as an exchange student at Sciences Po. Currently, I am working as a full-time analyst at Venture IQ before I begin my Masters degree in Management of International Business and Trade. Outside of work, I enjoy reading a good book, painting, or researching my next travel destination.

Rolf: Hey! My name is Rolf van Baar, and I am Dutch, born and raised in Heiloo. I completed my Bachelor's degree in Economics and Business Economics at the VU in Amsterdam in 2021. Following my bachelor's, I studied a semester at HEC Montreal in Canada. I am currently pursuing a Masters degree in Digital Business and Innovation at the VU, which has been a perfect fit with my role at Venture IQ as I get to experience all kinds of innovation in various industries. In my free time, I enjoy mountain biking, skiing, and I love to travel. In fact, I'm currently planning an 8-week trip to Peru and Colombia later this year.

Both of you started at Venture IQ as interns. How has your role evolved since you first started working here?

Rolf: As a Venture IQ intern, you work with a consultant on projects and are supported by other analysts. Over time, my role has evolved to involve more responsibilities, independence and I am trusted with larger and more complex tasks. For example, helping to decide on the best strategy for a client project or how to best present results to the clients. I now also provide software support to our clients by providing them with training and demonstrating the capabilities of our Catalist platform. Additionally, there is a lot of room to do extra side projects. For instance, I am also involved in the development of our software, where I think about new functionalities and improvements of existing features. Overall, my role has evolved into one with more ownership, autonomy, and impact, which is something I really value.

Ludmila: I very much agree with Rolf. While I believe that Venture IQ provides a lot of responsibility from the beginning, I would say that the most significant changes have indeed been in the increased scope of responsibilities and trust in your judgment. For example, besides the regular analyst work, I am also helping with HR activities, particularly in finding the perfect match for the technology analyst intern position. 

What was the most significant lesson or skill that you learned during your internship, and how has it helped you in your current role as an analyst?

Ludmila: When I joined Venture IQ about a year ago as a full-time intern, my knowledge and experience in business were very limited, especially considering that my background is in social sciences. Before starting at Venture IQ, I gained some practical experience while doing a sales and marketing internship, but that was very different from what I do at Venture IQ. I would say the biggest learning experience for me was understanding the different strategic objectives that drive corporate venturing decisions, what are the different reasons that drive companies to form partnerships, joint ventures or pursue mergers and acquisitions. 

Rolf: As a student, I had theoretical knowledge in business economics, but no practical experience in the field and the internship was a great opportunity for me to apply my knowledge in a real-world setting, learn a lot about market research and how to turn a company's need for a particular search into a workable project. Often, clients come to us with a broad search topic and scope, and it's up to us to break down the search logically and explore the market to gather the right data and companies. This skill has been really valuable as I often have to dive deep into (sometimes complex) industries to provide insights to our clients.

What is your favorite memory (or memorable experience) from the past year of working at Venture IQ?

Ludmila: My favorite memory would be the off-site team-building event we organised last summer in Noordwijk. We spent the morning discussing our long-term strategy together with the whole team and afterwards had a lot of fun playing volleyball on the beach, swimming in the ocean, and finished the day by cooking a big dinner together. 

Rolf: I completely agree with Ludmila. In addition to that, another memorable experience from last year is the boat trip on the Amsterdam canals we had with our clients. Having the chance to meet some clients in person whom I had previously only interacted with online was a great opportunity to engage in some interesting face-to-face conversations.

Looking back, what advice would you give to someone who is about to start as an intern at Venture IQ?

Ludmila: If you are about to start an internship, my advice to you would be: be curious, take initiative, pay attention to details and learn from the feedback that you are given. This internship is a great opportunity to learn about a lot of different industries, innovations and cool technologies. There is a lot of space for taking on new challenges and side projects that you think might benefit the company, so you should definitely make the most out of it. Last but not least, do not worry about making mistakes. You are here to learn after all! 

Rolf: Be open-minded and willing to learn new things, take ownership of your work and ask questions when you are unsure about something. Don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and take on new challenges. Also, don't forget to build relationships with your colleagues and make the most of the opportunities that come your way. Above all, enjoy the ride and make the most of your time here at Venture IQ!

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Article written by
Ludmila Cmarkova