Portrait of: Emma van Keulen

Portrait of: Emma van Keulen

Meet our team: today a portrait of Emma van Keulen.

Purmerend-born and raised 25-year-old Emma van Keulen will join Kuipers & Claassen from mid-2020. She has been a financial advisor there since December.

In high school, she quickly realized that math and economics would determine the direction of her future job. After completing the havo at the Jan van Egmond Lyceum in Purmerend, she starts a hbo study. She chooses Business Studies Banking and Insurance at Hogeschool Inholland. The course has a broad base. In the last two years she chooses the direction banking and insurance which is taught in The Hague. There she successfully graduates in 2018.

Besides her studies, Emma does not sit still. A wide variety of side jobs come along, from florist at Deen supermarkets to customer service employee at the investment app Peaks, which had just been introduced in the Netherlands at the time. She also makes herself useful as an exam trainer and homework tutor at Lyceo.

Right out of college, Emma starts working at Rabobank. Not surprisingly. During her studies she already does two internships at that bank. First, she researches the Private Equity market and the possibilities for acquisitions. She is also taking the Private Equity and Venture Capital course online at the Universita Commerciale Luigi Bocconi. Her research is being emulated within the bank and is actually generating leads and clients. 'A very cool experience,' she describes excitedly. She also gets to do her graduate internship at the bank. At Rabobank's Business Support in Amsterdam, she is researching the possibilities of making the housing market more sustainable. At that time, developments on the topic of sustainability had not yet taken off. With her research and advisory report, she formulates concrete points to get started. Emma starts as a financial advisor with a focus on handling management and orientation meetings with new mortgage clients.

In her search for who she really wants to be as a professional, she is looking for a way to become more proficient in her craft. Preferably with a course of study that provides a broad foundation of all the aspects you need to meet as an advisor. Emma is starting the financial planner course just at the point when corona is starting to have its repercussions in society. Although she can study just fine, she benefits most from listening to someone live. During online classes, she gets easily distracted. She finishes the exams just short of a single point. A retake is out of the question at that point, because other things demand her attention. Although she did not get everything out of it, it gave her direction in her search.

When Emma is offered a position in The Hague at the end of her two-year contract at Rabobank, there are other things going on in her life that make her look at other positions. Traveling or possibly moving to The Hague does not attract her so much at that time. Open to a new job, she receives four nice offers. She applies only once. For a position where she does not meet all the requirements. She manages to win over her potential new employer in subsequent interviews. In mid-2020, she starts as a mortgage consultant at Kuipers & Claassen.

Emma gets busy buying her own apartment in Purmerend. A new phase in her life as she leaves her busy parental home. Because she does like 'hustle and bustle' around her, she has to get quite used to the silence she experiences in her new living environment. She now has to take action herself to find the conviviality. In the winter months, for example, she now skates with her "pops," as she calls her father, every Sunday at an artificial ice rink. Not just for fun, but also to catch up now that she no longer lives at home. While skating, the conversations start automatically. Together they share the loss of her mother who is no longer with her at important moments in her life. She does not hesitate to look at herself honestly in the mirror in this regard as well. "I worked hard for where I am today, but I would have given myself a little more breathing room sometimes.

Her community involvement takes shape in supporting Africa Family Foundation, a small-scale organization that has been involved for many years in education and a better future for the poorest (orphaned) children in Kenya, particularly the western region of Kisumu. As a communications assistant, Emma takes care of the social media expressions for the foundation and helps with editing their newsletters. Her own experience in using different social media platforms comes in handy here. "The work helps me realize how grateful I am for where I grew up and the opportunities I have in life.

With her spontaneous, somewhat extroverted attitude, she can be pleasantly busy, prone to filling in silences. 'Sometimes people find it chill if I don't have anything to say for a while,' she agrees, but adds right away, 'I don't always have to be in the foreground, I end up there anyway. It's who I am.'

For years as a teenager, Emma can be found at the dance school where she indulged in show dance until she graduated college. She has since returned there for some dance-fit or zumba-like training. Cozy with music. 'I couldn't function without music. Silence is hard," she explains. In addition to her love of theater, her expressive nature is currently taking shape in her singing. For example, she recently started taking private lessons one evening a week. However, her ambitions in this do not go beyond a background choir. The one time she is tempted to sing at a company outing is enough for her.

Because she is young in the profession, she tends quite often to be proof-oriented. Mainly for herself and not so much for clients. Will people take me seriously?" she wonders. While she used to go into a meeting over-prepared, she has since discovered that her genuine interest in clients and strong communication skills allow her to serve them well. Knowing where her boundaries lie. "People are my passion," Emma explains, "People, helping people, having an eye for another and adding value. In her work, too, she is completely alive when she has frequent customer contact. The personal approach to customers is typical for her. 'If you create a space where clients dare to be vulnerable and share their ambitions, then I can really help.'

Although she really likes the security of being an employee at this stage in her life, Emma does not rule out a future entrepreneurship. She also sees herself working in the classroom for a day or two a week in the future.



I am very expressive.

A deal is a deal.

Sharing prosperity with the world.

I use my brain.

I am fairly young for the work I do.

I am strong in communication.

I have an eye for another.

I am genuinely interested in people.

I hope I don't overshadow people.

People are my passion.