Building a Career at C4T: Astrid van Dam

Mon , 29 Apr 2019 | Customs, customs4trade, work environment, jobs, career

Astrid began her career at C4T as a Business Analyst, having moved from a project management position in her previous company. Although she excelled at both, neither job was what she truly wanted to do. Having earned a degree from the University of Antwerp in Applied Economics with a major in Marketing, Astrid initially pursued a job in her field, however she was confronted with the typical college graduate’s dilemma: she needed work experience to get a job, yet she couldn’t get a job to earn the experience. Larger companies were willing to hire her as a marketing trainee but required that she first spend a year on the road in a sales role, driving around Belgium and meeting with customers. Knowing that a life alone on the road was not for her, she gave up on her dream of going into marketing.

Career blog C4T job switch marketing lead

In her first job as a Project Manager, Astrid learned a lot about structure, organization, and communication. Yet she was unfulfilled, and when a recruiter offered her the opportunity to come to C4T as a Business Analyst, she took it. “As a Business Analyst I was in charge of onboarding customers, serving as their single point of contact, keeping every detail of project moving from configuration through testing, and keeping everybody engaged and informed,” shared Astrid. “I discovered in the five months doing onboarding that CAS really helps customers reduce their administrative burden. I also realized that researching complex requirements and sorting through detailed customs logic was not really my cup of tea.”


“We had posted a job for a Marketing Lead and I received so many CVs that it was quite honestly overwhelming,” said Maarten Laruelle, C4T’s Chief Revenue Officer. “I was talking about it with Astrid one day in the C4T kitchen and, remembering she had a degree in marketing, proposed we meet to talk more about it.”

“This was my chance of a lifetime to get into marketing,” said Astrid. “By onboarding customers, I learned all about CAS and what is most important to users, so I am clear as to what we should be focusing on in our marketing and how to address customer pain points.”

“During the interview process, Astrid’s assertiveness and confidence in her knowledge about both CAS and marketing really proved to me that she was the perfect candidate for this position,” shared Maarten. “We still needed her to wrap up the onboarding process for some of our key customers, however we were delighted to offer her the Marketing Lead role to begin in April.”

Since learning she will finally have the opportunity to go into marketing, Astrid has been reading books, taking online training courses, and joining meetings to get a leg up on her new role. “I am currently reading Crossing the Chasm, which is particularly applicable to C4T. Our first customers were early adopters. Now, our prospect base has become the early and late majorities, and we need to appeal to their different characteristics in our sales and marketing process. They need more security, services, and after-sales care,” explained Astrid. “I am also in the middle of a four-week training session for HubSpot. There are so many things we can do with it in relation to automation, SEO, setting up campaigns and blogs, analytics, and dashboarding to improve our marketing process. I look forward to digging into the tool and getting the hang of our marketing activities to better boost C4T.” (Can you see why she impressed us?)

Astrid is now in the final phases of onboarding her last customer accounts before she moves into marketing full-time, however she has already started meeting with customers. “After just a couple of weeks sitting in on meetings, Astrid was prepared to visit customers on her own,” shared Maarten. “That is really brave—it’s a complicated domain. But if things don’t work out in the first meeting, she doesn’t get defeated—she makes a note and follows up. That’s the kind of mentality I want on my team.”

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