Marian Holties was born in the small northern Dutch town of Emmen, just 10 minutes from the German border. When she later went to college, she was just 20 minutes from Belgium. Little wonder then that Holties always wanted a career that would come with an international profile and the chance for plenty of foreign travel.
However, it took a while before she knew just what that career would entail. Her first job was working for Dutch conglomerate Philips as an events coordinator. While this wasn’t a bad start, Holties admits she was more interested in her boss’s job in marketing. With that in mind, she left to study communications.
“It was a bit of a process, but it’s difficult to know what you want to do when you’re young. I find that here in the UK things are a bit more fluid and I like that,” says Holties.
With a freshly minted communications qualification tucked under her arm, she found work at the Amsterdam offices of TomTom, the global sat-nav specialist. While more of a PR-focused role, it did provide the opportunity to obtain an overview of the full marketing mix.