Meet Stefan: Cyclist, dad-joke fanatic, master of riddles.
Can you tell us a little about your role at JUST?
I joined JUST in late 2019 and since then I’ve focused on effectively and efficiently translating media budgets to client goals. That involves working together closely with our internal specialist teams, as well as with our vendor partners.
What are some of the most significant changes in media that you’ve noticed in the last few months?
In the past months the tone of “we’re all in this together” has faded, for which I’m glad. The overall tone in media has been more positive, instead of trying to scare you into buying products or services.
Also: things picking back up during COVID, offers new perspectives for commercials.
For example, I love this Hulu commercial combining sports restarting with the trend of people home baking during lock down.
How do you keep up with the latest trends in media? Any favorite podcasts, blogs, publications or influencers?
I rely mostly on reports shared by our internal teams as well regularly meeting with contacts in the vendor community. Between them they share a wealth of reports and insights. Aside from that I have lot of media people in my LinkedIn network, so there are some good nuggets on my timeline too every now and then.
You volunteer for Meals on Wheels on a weekly basis, thank you for putting good energy out into the world! Can you tell us a bit more about what MOW is doing for the community and how you’re helping out? How can other support their local communities right now?
MoW is an organization that delivers meals to homebound seniors. With elderly people being more vulnerable to COVID, the amount of elderly people that doesn’t leave the house has significantly increased. Consequently, the need for volunteers also grew. On Fridays I attached a buggy to my bike and spend 1-2 hours doing my route, dropping off meals at 10 or so households for the weekend.
Check out more volunteer opportunities here: https://meals-on-wheels.com/volunteer/.
Generally, find something that fits your schedule and make it work. Don’t postpone, there’s always something you can do, big or small.
So, you speak multiple languages…how many exactly do you speak?
Haha, “speaking” is a big word, but clearly I speak English and Dutch is my native language. I can get by in conversational German and speak a little bit of French as those languages were part of the standard curriculum in high school and I once did a “Czech for beginners” class when I spent a semester there, but that’s very, very basic.
Is there a particular moment or accomplishment in your career at JUST that you feel the most proud of?
I’m proud of our teams and the seemingly fluid transitions we’ve made to going fully remote and being a part of that.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve received?
Someone once told me that they’d always prefer a smart-ass over a fool. Basically, they meant that you should never be shy or afraid to speak up when you have a good idea or see room for improvement.
What your hobbies outside of work?
Discovering California, camping, cooking, hiking, biking and creating routes for those last two. I kind of have a fascination with creating and exploring routes.
Some friends and I have the hobby of biking through as many squares on a map grid as possible and creating the biggest cluster possible. (Check out these maps of the Netherlands and California for reference.) CA proves to be more challenging than The Netherlands as it is not as flat 😊.
What’s the most relatable meme or gif you’ve seen recently?
The past few months I can relate to the shocked Pikachu meme very well.
Have you picked up any new hobbies since WFH & Shelter in Place?
I picked up Duolingo again after being idle for like 4 years. I’m trying to learn a bit of Spanish and brush up on German and French. Also, I’m able to make a pretty decent sourdough loaf by now!
What is your go-to work playlist/podcast?
The Daily mostly and there’s this Dutch podcast “Live slow, ride fast” by a Dutch former pro cyclist. Talking about anything relating to biking, pro races and how to enjoy your life
What are your top three TV shows?
There are so many that I enjoyed that I could put in the top three, here are some: The Office, Breaking Bad / Better Call Saul, Stranger Things
Top three movies?
Some that come to mind are : Memento, One Flew Over the Cuckoos’s Nest and Shutter Island.
I’m reading the third volume of the Dune books right now and really enjoying those. I’d also recommend Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series to anyone.