In 2022, Adcombi introduced new products, brought on new customers, and helped serve millions of hyper-local ad impressions across Europe. But, we also onboarded new people, new ideas, and, in this case, a new intern. Our people make up who we are, and that’s true at every level of the organization.
Over his 6-month stay, our marketing and sales intern Philip Bergman contributed to sales, operations, product development, and marketing. His role allowed him to contribute to business development, automation within our sales process, and client outreach – giving him opportunities to learn, and Adcombi a fresh perspective.
Studying International Business
Philip Bergman is 21 years old, currently in his third year at the Hogeschool Rotterdam. His study in International Business with a specialization in Commerce focuses on learning business in an intercultural context, learning languages, and developing relevant professional and academic skills.
“I really like Europe, I really enjoy doing trade, and although English is the last language I’ve learnt, it’s become my first language. So, I wanted to study somewhere where majority of the population could speak English. The Netherlands, and the city with Europe’s largest seaport just made sense.”
Currently, Philip is about to complete his internship with Adcombi, after which he has 6 months of exchange. Due to the pandemic, those exchange months will be completed virtually rather than in China. Afterwards, he has a year of study remaining before he graduates.
But, this isn’t the first time Bergman has been involved with business. In fact, he’s been working on business ventures since he was 14. That entrepreneurial spirit is part of why he was selected to work with Adcombi.
An Entrepreneurial Spirit
“When I was in high school, I really enjoyed doing trade. That started when I was 14. I was in Bangkok and Segways were a really big trend. My father has had several successful companies, and I’ve always wanted to follow in his footsteps. I talked to my mother and asked if she would help me, she said yes. We did some research and found a store selling them and had a meeting with the manager – they gave me a low price and I was able to re-sell them”.
“I’ve always been intrigued by trying to sell things, but I wasn’t always the biggest salesperson though and I used to be quite insecure. I had to learn a lot about putting myself out there to actually sell. So, I made posters, tried different marketing techniques, etc. Of course, at the time it would be my mom actually talking to people as I was too shy to speak. But I really learned that if you just put yourself out there, it’s not as bad as you think, and you have to do it to make that sale.”
After selling Segways, Philip tried dropshipping, building stores and shipping products. While none of them really worked out, it drove him in the direction of a new passion, web design.
“When you build a dropshipping store, you have to make a website that works, get the branding right, etc., eventually a friend reached out to me and asked me to make a website for them. I did that and thought it was really interesting. So, now I have a web design company Qlikks.com. Right now, it’s just me and my girlfriend helping me, but it’s been going really well, and we’ve completed over 12 projects in the first year of launching the company”.
“It’s hard to put enough focus on the business while also juggling an internship and a study. That’s been quite hard to manage. It’s almost like working a full-time job while studying and I’ve really had to manage my time. However, I’m using it to pay for my studies. It’ definitely harder to put all my focus on the company right now as I want to put as much effort as possible into my internship at Adcombi, but I’m more than certain that the experience I gain from this internship will allow me to further grow Qlikks in the future.”
Who is Philip
“I don’t really know where I’m from, well I do, but I don’t. I usually just tell people my nationalities, I’m half Swedish, half Chinese, but I grew up in a lot of places. I was born in Sweden, lived in Beijing, and went to high school in Bangkok”.
“After high school, I took a gap year. I moved to Canada where I decided to be a snowboard and ski instructor. That really helped to push me out of my shell. I was really insecure; I didn’t like to speak to new people. Moving to Canada, on the other side of the world from Bangkok, and becoming an instructor where I had to talk to someone new every day, pushed me out of that. It was really good for me, now I can speak in front of a crowd and I wouldn’t really care anymore.”
Philip enjoys playing football, enjoying relaxed social outings, and learning new things in this spare time, although with a study, a web design company, and an internship, he hasn’t had much of that.
“Video is my favorite way to learn. I watch a lot of informational videos and just learn about new things. Part of that is that I enjoy learning languages; I can speak three fluently. Technically almost four, but I don’t think I’m fluent in Spanish yet”.
Interning at Adcombi
Over the last 6 months, Philip has helped Adcombi across diverse teams, filling in where his expertise and worldview allow him to add to the company.
“Adcombi weren’t actually looking for an intern, I called the CEO, Auke, directly. I was lucky enough to have mutual connections with him, as Auke knew both my father and funnily enough, my upstairs neighbor in Thailand. So, I had a call with Auke and we just clicked and he wanted to help me out.”
“Everyone has been so welcoming. People bought me lunch and came over to talk to me. There’s also this tradition of asking new people to stand on the table so everyone can talk to them and ask questions – it’s awkward but it helps you get past that awkwardness of being new really fast”.
“I also feel like I’m doing something useful, I get to add value, and everyone is putting a lot of trust in me. I’m helping to set up automation and optimize the CRM – I’m also learning a lot from that. I’ve also been contributing to the sales process, reaching out to potential clients and conducting meetings with them. I’ve set myself the goal of acquiring at least 1 new client for Adcombi during my internship, definitely trying my best to reach that goal”.
“I genuinely enjoyed working with Adcombi, I enjoy my colleagues, I feel like I’m part of the team even though I’m an intern, and even Gerrit, the founder, has said a lot of positive things. I’m really happy to be part of the team.”
“If you’re a consumer, you really want to see ads that fit you, that make sense, and what Adcombi is doing by personalizing ads by location just improves the experience for the advertiser and the consumer. It’s genius”.
“I’m going to take everything I’ve learned as a takeaway for my own company. How Adcombi is doing outreach, sales, how we handle new clients, and even how we’re automating processes internally. I think any company needs organization and automation, and even at the scale I’m doing business, I already notice that my files get messy. If I can apply things I’m learning to my own company, I believe it will be really beneficial.”
Philip ended his internship with Adcombi in mid-January. Afterwards, he has 6 months of exchange to do with the Hogeschool Rotterdam and then another year of study. He intends to put more focus on his web design company, qlikks. However, he will be staying on with Adcombi as a part-time member of our team, taking on the role of LinkedIn Social Media Manager..
“My dream is to be a digital nomad, to work wherever I want with just my laptop. I’m halfway there and I can work wherever, but I need more traction first, and that means more of my time. My time with Adcombi and learning more about sales, marketing, and outreach will definitely help me when I get to that stage.”
“I’ve always loved to travel; I was lucky enough to move around a lot while growing up. I think it would be really cool if I could travel wherever I want, while still being able to focus on my career and business goals at the same time.”