Born in Holten, in the Netherlands, Senna Kloosterman moved to Eindhoven to study Industrial Engineering with a Master’s in Operations Management, and Logistics at TU/e. Soon after her graduation, she started working for ORMIT, a company specialized in finding and developing talents and connecting them to organizations, bringing both parties to the next level. Senna is undergoing a management traineeship consisting of a complete two-year program at Ericsson, during which she will have three different assignments, the 5G Hub being her first.
Over the past eight months, she has worked as an account manager in Ericsson’s VodafoneZiggo team. At the same time, she was assigned the job of interim Program Board Manager at the 5G Hub, when Stefan Krijnen took on the role of Industry and Ecosystem Manager in another area of the company. Despite being young and following her very first assignment, Senna developed all the duties with cleverness and natural ability.
Now, as she heads to her second mission, we invite her to reflect on her journey in the 5G Hub, a time she describes very positively: “I liked the way of working in the 5G Hub. Besides, being at the front end of innovation and doing very interesting projects with exciting partners is something that attracts me,” she says.
Senna explains that her activities in the 5G Hub are very diverse, which she highly appreciates. She is at the forefront of discussions, talking to several partners and companies to uncover possible ideas and find ways to help them. “They can come up to us with their business problem, where 5G can play a role in the solution. We will explain a lot about the technology to these companies in order to trigger them. Can 5G be beneficial to their solution? Can we work together on a solution? If this is the case, I will also help them with the execution of it” she remarks.
Senna also works in the MarCom department directly with our Community Manager, Letícia Batista. According to her, “Senna is a very easy person to work with. She is objective, competent, and she has a very positive attitude towards the bumps along the way. Senna has written excellent pieces and contributed immensely to our website. She is a remarkable team player, and so very fun, too. I can only say that her new team is fortunate to have her.”
For Senna, the highlight of her period in the 5G Hub was the Webinar 5G and the Future of Business: “Explaining 5G in front of hundreds of people is not something I expected myself to do when I started this assignment.” Yet, she received many compliments for her impeccable presentation.
Being the head of the challenges within the 5G Hub and responsible for all the competitions the Hub organizes and takes part in, Senna was the moderator for the KVK Business Challenge and was a coach and jury member in the TU/e Contest, where she guided many student teams. And, of course, she was the leader of the 5G Hub Innovation Challenge, where we searched for stellar 5G use cases. Senna describes it as “a major point of her work.”
For her, the best thing about her assignment is the stimulating atmosphere she finds in the 5G Hub: “What I like most is the inspiration I get from everyone around me. I get to meet so many interesting people on a daily basis. It makes my work very diverse, and I really like it,” she explains.
Senna says that what makes her work in the 5G Hub most challenging is when it comes to assessing the value of everything that is done in the space. According to her, “every time a company is coming over, I get very excited by the idea they bring. But then we need to study how we are actually going to work that out and where to get the resources from.” She explains that, in most cases, it is possible to get from an idea to a solution. Still, it is crucial to see and consider all aspects needed for that to happen to execute that translation.
On a lighter note, Senna has a deep admiration for her colleagues and commend them for their hard work: “Fun for me is really in working with my amazing colleagues every day, seeing how they go beyond their regular functions and take extra steps to achieve their (and our) goal. I think that is amazing to see,” and adds: “Most of my colleagues have a good sense of humor, so that makes every day a good one, I must say.”
For her, the 5G Hub is an inspiring initiative because it focuses on what the future will look like. “In the 5G Hub, we have a 5G network that is far ahead of the network that is commercially deployed nationwide, we get the opportunity to take a look into the future and to see what it will look like; we can shape our own future a bit, I would say.” Senna is proud of the fact that the working process in the Hub follows an open innovation model. She explains that “co-creation,” at first, felt like a mere buzz word to her. However, she soon realized that co-creation is actually a reality in the 5G Hub: “Here everyone brings in their own expertise, and everybody is eager to work together to do innovative work. And that is very beautiful to see,” she celebrates.
In her new assignment, Senna will be a project manager at VAS (Value Added Services), a department within Ericsson. Located in the Netherlands, it works for customers all over the world. Her new role will allow her to do various projects for these customers, but she will also have a task on the quality improvements of the software that is delivered by Ericsson.
John Zijlmans, Senna’s manager, talks with enthusiasm about the traineeship programs in his company. For him, “it is fantastic to attract new talent in this way into Ericsson as it also challenges the way we work and think.” John describes Senna as a fast learner and team player, also praising her communication and organization skills. “She has picked up the Ericsson capabilities and values brought as part of our strategy and portfolio speedily and used those in customer meetings, conferences, and in writing in order to drive the 5G Hub Ecosystem and also project partner discussions forward. And, of course, she is a great person to work with! We wish Senna success in her next period in Ericsson, and I am sure we will see much more of her in the future.”
When it comes to the future of the 5G Hub, Senna predicts a bright future for the initiative. As she explains, “last year, we worked persistently to show what we are capable of. And now we see that other companies and parties also really want to be involved. I mean, who does not want to work with us? So, I hope, but I also envision some great projects in which we can show the real capabilities of 5G.”