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Carolijn Schoofs: Business developer for Schiphol Real Estate

Who are you and what do you do at Schiphol?
My name is Carolijn. I'm 32 and live in Amsterdam. I've been working at Schiphol for over seven years now and really love it. Since 1 December, I've been working as a new business developer for Schiphol Real Estate. Before then, I was involved in marketing for both the cargo and passenger side of Schiphol. I switched to business development as I particularly enjoy thinking up new creative concepts which add value. In my new job, I will be able to create and roll out concepts for people in the Schiphol area which help to make Schiphol an even more desirable place to be. And where people want to be, companies want to be there too.

The photo was taken in the library at the Base. Pieter van der Horst, who is also a community member of SPOT, was responsible for developing the Atrium in The Base. The Atrium is a welcoming place where you can start the day with a delicious cup of coffee or brainstorm with colleagues or clients. In the library, which was set up recently in collaboration with the Haarlemmermeer library, you can relax and read the newspaper or gain inspiration in the afternoon, for example, for a meal you're planning to to cook that evening. We hope that the library will attract even more people to the Atrium.

What are you currently working on?
I'm also working on a Bilder & De Clercq shopping wall. This will soon allow people to do their shopping online and collect it from the ‘wall’ at Schiphol. The handy thing about this concept is that you only need to decide on the day itself what you would like to eat the same evening. What's more, Bilder & De Clercq offer new inspiration for dishes every week.

We also carried out two pilots this year with The School of Life. Alongside the established networking drinks meetings, it seemed a great idea to facilitate meetings where you can have conversations which are just slightly different from the usual chats in the pub. The School of Life offers appealing, low-threshold classes on the theme of existential questions which we all ask ourselves from time to time. As the pilot projects were very well attended, from the autumn onwards we will be offering regular classes every quarter for people working at Schiphol.

What has been your most enjoyable working experience at Schiphol?
A while ago I developed the Wave Goodbye service for passenger marketing (www.schiphol.nl/uitzwaaien). On this website, you can wave goodbye to your family, partner or friends online using your webcam. These videos are broadcast on the screens at Schiphol on the day of departure. Before the video messages are shown, we check them just in case there's something that really shouldn't be there. While we were doing this we came across a man who was asking his girlfriend to marry him, by reading out a letter in front of the camera. We managed to track him down (he was a tram driver from Amsterdam) and offered to turn the marriage proposal into something special and record it on film. When his girlfriend very enthusiastically accepted, we offered the newly engaged couple a VIP departure from Schiphol and also drove them to the plane in a limousine. It was one of the nicest things I've ever been part of at Schiphol. Being able to put two people in the spotlights like that!

What does Schiphol mean to you?
I sometimes say ‘Schiphol makes your world bigger’ and that really is how it feels to me. You meet so many people and the dynamics are so unique at the airport. I've always wanted to work in this area. It offers unlimited possibilities, as far as I'm concerned. And Schiphol now also feels like coming home. Apart from the fact that I work here, I can also wave goodbye to my friends when they go on holiday and it's also where I meet my boyfriend when he returns after spending time abroad.

I love cycling on a Schiphol Bike past the green landscape surrounding the Schiphol head office and the WTC. It's a wonderful place to have a nice lunchtime picnic every now and then.

And so I truly believe that the area offers many more opportunities for people who work at Schiphol. I would really like to know and find it important to find out what the needs and wishes of people are in this area. Just get in touch with me and who knows, I might be able to come up with a good concept!

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