My name is Bernhard van den Ende, I’m 27 years old and I live with my girlfriend in the picturesque city of Dordrecht. I hold a master's degree in Business Law from Erasmus University Rotterdam and another in Accounting & Control from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Throughout my studies, I gained experience working in the accountancy sector, participating in both compilation and audit practices at several (Big Four) firms. Initially, I was determined to pursue a career as an M&A lawyer after completing my legal master's degree. However, during a two-month internship with the corporate M&A practice group at renowned law firm NautaDutilh, I realised that the legal aspect of M&A was primarily focused on the 'back end' of deals, while the corporate finance aspect played a more prominent role at the 'front end'. This realisation ignited my interest in the corporate finance side of deals, prompting me to search for a similar job.
My journey to Marktlink, in my opinion, highlights the company’s distinctive character. At an opening party for a mutual acquaintance’s business, I met Nick de Man (from Marktlink’s Amsterdam office), who was a stranger to me at the time. As we chatted about his work at Marktlink, we quickly agreed that I should visit the office to discuss further over coffee. Following our initial conversation, I attended three more interviews and in November 2022, a week and a half after meeting Nick, I signed my contract with Marktlink.
What I value most about working at Marktlink is the significant level of responsibility and freedom granted from the very beginning. In the often-challenging world of corporate finance, it is rare that you become a full-fledged team member on your first day, taking charge of your own schedule. Unlike other firms where client contact may be minimal in the early years, I was already attending a pitch with one of Marktlink's managing partners in my second week with the company.
Moreover, Marktlink's flat organisational structure is highly appealing. Drawing from my previous work experience, I have discovered that a highly hierarchical environment does not suit me well; at Marktlink, you can approach a manager as easily as another consultant. This flat structure also facilitates a steep learning curve, enabling more direct communication, sharing of knowledge and collaboration among team members, which in turn helps employees rapidly acquire new skills and enhance their expertise. Additionally, the high degree of collegiality fosters a positive atmosphere at the office.
Furthermore, I find that Marktlink's client base, primarily small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), suits me better than extremely large clients. This preference stems from the direct contact I have with business owners, allowing me to establish more personal relationships and gain a deeper understanding of their needs and goals. Working closely with these entrepreneurs not only enriches my professional experience but also contributes to the overall sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in my role at Marktlink.
Based on my positive experiences, I would highly recommend Marktlink as an employer to those seeking a career in corporate finance. In fact, one of my friends has already joined the company based on my recommendation, and he also expressed his satisfaction with the work environment, opportunities and support provided by Marktlink.