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Interview with Alex: Project manager pur sang, from Mazda CX-60 to the diapers at daycare.  

By Alexandra Ophoff

Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your role as a project manager at BeBold? 

My name is Alex, from Wilrijk, Antwerp. I am 27 years old, living happily with my boyfriend, and expecting my first child. I really like working at BeBold because it gives me the freedom to fulfill my own role as a project manager. By that, I get all the trust to help my clients the way I think it should be. In addition, I really enjoy the atmosphere between colleagues, and I’m lucky enough to work with some amazing clients. 

What do you like most about your job? 


The best thing about my job is the variety; every client is different, and every day looks different. It ranges from firefighting and monthly invoicing to meetings with the team. I’ve never been bored for a day. 

Last year, we rebranded as a company. What do you see as the biggest difference that clients can notice about us since that rebranding? 

We are closer to the clients; our approach has become even more personal. As a client, BeBold has a team of experts who are ready to solve any problem – from digital marketing and strategy to marketing automation and consulting. 

How does that fit in with the ‘Think Bold’ ambition? 

Thinking bold means that we let customers grow by thinking further and increasing their marketing potential. If we know the client’s ambitions, we can link them to a strategy where we use the right tools and the perfect team. But we also help with the development and determination of a marketing strategy. BeBold takes care of you from start to finish. 

How do you approach project management, and are there specific tools that you find effective or help you manage projects well and make customers happy? 

For me, it is essential that the clients know they can come to me with anything. I am very accessible to my clients through the channel that works for them. As a project manager, you are aware of what is going on with your clients and you can respond to the needs together with the team. As a team, we work proactively and make proposals to the customer. 

Of course, there are also certain tools that make it easier for us to work. I like to use Forecast for the team’s schedules. Slack and Microsoft Teams are internal – but also external – channels to coordinate with each other briefly. 

As a project manager for Mazda Europe, among others, we are curious about what you prefer to drive. Are you an enthusiast, or does a car have to be practical? 

I’m an enthusiast. Although admittedly, I don’t know a lot about it, it’s cool to see how cars evolve and what they can do today. As a project manager for Mazda Europe, you’re surrounded by cars day in and day out, and I must admit that I have lost my heart to the Mazda CX-60. This is a large SUV, a real child-friendly ‘mom-car’, which would really come in handy for me in 2024. 😊  

How does the experience of being pregnant affect your approach to work and project management? Or can you make a project out of all the upcoming changes? 

You are a project manager in heart and soul, both at work and in your private life 😊 

There is a lot involved in pregnancy, many things that need to be arranged, which has brought out the project manager in me even more. You want everything to be in order by the time you give birth on a private level but also on a work level. I couldn’t bear to let my colleagues take over my work for 3 months without a good handover. 

For example, what did you do at home for this, um, project? 

When I knew I was pregnant, I bought a large A3 piece of paper and wrote down all the steps and to-dos of what needed to be done: paperwork, applications, daycare, et cetera. This way, I kept the overview, and it looks like an advent calendar where you can always cross boxes. That’s how it should be at work: you work with your client toward the big day via a schedule! 

One of the most important values for us is customer care. How do you ensure excellent customer care while managing projects? 

Every year, BeBold organizes the ‘Customer Appreciation Awards’ together with our partners. A day on which we treat customers to a nice lunch to put them in the spotlight and thank them for the partnership. In addition, I firmly believe in the principle ‘honesty is the best policy‘..’  

It so happened that a project went poorly due to a constantly changing briefing. Initially, we tried to keep up with the customer’s changes, but eventually, we had to speak up and say that it was not feasible to continue in this manner. After an honest conversation about the expectations of the project, we found a solution and so the project turned around and came to a successful conclusion.  

Juggling different roles, from project manager to mother-to-be, can be demanding. How do you plan to combine these roles and maintain a healthy work-life balance? 

As mentioned above, it’s a quest for every parent so that it will be the same for me. But I know my colleagues, and I know that if I have a difficult time, they will be there for me.  

I have always tried to keep work and private life separate. As a project manager, this is not always easy, but it is necessary to keep the balance. At work, the customer is always number 1, on a private level, he will now share his place with another person. 😊  

What challenges have you faced in your career, and what valuable lessons have you learned that are now beneficial for you – and our customers?   

As a project manager, you are confronted with different profiles and different types of people that you must work with within a team. When you become a project manager at a young age, it is sometimes tough to deal with all those different profiles. For example, a project once did not go well internally because there was too much friction between personalities. That’s when I learned that you don’t have to be best friends with everyone to bring a project to a successful conclusion. It was an annoying lesson at the time, but now I am very grateful for it, and I also understand that everyone has added value to a project. 

What’s the nicest compliment someone has given you? 

I can sometimes be quite ‘harsh’ in my way of communicating, but I mean it all very well. Someone once said that I’m just like a the chestnut (haha): first, I cut off that rough cutting skin, then there’s a small layer of fine hairs, but once you’re through it, you see how much I care about others and do everything with an eye on ‘how do I make it as easy as possible for the rest‘..’ 

Do you still have a certain ambition that you would like to achieve? 

My goal is to continue to grow on the clients we have now; I’m lucky to have clients that we can take to an even higher level, so of course, I’m looking for ways to get them there. Challenge accepted! 😉  

How has your workplace supported you during your pregnancy, and are there any specific policies or initiatives that you find particularly helpful? 

Within BeBold (and parent company Cronos), the human aspect always comes first! This is something you certainly won’t find in all companies. Within Cronos, they have a separate section focused on care, ‘Cronos Care’, where you can sign up for certain sessions that all benefit from your self-care, such as an osteopath or physiotherapy. Our manager, Emily, is a very open person, so if things didn’t go so well, I could always discuss this with her very openly and honestly. 

What advice do you have for others who need to keep several balls in the air? 

Keeping all the balls high is not always easy, find your own way and see what works for you to keep them high. Don’t be afraid to be open if it gets too much with your colleagues, as mentioned above, ‘honesty is the best policy’ does not only apply to customers. 😉  

And if you don’t manage to keep all the balls in the air in the field of marketing, BeBold can always unburden and help you. Our client once said it nicely: “Don’t try this at home; hire BeBold.” And I agree with that, haha. 

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