Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Amsterdam School of International Business

Julian Lozano

Meet our proud AMSIB Alumnus, Julian Lozano, who studied International Business and Management Studies (IBMS) at the Amsterdam School of International Business (AMSIB). He graduated in 2016, after which he decided to start his career in a vibrant, international environment. We had the opportunity to interview him to hear his inspiring story about his study years at our Business School and to discover his international journey which led to his current employment at Zalando in Berlin, Germany.

‘Hearing from alumni through guest lectures, networking and career events really helped me to open up myself and see how the business fields works. Hearing stories from former AMSIB students really motived me. How they transferred from being a student entering the workforce to where they are at the moment, really helps getting a better understand of what you can expect in the business field.’

Julian Lozano - AMSIB Alumni

Julian grew up in Aruba, one of the three ABC islands in the southern Caribbean. With Colombian parents and being raised in three different languages, Spanish, English and Dutch, he already grew up in an international environment during his childhood.

He finished his high school in Aruba, after which he decided to move to the Netherlands to study. Although he wasn’t quite sure in which direction he wanted to study, he knew that he wanted to enter the (international) business world. ’The International Business Studies at AMSIB gave me the opportunity to learn a little bit of all the different units of business. Especially the international aspect; I could either go back home or stay in the Netherlands. The sky is the limit’.

The last two years studying at AMSIB were Julian’s favourite. It included his minor, Latin American Business Studies, of which 50% were international exchange students from all AMSIB’s global partner Universities. ‘We learned about other markets outside of Europe and I got to know very good teachers. Ms. Andersen, who taught the Marketing module, was my favourite lecturer. She really connected with her students and you can tell that she’s very passionate about teaching. She even invited us to network events from companies from Brazil!’

Two other international aspects of the IBMS-Programme that he was very enthusiastic about were the internship and exchange. For his exchange, Julian choose to go to San Sebastián, a coastal city and municipality located in the Basque Autonomous Community, Spain. The main reason to study at The University of Deusto (Spanish: Universidad de Deusto; Basque: Deustuko Unibertsitatea) was the very high ranking, Julian explains. ‘This private University is ranked as one of the best universities in the north of Spain, which was a very decisive factor for me. Another reason that made me study here was the beautiful location and the perfect climate of this area. It was located in a very small but green city, so I could walk or bike everywhere, which made it very convenient to live here. I loved walking around the area and one thing that made this place extra unique, was a river flowing in the sea.’’

Together with his best friend, who was doing the exchange with him, he took the opportunity to travel around Spain and explore Bilboa, Valencia, Santander, Biarritz and Pamplona. Julian enjoyed his exchange in Spain so much, that he stayed here for his last semester of his studies. He managed to get an internship in the capital and most populous city of Spain, Madrid, where he completed his internship at NBTC, a company that focusses on the development, branding and marketing of the Netherlands as a destination.

‘I was working for the marketing department and I was helping with different campaigns to convince Spanish residents to visit the Netherlands.’ It was the perfect opportunity for him to combine his passion for traveling and to implement his acquired academic skills in the business field. During this time, he also got the chance to learn more about the Netherlands itself, about its history and culture. ‘The national flower, the tulip, for example, I always thought that it originally came from the Netherlands, but the seed is actually Turkish from origin!’

With his strive to succeed in the international business environment, Julian decided not to stay in the Netherlands after he completed his BBA in 2016. With his talent for languages and his passion for the Spanish culture, I was not surprised hearing that he started his first real job in Spain. This time he moved to Granada; a city located in the southeast of Spain. By using his network on social media channels, he was able to start as HR Administrator for NGA Human Resources. ‘I got this job through one of my networking connections. I used my LinkedIn account to find a job and one of my connections worked here and recommended me at the company.'

After gaining two years of working experience in Spain, he went back to the Netherlands to switch directions and find a new challenge in another environment. While he was already in the interview process at an international chemical company based in Amsterdam, he found an exciting position at Zalando, a major European e-commerce company based in Berlin, Germany. After a very interesting and interactive interview process, he didn’t have to think twice and knew this industry was the right fit for his him. ‘Besides the face to face interview, I also had to give presentation about myself and solve cases about the company’. I never had an interview like that, but I actually enjoyed it a lot. Now I see how the interview process reflects the personalities of those who I am working with as they have the same mentality and same ideas as I do.’ As of January 2020, he fulfils the position as a Category Operations Specialist at Zalando where he is focusing on excellent and efficient high-quality execution in buying and merchandising processes. Although he is very content with his current position, he’s taking the growth potential within Zalando seriously and he’s eager to chase his career ambitions to further develop himself. ‘In the coming weeks I am discussing the possibility for a new position as coordinator starting in January. I’m in for a new challenge within my company and I am looking forward to further advance myself in a more senior position.’

Julian smiles when I ask him about his experiences over the last few months and the impact corona has in current position. It’s quite the topic that can’t be denied these days. He describes that Covid-19 had quite the impact in his role the last period. He just started working there while the crisis hit the company. ‘In the beginning of corona everything was quite uncertain, no one knew what was going to happen and what the impact would be on the economy, the sales and our direct work.’ Especially the first three weeks were awful, Julian explains. ‘Due to the financial uncertainly of customers, sales went down quickly and we all really had to adapt to the whole new situation we were in.’

Despite the impact of the pandemic on the overall functioning of the company, it also made him look at it from a brighter side. ‘Due to covid-19, I got a lot more insight and acquaintance of the company and the market they focus on. Since we are not in the office now, I am more involved in the decision-making process. I have to act quicker, make decisions and if I made a mistake, I’m learning more independently on how to solve it. It also creates an opportunity for me to take more responsibility and take lead the in certain projects. Overall, the crisis gave me the ability to come up with ideas and think more creative in how to solve and execute certain challenges.’ Luckily for the company and for him the sales have been increasing again and he’s busier than ever.

His advice to our current student? ‘Don’t see problems as problems but use these challenges to create an opportunity. Be patient, be focused. And never stop yourself because of an obstacle, because this is a challenge you can overcome. Especially, now with Covid-19; use this time to grow not only personally, but also professionally. ‘

And with this inspiring final quote, I cannot agree more!