Johan Cruyff Institute present as partner at Best Young Professionals 2018 finale dinner

Henk Verschuur represented Johan Cruyff Institute as a jury member during the finale dinner of the annual event Best Young Professionals, which was held at the Euromast in Rotterdam

Henk Verschuur, manager of the Johan Cruyff Institute Amsterdam and professor of the Master in Coaching and the Master in Sport Management, and also an experienced sports director, was invited by the organizers of the Best Young Professionals, Memory Group, to lead the interview rounds with the final 15 participants. Henk follows in the footsteps of heavyweights Kees van Lede (public official and former CEO of AkzoNobel) and Arne van der Wal (Quote 500, Follow the Money).

On Friday November 23 and Saturday November 24, Henk met the 15 best young professionals participating in the National Career Days in Utrecht. During a 20-minute interview, they were all judged on different qualities, such as personal presentation, speaking skills, self-reflection, ambition and motivation. Henk’s judgment counted for 50% in deciding the final order of the 15 top positions. The remaining 50% was awarded on the basis of a comprehensive online questionnaire about, among other things, their current job title, study results, career steps and self-development since finishing their studies. The ten candidates with the highest score were invited to the finale dinner at the Euromast in Rotterdam on November 28. Henk announced the winner during the dinner and praised the other nine young professionals.

The partnership between Memory Group and the Johan Cruyff Institute for this event is no coincidence. For two years, the institute has been present at the National Career Fair (Amsterdam) and the National Career Days (Utrecht), holding workshops not only for the visitors, but also for the organizers of the two exhibitions. The mission of Johan Cruyff Institute is to educate the next generation of leaders in sport management. A large number of Cruyff alumni have held top positions in the sports industry since they graduated and every year a large number of new young professionals graduate. The Institute’s presence at this event is therefore obvious.

Winner Best Young Professionals 2018 - Johan Cruyff Institute

Machiel Gosschalk, winner Best Young Professionals 2018 with jury member Henk Verschuur

This year, 27-year-old Machiel Gosschalk was named Best Young Professional 2018. Machiel is manager at accountancy and advice organization EY and is delighted with his new title. “Winning the title of Best Young Professional 2018 was completely unexpected, because I was very impressed with the other top 10 candidates. This victory makes me very happy. I also realize that this is not only a compliment for me, but also for the team I work with. It was a unique experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life – had I finished number 1 or 10.”

Finalists Best Young Professionals 2018 - Johan Cruyff Institute

Finalists Best Young Professionals 2018

When asked what advice he would give to future young business professionals, the modest winner answers: “If the motivation to prove yourself is for someone else then it is not the right one. The motivation must come from within yourself. Be happy and proud of who you are and use this uniqueness to your advantage. In addition, don’t be afraid to ask questions. We have all experienced listening to someone in a room and having a question, but not daring to raise our hand. Do it! And finally: networking = net working. Your network will be decisive for your success at a given moment, because all great achievements are never made by just one person.”

“It was fantastic to represent Johan Cruyff Institute on this stage,” Henk responds. “For me, it was a privilege to talk with these 15 talented people about what truly drives them and what they stand for. In my opinion, Machiel was the true winner with his skills, qualities and knowledge. I believe that he has the potential to become a real captain of the industry.”

With Machiel’s first place he wins a two-day training program of his choice at Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), which organized this event in collaboration with Memory Group.


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