Every first Monday of the month we post an interview with a TopFem member or TopFem alumna. Tamara Ubink is Board Member Finance of the 2016-2017 Board and works at DPA Legal Services as an Interim Professional.
Who are you?
My name is Tamara Ubink and I am 24 years old. Currently I am the one responsible for Finance within the board of TopFem, something I really enjoy. When I was still in high school, I fell in love with Utrecht and therefore started my bachelor’s degree in Law at Utrecht University. Quickly after the start of my studies I also moved there. When it was time to choose a master, I soon figured out I wanted to specialize in Financial Law and therefore continued my studies at Leiden University. Because of practical reasons I moved to Leiden as well to be closer to the University. During my studies I did three internships and a lot of extracurricular activities: I always enjoyed learning new things, organizing and developing myself in the meantime.
At the moment I am working as an interim junior legal counsel at DPA Legal Services, which offers me the opportunity to work at different companies and discover what I like while developing myself on the professional field as well. Currently I’m on a interesting project at Rabobank. Besides work and my activities for TopFem I enjoy playing volleyball, baking and visiting my fiends and family.
How did you discover TopFem?
A little over two years ago, I first saw something about TopFem on Facebook and I was immediately interested, but since I was busy and I wasn’t sure if TopFem would be open for new participants, I left the opportunity behind and moved on, until my friend told me she wanted to go to the 2015 Kick-Off. I saw this as a good chance to explore the opportunities TopFem offers, while not being on my own. After I arrived, I already knew I shouldn’t have hesitated to go alone before: one of the best things about TopFem is that all young women attending are truly open to expanding there network and therefore also open to new members. I had the chance to join all activities of the Mentor&Network Programme in 2015 and I really enjoyed this.
Next to joining the events of the Mentor&Network Programme, I already had the opportunity to join last years International Committee. Here I played a big role in setting op the TopFem Dublin Chapter. For me, personally, TopFem offered me the opportunity to develop myself in both a professional way, but also in a personal way. Visiting Dublin with people I didn’t know that well to organize an event really broadened my horizon and made me a stronger person. In general, I think this is an experience everyone can get out of joining TopFem. If you want to develop something or learn something, you can just join a committee or ask the board members and there will probably a perfect opportunity for you!
Do you have a female role model?
This question really makes me think about all women in my life. I think for me my mother always has been a role model, since she is really strong and powerful woman who always supports me.
Besides this I think the fact that at TopFem you meet a lot of other women (both young and old) gives you the opportunity to learn from their stories and makes all people you meet role models, as tiny as the things you can learn from them might seem.
What is one characteristic that you believe every female leader should possess?
One thing I think every female leader should possess is the ability to believe in herself and believe she is equal to everyone else who might be her competition. During the activities at TopFem I learned a lot about female leadership and the gap between the amount of men and women in leadership roles. Here I learned that men always believe they are good enough to get a job (which they might not be qualified for at all), why women always seem to think they might not be qualified enough and are therefore unsure. I recognize this in myself and other women I know as well and therefore think this is something good to develop to become a good leader as a female. Something special women can add is probably the ability to be emphatic and therefore lead in a different way as men might do.
Any advice to other young female students and professionals?
Keep following your dreams, always be enthusiastic and try not to focus on the disappointments in your life but rather on the things you did accomplish. Besides this I think it’s always important to keep developing yourself and to keep expanding your network. You never know what this will bring.