Nicole de Vries

Nicole in numbers:

years at Vattenfall
different functions
longest run

About Nicole de Vries

Nicole studied Food, Dietetics and Management at the HAN University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands and began her career in the food and healthcare sector.

“I qualified as a dietitian and initially began my career in the food industry. I moved to the energy sector as I wanted to try and use the marketing skills I had developed in a different and more sustainable sector. I thought I would do it for three years and then go back to the food sector but I’ve stayed in energy ever since.
I’ve also moved from marketing into sales. Although I had some reservations about making that switch, I was given a lot of encouragement and I find I really enjoy it.

I’m a natural networker and love connecting with people so my role is a very good fit for me. It is all about building long-term relationships and looking at the whole energy journey of a large customer.
For example, one client I secured began with a regular energy supply contract, but they then switched to renewable energy and we’ve also worked with them on installing EV charging points.

Practising what we preach on sustainability

The fact that Vattenfall ‘practices what it preaches’ on sustainability really helps when I’m talking to potential customers about how we can help them achieve their own ambitions.
Since I started in my role the team has grown and I now coach colleagues which I really enjoy as you learn a lot about yourself as well – they grow and I grow!

Vattenfall’s flexibility and understanding as an employer is very important to me, particularly as I co-parent two teenage daughters.
My work colleagues are also like a big family. As well as a WhatsApp group for business topics we also have one to share our personal news and life events. I love running and a team of us from work took part in the ‘Dam tot Dam’ event in Amsterdam which was great fun!”

Nicole works within:

Customer & SolutionsOntdek

Career path

In my current role I work with potential customers to convince them to move to Vattenfall from another supplier. It often starts with a chat over a coffee and can take two years or more of relationship building before signing a deal – but I don’t give up!
I had some initial reservations about moving into sales management as it seemed quite a big change and I was worried about having targets to hit all the time, but I got a lot of support and encouragement. I ended up working with big industrial customers where you deal with people who have a very good understanding of the market so you really have to ‘know your stuff’!
This was a significant move for me as it gave me the opportunity to work very closely with customers in the social housing and real estate sector to make their property portfolios more sustainable. I was also part of the team that pioneered the use of content marketing through channels such as LinkedIn, webinars, whitepapers in Nuon/Vattenfall.
I had been working in the food industry but wanted to try to use the marketing skills I had developed in a different and more sustainable industry so moved into energy. It seems a long time ago but even back then my role was about helping customers with products and services to reduce their energy use and be more efficient so it is nice to still be on that journey almost two decades later!