About me

About Ilse Vonk

I always follow my own path in life

At 17 years old I left school, because I was convinced working life would teach me much more than school ever would. From the start of my career I worked for small and medium sized companies. Various roles in (international) sales, marketing and (operations) management have given me great insights in all aspects of a company. In 2011 I surprised myself and decided it was time to go back to school. I wanted to find out if what I was doing on a daily basis matched academic theory. Two years later I graduated with an MBA from the International School of Management. For my master thesis I interviewed many entrepreneurs. Their eternal creativity is incredible, and I admired their perseverance. However, during our conversations I realized that these entrepreneurs not only share a list of common traits, they also share the challenge of leading a business on a daily basis. Something they weren’t necessarily prepared for when they brought their creative ideas to life.

Wisdom comes with age

Having spent the greater part of the last decennium with start-up and scale-up companies, I took on roles that led me more and more towards building the foundation of companies, i.e. the organizational structure. Hearing this word most of us would think about the traditional organizational chart, but the organizational structure is so much more than that. This, often complicated, system tells the story of the company. It explains the goals of the company, the division of work, the distribution of power and the coordination of communication and relations. When successfully designed and implemented, an organizational structure can lead to a competitive advantage and greater results. Passionate about this area of expertise I decided to make it subject of my research Doctorate.

Think big

Working and studying at the same time ended up being the ideal combination for myself and for the companies and entrepreneurs I work with. I believe small businesses accomplish more by thinking big, that’s why I created Next Step Solutions. My pragmatic attitude helps translate theory into relevant ideas to improve the daily business. I thoroughly enjoy alternating between developing strategies and making hands-on tools for companies. My worldwide network and perfect understanding of international business will help with realizing a global vision.

After many years in the beautiful city of Paris I returned to Voorschoten, where I live with my partner. When I’m not working or studying I enjoy the company of friends and family during luscious dinners. I love to travel and stay fit through Yoga and Pilates.