Executive Program Interview Trailblazers
Adriana Hoppenbrouwer loves her job. As Chief Marketing Officer at the Dutch department store HEMA, she oversees 130 people and a portfolio that covers everything from brand to innovation management.
But when Adriana joined THNK’s Executive Leadership Program in the Fall of 2015 seeking skills and tools for innovation, she felt frustrated for much of the journey.
Looking around the room at her classmates– entrepreneurs and social innovators devoted to initiatives which improve the state of the world– Adriana suddenly felt unfulfilled.
“I felt a lot of self-frustration. Coming from a corporate environment, I kept thinking, ‘I need to do something for the world!’ I struggled with that because I love my job and I wasn't willing to give it up in order to start something new.”
By the end of the program, after much coaching, reflection, and testing ideas, Adriana had a revelation. “It suddenly clicked that there is no point in feeling miserable that I'm not a social entrepreneur because I already love what I do. I realized that I could make it my mission to save the world by being in a corporate environment.”
Less than three years after starting her journey with THNK, her mission is well underway. From gender neutral products, to sustainable design, to launching the HEMA Foundation, Adriana has helped her company to design a more inclusive society.
Here’s how she drove innovation with a social purpose at HEMA: