When the streets around his family home were being paved, young Rens was certain: when I grow up, I want to be a road worker. More dream jobs followed, from orca trainer to professional football player. Nowadays, he’s applying his strategic skills at the office instead of the football field, as our Country Manager for the Netherlands – from defining the strategy to making sure that everyone can do their job. We've asked Rens a couple of questions so that you can get to know him a bit.
'Meet the Tribe' is a series of articles in which we get to know the faces behind the app, analytics, user experience, sustainability, PR, support, engineering and growth at Tibber.
Name: Rens Schoorl
Works in: Growth operations
Office location: Amsterdam
Comes from: Haarlem, the Netherlands
Dream jobs as a child: Road worker, orca trainer, professional football player
Weirdest habit: Takes his fork and knife in his right and left hand interchangeably – fork left and knife right when cutting, fork right and knife left when eating
First of all, Rens, what gives you energy in life? ⚽️
Everything that has to do with sports. I’ve always played football, but eventually stopped after having all kinds of injuries. Nowadays, I'm running a lot – both with friends and alone, to empty my head after a day of work. On top of that, I have a young son, which both demands and gives a lot of energy.
What did you do before joining Tibber?
I worked for Airbnb for eight years. I started in 2012, five years after Airbnb was founded in the US. At that time, Airbnb was mostly known in Amsterdam, but in the rest of the Netherlands, few people had heard of it. In my first years, I mainly focused on the growth of Airbnb in the Netherlands. I've probably spoken to almost every bed & breakfast owner in the country. At the end of my time at Airbnb, I was responsible for more than 30 countries in Northern, Southern and Central Europe as Territory Manager for Airbnb Experiences. The fun thing about it was that I got to experience a lot of different cultures. At the same time, it's not always the most efficient to have to focus on multiple countries at the same time. For that reason, it's really refreshing to start with one country again at Tibber.
You've lived in Copenhagen for a while, while working for Airbnb. Tibber is a Scandinavian company. Coincidence?
What I really like about the Scandinavian culture is that it's very direct, open and transparent. At the same time, I was also looking for a company with an international character. The first time I heard about Tibber, I was already orienting towards the next step I could take in my career. I wanted to work at a company again that was at an early stage of growth, with a product that I really believe in.
I read an article about the second round of funding for Tibber and that the capital would, amongst others, be used to launch Tibber in the Netherlands. I directly sent my Scandinavian colleagues at Airbnb a message, asking them if they knew Tibber. They did and were very positive about it. Two weeks later my position opened up and the more conversations I had, the more enthusiastic I became. A chance to get to know the energy industry inside out, with a sustainable product, in an international environment – that all really appealed to me.
At that time, it was Copenhagen, now it's Amsterdam. What are your favourite coffee places in both cities? 🇩🇰 🇳🇱
In Copenhagen, there's Coffee Collective. They’re really an authority when it comes to coffee. They have a few coffee places throughout the city, but are also roasting their own coffee that’s served in many other places. You could say that they’re setting the standard: if a coffee place serves coffee from Coffee Collective, it must be good. In Amsterdam, I like to get my coffee-to-go at a coffee place called Scandinavian Embassy, close to the Sarphatipark. You see, it’s hard for me to let go of Scandinavia. 😉
At Tibber, you're the Country Manager for the Netherlands. What exactly does that mean?
I often describe my job as a Jack-of-all-trades. There are many different aspects to launching in a new country. Everything that has to do with the country in one way or another will land on my desk at one point: from local laws and the technical integration with the Dutch energy system to legal stuff or marketing plans and strategies. It's like starting a mini company within a bigger company. It's my role to make sure that everyone is on the same page and that everything is finished on time. The biggest challenge is to make sure that the product is adjusted to our Dutch users, so that we truly reach a product-market fit.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
A typical work day consists of preparing and holding meetings. Those meetings can be internally with colleagues, or externally with a lawyer or potential partners that would like to collaborate with Tibber. I always like dividing my work week into days on which I have more meetings and days on which I have more time to focus, read through documents or go through my inbox. Now that we’re live in the Netherlands, my focus is on strategy and analysis a lot too. At Tibber, we have a hybrid way of working, so I’m working partly from home and partly from our office in Amsterdam.
What do you like best about your job at Tibber?
I really like that Tibber is a flat organisation where you can approach everyone – including the CEO. The company is very transparent and open. Even though we've been pretty isolated during the pandemic, I feel very connected to the company and my colleagues. That, combined with working on a product that everyone is genuinely enthusiastic about.
What do you like to do when you're not working?
I like to spend time with my son and my girlfriend, and I can often be found at her coffee place in Haarlem, Mica. I also like travelling and discovering new places. Another passion that I have had since I was a kid is orcas. Ever since I saw the movie Free Willy, it has become kind of an obsession. Every school project I did was about orcas. Whenever I support charity, it has something to do with orcas.
The absolute highlight was a kayak trip around the San Juan Islands, between Canada and the US. We were lucky, because they passed our kayaks during our trip. It was really impressive to see them in their natural habitat. It was kind of thrilling as well, because you never know exactly when and where they’ll show up – but orcas are really intelligent and never have hurt a human being in the wild.
In what other ways does your passion for orcas show? 🐳
I have a cat who's name is Orca. At first, we thought it might be a bit confusing for my son, but luckily, he understands that the cat is not an orca – if he sees an actual orca, he calls it 'orca' as well. With colleagues and friends, my passion for orcas often comes up, so naturally, a lot of orca stuff comes my way. If there's a funny orca video online, multiple people send it to me. For a costume party I once got an orca suit, so that's hanging somewhere in the back of my closet as well in case I ever need it. 🤷♂️
From orcas back to Tibber. What do you think the future of the energy industry will look like?
People are more and more conscious about the choices they make, especially when it comes to sustainability. More and more people have solar panels, drive electric or make their homes more sustainable. At the same time, people are demanding more and more control because of the rise of technology, and this control is something that Tibber offers by definition. Not knowing who your energy supplier is – I think that time has passed, because people have become much more conscious of their energy usage. I’m convinced dynamic pricing is going to be the standard in the energy industry, because it offers control, consciousness and transparency. These aspects have been lacking in the energy industry for way too long if you ask me.
If you were to choose a movie character, who would you be?
Naturally, that has to be Jesse from Free Willy. Setting orcas free, that would be pretty cool. 😄
Want to become a part of the Tibber Tribe? Check out our career page for open positions. ⚡️