Mark van der Heijden

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Mark van der Heijden

Mark van der Heijden


Mark van der Heijden is a creative copywriter from Amsterdam. From January 2014 until January 2016 he travelled the world as ‘The Backpacker Intern’. Helping out agencies, brands and charities. He didn’t want to get paid, he just wanted to trade: a day of my work for food and a place to sleep. His mission was to gain experience on 7 continents and hoped to inspire people with his story along the way and on the web.

From intern to media hype
Mark gained a lot of international media attention, such as Adweek, Campaign and MTV. In just one week he received more than 750 job-offers from all over the world. Now, two years later, he has been on 7 continents, in 27 countries and worked at 32 companies like Amnesty International Thailand, DDB Vietnam, TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles, JWT Buenos Aires, Red Bull Austria and Ogilvy Cape Town. He worked with the legendary hitmaker Nile Rodgers in New York, ex-drugtraffickers in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, helped out a dog shelter in San Francisco, served food to homeless people at a Soup Kitchen in Malaysia and helped out One Ocean Expeditions during a polar expedition to the coldest continent in the world; Antarctica.

Experienced speaker
Van der Heijden gave presentations about his ‘intern’ project at TEDxTeen New York City, Cannes Lions Festival, SXSW Festival and World Merit Day in Liverpool. As a public speaker, he wants to help and inspire people to create an awesome life, and overcome barriers. Mark believes that we can change the world if we start by changing ourselves.

With all the learnings, experience and network, Mark currently is building on the company ‘Wanderbrief‘: a global community where people exchange their creativity for meaningful work-life experiences abroad. The credo of Mark and Wanderbrief are summed up well in this quote: “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” – Oprah

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