Maurice van der Spek is an entrepreneurial journalist who works from Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In 2009, his dream to become a professional musician was crushed by a permanent arm injury. As he realized that his university degree couldn’t offer the future he had hoped for either, he took a break and enrolled in a one-year school program in Montreal, Canada.
Away from a student culture of having to have one’s act together, someone asked Maurice a question that changed the course of his life. “Hey Maurice, you’re curious, a generalist, a linguist, a question-asker, and you enjoy writing. Wouldn’t journalism be something for you?” It was as if his mind lit fireworks, Maurice remembers. “With a number of talents unexpectedly coming together in a single label, I had found a new direction, and new hope because of it.”
Upon his return from Montreal, Maurice committed to finishing his Bachelor’s Degree in International Public Management at The Hague University of Applied Sciences – even if he already knew he wasn’t going to work in public administration. During his third and fourth year he pursued a minor in English and French at Leiden University in the Netherlands, and for an internship coordinated the JusticeMakers Competition at American NGO International Bridges to Justice in Geneva, Switzerland.
During his final year at university, Maurice was given the phone number of AIR FRANCE KLM Club Africa’s editor-in-chief. When he hung up, he had been offered a job. And so the journalistic adventure began. Between 2013 and 2016, Maurice interviewed 150+ entrepreneurs, CEOs, and experts about doing business in Africa. Until austerity hit AIR FRANCE KLM and his salary was cut in half. “I knew I had to take action and find a better way of working as a journalist.”
Initially attempting to contribute as a freelance journalist, Maurice found himself unwilling to swim the shark tank of freelancers. “I wanted to be able to earn a decent salary.” The decision led to the birth of The Content Crafters, a copywriting agency that provided Dutch marketing and communications professionals with English-language copy between January 2015 and July 2018, when it was merged with mauricevanderspek.com.
All the while, Maurice honed his passion for supply chain justice and developed this platform as an avenue for his journalistic aspirations, to the point where he fully committed in the summer of 2018.