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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 seven continents and he hoped to inspire people with his story along the way.

Mark gained a lot of international media attention, such as Adweek, Campaign and MTV and in just one week he received more than 750 job-offers from all over the world. Now, two years later, he has been on seven 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.

Mark has talked 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 of these learnings and experiences together with his network, Mark is currently building the company Wanderbrief, a global community where people exchange their creativity for meaningful work-life experiences abroad.