Marleen Philips has been a passionate advocate of Levi Strauss & Co. since she first joined the company in the summer of 1979. Marleen, who works in the European headquarter in Brussels, sat down to answer some questions about what 40 years at LS&Co. has been like.
What do you remember about your first day with the company?
I was very excited to start working for the company of my favorite jeans brand. I remember my first day very well. It was on August 1, 1979, and I received a present for joining the company: a corduroy jean in my size. I could not have had a better start in the company!
What has been your career path over the last four decades?
Well, it’s quite simple — all of my career was focused on quality. I started as a quality supervisor, and in the last 40 years I have had 10 different roles all related to quality, even when I worked in different departments. I’ve been a product quality specialist since 2016, and I’m coordinating with all European countries as well as the distribution centers.
What made LS&Co. so special that you’ve built your entire career here?
It all started with the excitement for the product because my background is textile. But after some years, I really started to be VERY proud that I was working for the No. 1 denim company, leading the business with very strong and clear values.
What do you think is the key to being successful at LS&Co.?
Liking your job and performing with passion and conviction; you will feel connected and appreciated. Also, act and react as you would if it were your own company. Good listening skills, appropriate priority settings and the necessary empowerment are key as well.
What is your Levi’s® story?
My friends have always said that the reason why I’m not married is because I’m married to Levi’s®!
After 40 years at LS&Co., you must have a closet full of denim. What’s your favorite item in your wardrobe?
For 40 years it’s always been the 501®, either in black or rigid and or limited editions — my current preference is the 501® skinny.
What’s one piece of advice that you’d give to people just starting their careers here?
Give your utmost and always act and perform with the mindset that you would like to make the difference.
Are you ready to sign up for another 40 years with LS&Co.?