I had very poor knowledge about the Czech Republic. I just arrived here and was standing at the railway station. But now, I simply love Prague, says our colleague Danny.

How do hobbies like falconry, cooking, marketing, carpentry and woodworking „go together“? Well, it is kind of shocking, but they do. Our colleague from Wunderman Danny Bankeman is a living example of it.

 Danny, how did you get to Prague and for how long have you been living here?
It’s a rather simple story. I was quite bored where I lived at the time and decided I needed some change. On the morning of my birthday in August 2015 I decided to book a ticket to the first place that came up. Which turned out to be a train ticket to Prague. I packed my backpack, left for the station, and several hours later I was here.

It was my first visit to the Czech Republic, and I knew very little about the Czech Republic prior my arrival to Prague. Three and a half years later I am still here. There hasn’t been a single day when I would regret the decision. I managed to find a place to live and managed to get a few jobs here and there working on Kickstarter Startups. Some of which were successful, but the pay was quite infrequent.

How do you like it in Prague? And at Wunderman? What do you like and don’t like here?
I love Prague. There’s always something to do, great places to eat, places to hang out with friends. The housing situation is way better than it is in the Netherlands at the moment, and the cost of living is balanced better. Czech people are known for being quite solitary until they know you better, which fits perfectly with me.

I still have trouble with the language. It’s nothing like the languages I’m familiar with and the grammatical rules sometimes have more exceptions than applications. However, I’m learning and usually if I show to the others that I’m making the effort, they are more willing to help out.

Wunderman is grand. I got here through an acquaintance because I was looking for stable income. It’s the first office I’ve worked in, and I’m pleasantly surprised with the culture. It’s interesting to see the different backgrounds and interests. I made quite a few friends through this place and I learned a lot of different skills.

The thing I love the most in Wunderman is the Adobe Creative suit access. I spend a lot of my free time learning and creating using the various tools provided.

What do you do at Wunderman? I guess changed your job title several times, could you tell us a bit more about your experience here at Wunderman?
I am the Campaign Developer in the Consultancy group under Miroslav Křivánek.

This means I am responsible for setting up the customer journeys, logic, additional functionalities for our clients and their markets. Specifically utilizing SalesForce. This year we are rolling out nineteen markets for the Beiersdorf client into the SalesForce tool, plus additional development for the markets we rolled out last year.

I started to work here 3 years ago in March 2016. When I started, I worked in the Ford E-mailing Team as a developer, which eventually blossomed out into the position of Team lead for that same team in 2017.

In February 2018 I took on the additional role of Project Manager for the Beiersdorf project. It’s the company that owns several brands like NIVEA, Labello, Hansaplast, Eucerin. The client wanted to unify their global markets onto a new platform and asked us to guide that entire process from the beginning to the end. My responsibilities quickly escalated which coincided with the emailing team being disbanded as the work moved to a different Wunderman Office.

As such I became fully utilized for Beiersdorf. For 2019 we decided that my skills are better suited for a technical role which is how I came to fill the position of Campaign Developer in the Consultancy Group.

I was told that you wrote your own cook-book. What made you do that?
Well I love to cook and baking. Sharing food with friends is a simple yet gratifying thing to do.

Over the years I’ve accumulated so many recipes that I thought about compiling them into a book. It’s also to prove that you don’t need much to create something like this. And it would save me a lot of time shopping for Christmas gifts this year. As I plan to have it finished around December 2019.

Is it somehow special? Are there for example recipes just from one country or are they from all around the world?
There will be a lot of recipes that I learned growing up so you can expect a lot of Dutch cuisine. Pastries, cakes and snacks specialties are abundant back home but there is a couple of healthier options in there as well. Other than that, I hope to include some recipes I came up with myself. I don’t have a lot of experience cooking the cuisine from other countries, but who knows, I may use it as a theme for subsequent books.

Where did you find the recipes? Where do you look for inspiration?
I learned a lot from my family, namely my mother and grandmother. They always had the tendency to make their own hearty foods from scratch which is where I got it from, I suppose.

My mom always made sure to challenge me and let me make my own mistakes. If something doesn’t work, learn from it why and take that with you when creating it the next time.

Nowadays there’s also a lot of really good Youtube channels that show the creative side of cooking and inspire me to experiment with new recipes. Binging with Babish, Bon Appetit, America’s Test Kitchen. I can watch these for hours when I’m not in the kitchen myself.

Can we buy your book somewhere?
This book will not be for sale. I plan to print out approximately 30 or 40 copies to give away to friends, family, and co-workers. But the book will also be available as a .pdf when it’s done.
But who knows, if the book turns out to be really popular, I may just need to have more printed.
If that was be the case, I would only charge for the printing costs.

Do you cook often? And do you cook for your colleagues at Wunderman?
I try to cook healthy meals at least 3 times a week but time doesn’t always allow it. Then I bake almost every weekend. It feels great having my apartment smell of freshly baked bread or croissants on a lazy Sunday.

I bring something to the office every now and then. The Dutch have a lot of December specific treats which I tried to replicate to the best of my ability. Since I currently live on my own it would be too much to eat everything myself, so I’ll happily bring some to the office to share.

Do you plan to write a sequel to your book of recipes?
Depends. I have absolutely no expectations for the first book but if it goes well, I’ll gladly make another. I already learned a lot of new recipes whilst researching for the current book. Would be a shame to keep everything to myself.

What else do you like to do?
I’m really into falconry. I’m licensed to own birds of prey back home and it was my dream job growing up. So for a while I trained falcons, hawks, and owls. Basically, everything with wings and feathers I can work with. Will definitely get back into it here once I master the language a bit more.

Other than that, I like carpentry and woodworking. Before I moved to the Czech Republic, I made my money with making and repairing hardwood floors. Which in the Netherlands are considered a luxury commodity and it paid pretty well.

I also play a lot of music. I’ve been playing the electric, acoustic, and bass guitar for the last 8 to 10 years or so. I’m not good by any means but I still enjoy playing.

“Smooth Fruit Smoothie.

Perfect for dreary spring days where the weather still thinks it’s December and you’re trying to eat healthier before summer rolls around. Great boost in vitamins and combines everything necessary to start your day or satiate your taste in something special.
Preparation time: 5 minutes

For 1 glass:
1/2 small broccoli
1/2 ripe avacado
1/2 ripe mango
100ml apple juice
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tspn cinnamon
1tblspn olive oil (you can replace this with Argan Oil which is lighter but harder to find)
1tblspn peeled sunflower seeds

Cut the raw broccoli, avocado, and mango into pieces. Mix the cut up pieces together with the nutmeg, cinnamon, apple juice‘ and oil into a blender and mix everything into 1 smooth and cohesive liquid. Use the sunflower seeds for garnishing.”

Danny Bankeman comes from Hague, the Netherlands but he has been living in Prague for more than 3 years now. He works as a Campaign Developer in the Consultancy group under Miroslav Křivánek. He started at Wunderman in 2016. He is really into cooking, soon a book of his own recipes will be out. He also loves falconry, woodworking and music.

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