After a number of years working as a solicitor and company lawyer, Carien van der Laan returned to the US to do a Master in Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Upon graduation she went to work for McKinsey & Company in Amsterdam and has since spent her career in both consultancy and in various corporate positions: National Sales Manager at GE Information Services, Business Line Manager at KPN, Commercial Director at Telecom Noord West, Managing Director at Versatel (Tele2) Nederland. Carien was also a corporate officer of the European-American call center company ClientLogic. Carien initiated the first executive search agency for women, Woman Capital. In June 2011 she left Woman Capital to start Van der Laan & Company.