Guy Millner Stresses Importance of Asking Questions and Listening to Other People
A group of Wittenborg MBM students specialising in Human Resource Management had the opportunity to gain valuable insights into leadership, business management and entrepreneurship by attending an online guest lecture delivered by AssuranceAmerica’s co-founder and Executive Chairman Guy Millner. Organised by senior lecturer Bert Meeuwsen, the activity was conducted as part of the module High-Performance Leadership on 17 May. Additionally, both the session and the module are connected to Meeuwsen’s ongoing PhD research on ‘Ethics Within Business Education’.
During the lecture, Millner discussed multiple topics related to his many years of experience in entrepreneurship and philanthropy. Besides other advice, he encouraged students not to be ashamed of asking questions. “The smartest people are not the ones who have all the answers, but those who are not afraid of asking questions. If you want to be a successful leader, you need to be interested in other people’s ideas and experiences as well as surround yourself with people who can do things better than you.”
Maggie Feng Stresses Students Need to Develop Both Hard and Soft Skills to Succeed
With the number of jobs in the Netherlands on the rise, the increasing datafication of society and the ageing of the Dutch working population, Wittenborg CEO Maggie Feng predicts that the country’s job market is going to experience profound transformations that will span decades.
According to Feng, this scenario is filled with opportunities for international students and professionals who wish to build a career in the Netherlands. She highlights that some of the most promising developments are taking place in technical fields, including engineering, manufacturing, finance and the technology sector.
Team-Building Activity Held at Country-Style Venue De Aze
A group of Wittenborg staff members, as well as their partners and children, had the opportunity to share typical dishes from their own countries, learn more about other cultures and indulge in a warm and friendly atmosphere on 10 June. Attended by approximately 40 people, the Staff Cooking Event took place at De Aze, a country-style venue located in Terwolde with a large and well-equipped kitchen. While some participants prepared their dishes during the party, demonstrating their culinary skills, others chose to bring them ready made. The menu offered a variety of options, with different kinds of spices, ingredients and flavours.
According to Wittenborg Head of School of Business Rauf Abdul, the Staff Cooking Event was a fun activity that enabled staff members and their families to meet in an informal setting, and also a great way to promote team building. “I brought Beef Nihari, a traditional Pakistani dish that had been cooked mainly by my wife. I loved all the dishes I tasted, because I enjoy eating all sorts of food, and the event featured an amazing and very diverse international buffet. On top of that, it was really nice to meet other families, especially the children. It was lovely to see all the kids playing together as if they had known each other for a long time.”
Event Enables Participants to Network and Exchange Experiences
Between 30 May and 3 June, Wittenborg was visited by 39 enthusiastic secondary students and nine teachers coming from Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Turkey, as well as two researchers from the University of Eastern Finland. The event was organised as part of Erasmus+ funded project Eco-systems of Open Science Schooling (Eco-OSS), which is coordinated by the Wittenborg Research Centre.
Wittenborg Students Give Teachers Score of 3.80, Compared to 3.73 Nationwide
Wittenborg students have rated the school’s academic staff above average, according to the results of the 2022 edition of the National Student Survey (NSE), published on 31 May. While Wittenborg’s teachers were awarded a score of 3.8 out of 5, the Dutch national average is 3.73.
In total, 143 Wittenborg students answered the survey between 17 January and 13 March, assigning ratings that ranged from 1 (Very Dissatisfied/Disagree) to 5 (Very Satisfied/Agree). Conducted by Studiekeuze123 on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Education, the study encompasses six main themes: Content & Organisation, Connection to Professional Practice/Career, Teachers, Guidance/Counselling, Examination & Assessment and Engagement & Contact. These themes, in turn, are divided into multiple subtopics. Moreover, the survey also assesses the students’ general level of satisfaction with their programmes.
Activity Sheds Light on Hotel’s History and Operational Aspects
To provide Wittenborg master’s students specialising in hospitality with a behind-the-scenes view of a traditional luxury hotel, associate professor Vanessa Menezes organised a group visit to the Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam on 3 June. Conducted as part of the module International Hospitality Development, the activity was attended by eight students.
Participants Develop Advisory Reports for Famous Apeldoorn Zoo
In partnership with Apenheul Primate Park, Wittenborg organised a project week for 130 bachelor’s students between 30 May and 3 June. The activity’s goal was to provide the famous Apeldoorn zoo with advisory reports on the latest changes in consumer behaviour, also detailing how to effectively serve consumers in the current scenario.
Having been divided into groups of five or six, students were required to act as consultants, defining the key issues related to Apenheul’s challenges, offering accurate analyses through facts and figures and presenting an array of diverse recommendations and long-term solutions.
The initiative included an excursion to the zoo on 31 May, which in addition to familiarising students with the organisation was also a fun-filled way to encourage them to reflect on topics such as sustainability, tourism and animal conservation. At the end of the project week, all groups were required to deliver a consultancy report and a video presentation, and each student was tasked with submitting a group evaluation and self-assessment.
Event Included Singing, Dancing, Drinks and Snacks
To celebrate the great weather and get people ready for summer, Wittenborg organised the Summer Jam party for 106 students and five staff members on 3 June at the popular Schenkers café in Apeldoorn. The sunny and warm evening was filled with singing, dancing, lively chats and laughs, and all attendants were offered drinks and snacks.
During the party, a DJ played songs requested by the students – encompassing music from multiple countries and styles – and people had the opportunity to indulge in karaoke singing. Moreover, the venue included an outdoor area where students could enjoy the sun.
More than 450,000 Opportunities Available for Job Seekers
Students and professionals looking for work in the Netherlands might find opportunities in multiple sectors, as the number of job vacancies in the country is on the rise, having reached 451,000 at the end of March, according to the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). Data shows that in the first quarter of 2022 there were 133 job vacancies for every 100 unemployed people, up from 106 opportunities per 100 unemployed workers in the last quarter of 2021.
In the same period, the country reached the lowest unemployment rate in 20 years at just 3.5%, corresponding to approximately 9 million people currently employed, while businesses are struggling to fill vacancies. Therefore, job applicants can take the opportunity to negotiate for higher salaries or more advantageous contracts. For students, in particular, this means that businesses might be open to more flexible arrangements, such as part-time positions and internships.
Tackling Real Business Challenges in Master's Project Week
Real Challenges Faced by Real Companies
With the aim of providing students the platform to learn within the context of real, problem-based learning, 64 students from the Business Administration (MBA) and Business Management (MSc) are participating in the Master Challenge Project Week. The 7-week long project is coordinated by Wittenborg's Head of School of Business Dr Rauf Abdul and Education Support Administrator Hanna Abdelwahab. During the project week, groups of 6 students will be matched with a real-life company based in the Netherlands to help them resolve their business challenges.
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