Elnaz Hashempour from Iran not Afraid of Facing Challenges
With 14 years of experience in the fields of sports and sports therapy, Iranian student Elnaz Hashempour, who is pursuing an MBM degree in Sports Business at Wittenborg, decided she wanted to explore new horizons. In February 2021, Hashempour moved from Iran to the Netherlands where, apart from her studies, she is also doing an internship and working part-time for Club Pellikaan Apeldoorn.
According to Hashempour, her track record helped her stand out in the eyes of recruiters, and she was offered her part-time job while still in Iran, after sending an email with her résumé to the club. “Every student who wants to find a job or internship must know their specific skills and how to advertise them. Even though I am qualified in different areas, when applying for jobs I highlighted my experience as an aqua-fitness instructor, because when you show your potential employers you are specialised in one field, that increases their interest,” she advises.
MBA Student Maha Guenounou Stresses Urgent Need for Regulation
Inspired by her frequent conversations on the topic of environmental protection with her husband, who works for the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol), Wittenborg student Maha Guenounou decided to write her thesis on sustainability in the European aviation industry. The subject is also aligned with Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences’ adoption of the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Guenounou, who recently completed an MBA degree in General Management, points out that the continent’s aviation industry has been growing very fast, with a significant rise in the numbers of passengers and airlines. “Because of this, there are serious concerns about the negative impacts of the aviation industry emissions on the environment, and companies are more inclined to adopt sustainable practices,” she says.
Daniel Freeman’s Interests Include Sports and Cooking
Since he was a child, Wittenborg lecturer Daniel Freeman had the dream of participating in an international sports competition and winning. Freeman, who is originally from Rhode Island, USA, had aspired to be a baseball player, but at 11 years old his life took a different direction when his coach had a stroke after yelling furiously at the team.
“That killed all the fun, so I ended up finding out about javelin and decided to give it a try at school. When you are younger, they have you throw a small plastic javelin which is called a turbo javelin, and that is what I started with. I was 12 back then, and I loved it and never stopped; it was a great outlet for me to meet people and to slowly build up confidence,” he recalls.
Kristina Iatsenko Seizes Chance to Develop Career
By doing an internship at the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel, where she has been working since December, Wittenborg IBA student Kristina Iatsenko, specialising in Hospitality Management, has been able to develop multiple skills. As a front office agent, Iatsenko is responsible for checking guests in and out, handling their requests, making reservations, managing information systems and answering emails and phone calls, among other tasks.
In her view, internships provide students with great opportunities to gain experience and knowledge. “By studying at Wittenborg, I have learned many useful things, such as the financial and accounting part and the modules related to the hospitality industry, which have helped me understand what my attitude towards guests should be. But the theoretical part is only 30% of what you should know, and the other 70% is practical competencies that you can only learn on the job,” she says.
Activity is Part of Senior Lecturer Bert Meeuwsen’s PhD Research
Six Wittenborg MBM students specialising in Human Resource Management participated in an educational event coordinated by senior lecturer Bert Meeuwsen. The activity is part of the PhD research Meeuwsen is conducting at Leiden University, titled “Cross-Cultural Business Ethics Educational Intervention Exploratory Study”, which investigates the role of educational interventions in helping students self-develop business ethics virtues (read more here).
All students who participated in the session have been taking the High-Performance Leadership module, taught by Meeuwsen. A seventh student who is also pursuing a master’s degree in Human Resource Management, Faezeh Yavarnejad, joined the activity as an assistant, observing and monitoring, with the goal of collecting material for her thesis on how master’s modules and lecturers address the subject of business ethics.
Event Took Place at the Aventus Building, in Apeldoorn
For 49 Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences students who have just completed their degrees, Friday, 4th February, was a special day, filled with joy, satisfaction and pride. Having taken place at the ROC Aventus Auditorium, in Apeldoorn – and also livestreamed for those who could not be physically present – the 2022 Winter Graduation Ceremony celebrated the achievements of 31 bachelor’s and 18 master’s students, who received their hard-earned diplomas. In total there were 172 graduates in 2021, including those who graduated in the summer.
The new Wittenborg alumni represent 18 countries: Germany, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, India, Vietnam, Iran, Tunisia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, South Korea, Ukraine, Sudan, Mexico, Mozambique, Thailand, Russia and the Netherlands.
The ceremony was attended by the students, their families and friends, as well as Wittenborg’s lecturers and support staff. In the event’s opening speech, Dr Petra de Weerd-Nederhof, who is a member of Wittenborg’s advisory board, highlighted the school’s international and diverse character, and encouraged students to strengthen and maintain the networks they have developed while attending their programmes.
Introductory Lunch Celebrates Wittenborg’s First Entry Date of 2022
In keeping with Wittenborg’s tradition of internationalisation and diversity, new students of 18 nationalities – as well as lecturers and staff – celebrated the school’s first entry date of 2022 with an introductory lunch held simultaneously in Apeldoorn and Amsterdam, last Thursday, 3 February.
In total, 70 students will be starting their programmes on Monday, 7 February, out of which 54 will be based in Apeldoorn and 16 in Amsterdam. The new Wittenborg family members come from multiple countries: Uganda, Nigeria, Yemen, Iran, Ukraine, China, Sri Lanka, India, Russia, Vietnam, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Morocco, El Salvador, Nepal, Japan, the Netherlands and Indonesia.
Between 31 January and 4 February, the new students attended the introduction week, consisting of various sessions that provided them with practical and academic information about their studies. Wittenborg offers six intakes per year, in February, March, May, August, October and November.
During the introductory lunch, Wittenborg CEO Maggie Feng gave a speech in which she addressed the many challenges international students will have to face throughout this new journey, encouraging them to work hard for their goals and to treat other people with kindness and respect.
Joy Eshun’s Study Focuses on Amsterdam Social Enterprise BTO
To better understand how diversity affects workplaces, recent Wittenborg graduate Joy Eshun wrote her thesis on Buurt Talent Ontwikkeling (BTO), an Amsterdam-based social enterprise that offers homework support to children of migrant families.
Eshun, who is originally from Ghana and completed an MBA in International Management, employed qualitative methods in her study. Titled “Examining the Effect of Workforce Diversity on Employee Motivation at Buurt Talent Ontwikkeling (BTO)”, her investigation is based on questionnaires that she administered to 110 respondents, including students, teachers and the organisation’s director. In addition to that, she conducted three interviews with teachers.
IBM's Jerry Stam Gives Lecture to IBA Students
A group of Wittenborg students had the opportunity to learn more about topics such as environmental, social and governance, sustainability, consumer trends and innovation in retail during a guest lecture featuring IBM’s Consumer & Retail Associate Partner Jerry Stam. Titled “The impact of China’s ‘retail revolution’ on the rest of the world?!”, the activity was organised by senior lecturer Bert Meeuwsen on 13 January.
The session was attended by five IBA students and encompassed themes that are addressed in the module Economics and Corporate Strategy, connecting them to Stam’s international professional experience. One of the main subjects discussed was how global Chinese retail companies are using sophisticated technological approaches and strategies to enter new markets.
Ulisses Sawczuk Discussed How to Write Thesis Proposals
With the goal of providing master’s students with insights and tips on how to write their thesis proposals, Wittenborg copywriter Ulisses Sawczuk participated as a guest lecturer in an online session conducted by Erasmus University Rotterdam associate professors Dr Isabel Awad and Dr Delia Dumitrica.
The masterclass, which took place on 13 January, was attended by 10 students pursuing degrees in Media, Culture and Society (MCS) at Erasmus University. Apart from Sawczuk, who completed the programme in 2019, the activity also featured MCS alumni Mariana Fried (2019) and Sara Lambrechts (2021) as guest lecturers. The three of them graduated cum laude.
During the activity, Sawczuk and the other graduates discussed the process of writing thesis proposals and the subsequent master's theses. Among other topics, students asked questions regarding the relationship with supervisors, methodological choices, how to use literature, time management and how to reconcile studies and personal life.
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