Experts from Government and Industry Brought in to Give Students a Helping Hands for Projects

Experts from Government and Industry Brought in to Give Students a Helping Hands for Projects

Wittenborg's First Real-Life Project of Year off to Great Start

The first real-life project of the new academic year officially started and is in full swing! With cities working towards being more diverse, bachelor's students have been tasked to compile an advisory for the city of Apeldoorn on how to attract international businesses and investors amid fierce competition from other cities in the Netherlands and abroad. They also put together an 8-page brochure on what makes the city such an attractive option for companies.

To give them a helping hand, Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences invited a selection of guest speakers from government and businesses located in Apeldoorn. These guest speakers were interviewed online by Wittenborg's CEO, Maggie Feng, and the students given access to the videos. This was followed by a live Q & A session on Monday where students were able to ask questions directly to each of the guest speakers. Thereafter, it was back to the drawing board before students present their advisories on Friday.

The experts include Jack Hommel, managing director of Centraal Beheer - a division of Achmea which is the biggest insurance company in the Netherlands that employs around 5,000 people in Apeldoorn alone. Also Jeroen Joon, Alderman in the City of Apeldoorn, Benno Oderker, CEO of Avantes, Hans Kornmann, Founder and CEO of Divitel, Mirjam Barendregt from Opheus and Marloes de Goeijen, advisor New Business and Foreign Direct Investment at OostNL.

Wittenborg Lecturers Lucy Omwoha and Emmah Muchoki said students had some interesting questions for these experts, including what strategies the City of Apeldoorn has put into place to ensure it retains the international students within Apeldoorn, how the city of Apeldoorn intends to accommodate the employees of businesses it wants to attract, and what other facilities will be put in place as many internationals don’t speak Dutch. The impact of Artificial Intelligence in today’s business was also discussed.

“The brief to students was to advise Apeldoorn on its City Marketing towards attracting international companies and business to set up and locate in Apeldoorn. How can Apeldoorn make itself more attractive to international companies looking to locate in the Netherlands? What sort of companies should Apeldoorn focus on, from which areas of business and from which countries? What can Apeldoorn do to enhance its image and its reputation abroad?”

The aim of Wittenborg's real-life projects, also known as Project Weeks, is to foster team-working skills in students, carry out research activities to the relevant project themes, develop analytical skills and, in this case, the application of knowledge of city branding and marketing.

WUP 18/9/2020
by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press

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