Interview with Nyenrode Business Universiteit

By: Together Abroad 29-09-2014

Categories:Education news,


Tamkara Adun speaks to Willem van Dongen, head of Career and Personal Development and Javier Arias, community marketer and an alumnus at Nyenrode on their views on the university, its MBA programs and how they are catered to the needs of its candidates

Could you tell us a bit about Nyenrode and the Nyenrode Heritage?

Nyenrode Business Universiteit was created in 1946 by industry leaders from leading corporations such as KLM, Shell, Unilever, Philips and Akzo with the intent to set up a business community that would create business leaders in order to impact the global business community, positively.

Nyenrode is unique in the sense that we are here as an institution to create responsible leaders and therefore we maintain a strong connection to the business community. The link from university to business and business to university is still very strong at Nyenrode University and this is evidenced in all our programs. A good example of this is our “Meet The CEO sessions” which are held exclusively for our MBA students and aim at providing them with the ability to understand and exceed the expectations of managers and top executives. During these sessions, our MBA students get an opportunity to analyse and prepare real-life business cases and discuss them with CEOs of companies such as Phillips, IBM and Microsoft.

Nyenrode also believes in the power of personal attention in the development of leadership, entrepreneurship and stewardship skills. This is reflected in our class sizes and class makeup. By virtue of our small class sizes, we are able to provide our students with customized coaching services and a personal journey of leadership development. In addition to this, our on- campus experience gets the best out of our students and facilitates the development of pertinent business skills. We find that as our students live, work and study together in the serene atmosphere that Nyenrode provides, they build a veritable community and bond that extends long after their studies are over.

Nyenrode has various programs for candidates that want to grow both professionally, academically and in their personal lives. Could you tell us about your MBA programs and different options available to prospective candidates?

At Nyenrode, we have a program that is suited for every career level. We have 3 different MBA program options:

Full-time International MBA: (on-campus program)
Our International MBA is a one-year journey of personal and professional development which includes 3 international modules: Europe, Asia, Africa; interaction with C-level executives via Meet the CEO Sessions and personalized attention in a class setting of 30 to 45 participants. The full time MBA is inherently international 80% of our participants are non-Dutch nationals. It is a one-year accelerated program which basically provides leadership skills and competencies that maximize your ability to drive innovation, exercise power and ensure the well-being of future generations.

Part-time Executive MBA:
Our part-time Executive MBA empowers you to become the best leader you can be while you apply the acquired knowledge to your work. All Executive MBA modules take place over 2 week periods at universities across 3 countries: the Netherlands, China and South Africa. This unique structure means you can fly in from abroad or join from nearby and caters mainly for candidates who want to experience the reality and pressures of business: one bootcamp after the other.

Modular Executive MBA (create your own modules):
As a business executive, entrepreneur, manager or professional you have to deal with a demanding job and a busy social life in which time is scarce. The modular concept allows for you to develop on a personal and professional level in your own pace and path. With this option, you can customize your MBA experience to suit your particular need and situation. This program can take from 2.5 years to 6 years to complete.

Could you tell us about the Partnership with Nyenrode and Together Abroad to offer top talents in The Netherlands a 50% revolving scholarship for the full-time international MBA program with additional three months of intense career training?

The most interesting elements about this full-time international MBA and this scholarship opportunity are that candidates can learn a lot about global business, personal development and career progression while they make solid steps towards the Dutch labour market. There is also an additional three months internship at Nyenrode where our team offers intensive career support for your career progression via personal coaching, workshops, training. Also candidates are at liberty to leverage on the extensive network that we have within the Dutch and international business communities.

We have an extensive network within HR and recruiting departments of companies here at Nyenrode and we expose our candidates to these prospects and opportunities. The three months internship program gives our candidates the opportunity to get first-hand work experience at Nyenrode, as they get ready to find the best position within the Dutch labor market.

Does the three months internship with Nyenrode involve placing the candidates in job?
The three months internship at Nyenrode is an opportunity to exercise the knowledge and skills acquired during the MBA program while the participant prepares to enrol in his/her next career step.

Our Career and Personal Development department actively seeks out and approaches potential employers. So we identify and share opportunities that increase our candidates’ chances of securing suitable roles and placements. Our proactive approach has been successful in ensuring that students get better access to suitable jobs. We also offer tools and support to our students by helping them work on their CVs, personal branding and other job search services.

Who would you describe as a “Top Talent” or an ideal candidate eligible for the Full-time International MBA scholarship scheme?

We look at the holistic package and the potential team dynamics to in order to make a decision.

Academic excellence, relevant work experience and a great personality are good qualities to have but we also consider other factors related to the dynamics of the team. We ensure that each member of our MBA program brings valuable input to the table and that everyone can learn from each other. We advise interested professionals to apply to the full-time International MBA program and we will review their applications on a case by case basis and make a decision.

Do your MBA courses support the needs of candidates with may not want to work in the corporate environment but would rather start a business or an entrepreneurial endeavour?

Our three core values are – Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Stewardship, so suffice it to say that entrepreneurship is in our DNA. Our courses and modules also cater to the needs of the entrepreneurial spirited. We have had students who have graduated and left corporate jobs to start successful business and consultancies. As part of our program offerings, we have a business accelerator in the premises that is specifically created to support small businesses. 60 Acres, our Business Accelerator, offer tools, resources and support to help our students and alumni set up and maintain successful and sustainable businesses.

One of the interesting elements about our MBA programs is that quite a number of our candidates choose the entrepreneurial path and, at Nyenrode, we have a close-knit community of business leaders so there is always the opportunity to meet likeminded people to get support for projects and business opportunities.

At Nyenrode, business is not a skill or a career – it is a way of living. Whether your ambition is to boost your career at a big corporate, make an impact on a small/mid-size company or to start your entrepreneurial venture; a Nyenrode MBA will provide you with the opportunity to comprehend, live, lead and love business.

Willem Van Donge heads the Career and Personal Development department at Nyenrode. He has over ten years’ worth of experience in the recruitment sector and prior to that he worked as a management consultant for ABN Amro. He has lived and worked as an expatriate in Singapore and in France and knows first-hand the challenges of an expatriate life. Javier is from Costa Rica. He is an alumnus of Nyenrode Business Unversiteit—he graduated in 2011 from the Full-time International MBA program and currently works as a community marketer at the university.

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