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Wittenborg Students Participate in Rural Entrepreneurship Training in Spain

by Wittenborg News -

Wittenborg Students Participate in Rural Entrepreneurship Training in Spain

Project Develops ICT-Based Solutions for Spanish Village

Project Develops ICT-Based Solutions for Spanish Village

Wittenborg students Mohamed Ibrahim and Mohammod Khan participated in Erasmus+ funded training ‘Rural5Growth: Youth Rural Entrepreneurship Based on ICT’, which took place in Spain over the course of one week in late March. The activity was conducted in Relleu, a municipality with a population of 1,170, located in the province of Alicante, and involved participants from six countries: Latvia, North Macedonia, Spain, Greece, the Netherlands and Romania. Travel and accommodation costs were covered by Wittenborg’s partner organisation Nefinia, which organised the training.

With the goal of combatting youth unemployment and rural depopulation in Europe, the ‘Rural5Growth’ project trains young workers from different European countries to use information and communication technologies (ICT) for the implementation of local solutions, enabling participants to exchange their knowledge with communities.

During the training, the students engaged in multiple activities and mini projects that had the goal of enhancing their critical thinking skills and sense of initiative, as well as their meaningful participation in society. The team discussed multiple ideas on how to contribute to the development of Relleu, attracting more people to live as well as work in the municipality.

EBA student Mohamed Ibrahim explained that throughout the discussions the group identified Relleu’s promotional marketing as the main issue to be addressed. “We came up with at least five key ideas that might attract more tourists to the village via digital marketing. One example is using the village’s hillside walkway path, which can be developed into a bungee jumping spot. I personally saw many opportunities for the creation of start-up companies with the potential to benefit both the entrepreneurs and the village,” he said.

Ibrahim also highlighted that the project put him in contact with students from five other countries, which provided him with broader perspectives. “This project was really aligned with Wittenborg’s style of teaching because, apart from involving students from various countries, its nature was very practical.  Plus, I managed to gain valuable experience by approaching entrepreneurship from several perspectives, which is also connected to the EBA degree that I am pursuing at Wittenborg.”

WUP 20/5/2022
by Ulisses Sawczuk
©WUAS Press

A Night Filled with Singing, Dancing, Laughs and Fun

by Wittenborg News -

A Night Filled with Singing, Dancing, Laughs and Fun

A Night Filled with Singing, Dancing, Laughs and Fun

Wittenborg Organises Karaoke Night for Students and Staff at Teun

A group of 50 Wittenborg students and five staff members had a night filled with singing, dancing, laughs and fun on 29 April, when the school organised its first Karaoke Night in three years. The activity took place at the popular event venue Teun Apeldoorn and included a DJ who played songs participants chose from a list, as well as free drinks and snacks.

Support Office & External Relations Coordinator Sophia Faraji, who was responsible for organising the event, said that Wittenborg’s last Karaoke Night had happened in 2019, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. She described the activity as fun and exciting, pointing out that some of the students are really talented singers and have great voices. “I was very happy because the students actively participated in the event, and the night ended with a special moment in which all of them danced and sang together. I noticed that the students were really into dancing, and I am thinking perhaps we could organise a dancing event in the near future.”

Faraji added that she herself took part in the singing, performing Adele’s song ‘Rolling in the Deep’ together with one of the students.

Negar Ashnaee, who is pursuing an HBA degree in Sports Business Management, said that the Karaoke Night was a great opportunity for students to have a break from their studies and socialise. During the event, Ashnaee performed a song from the ‘High School Musical’ movie as well as Alan Walker’s ‘Faded’, which she sang together with two friends.  

“Events like the Karaoke Night and Bowling Night are important for both students and staff because they provide excellent opportunities for spending time together outside the academic environment and just being ourselves. As foreign students, all of us are busy and face many difficulties and, in order to keep going, we need some quality time every now and then. Thanks to Wittenborg, we could experience plenty of happiness and joy that night,” she summed up.

WUP 18/5/2022
by Ulisses Sawczuk
©WUAS Press

A Night Filled with Singing, Dancing, Laughs and Fun
A Night Filled with Singing, Dancing, Laughs and Fun
A Night Filled with Singing, Dancing, Laughs and Fun

Students Volunteer at Event on Mental Health Care Hosted by Wittenborg

by Wittenborg News -

Students Volunteer at Event on Mental Health Care Hosted by Wittenborg

Local Group MeetUp055 Organised Activity Featuring Three Guest Speakers

Students Volunteer at Event on Mental Health Care Hosted by Wittenborg

With the goal of discussing the state of mental health care in the Netherlands, Apeldoorn citizen group MeetUp055 organised an event that was hosted by Wittenborg last month (28.04). Attended by approximately 70 people, the debate was inspired by an episode of the Dutch investigative documentary TV series 'Tegenlicht’.

The activity featured three guest speakers: chairperson of the PILL foundation and author of the book 'Wie is er nu eigenlijk gek?' ('Who is really crazy?') Ewout Kattouw, care worker Bram van der Leden and chairperson of the Dutch Association of Mental Health and Addiction Care (GGZ) Ruth Peetoom. Among other topics, they discussed the fact that 90,000 people are waiting for mental health care in the Netherlands and other challenges faced by the country in this sector.  

To help organise the event, Wittenborg recruited four volunteers among its students, who were assigned tasks such as preparing and serving drinks, welcoming and talking to guests and making sure that the atmosphere was pleasant and comfortable.

Wittenborg’s CEO Maggie Feng highlighted that the school agreed to host the event because it is a way to connect its international students with the local community, and also due to the importance of the topic discussed.

“By linking the global to the local, we intend to be a ‘glocal’ institution and make the difference not only for our students, but also for Apeldoorn and its people. In addition to that, the topic of mental health care is crucial for society and became even more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, which posed challenges for many people, including students. We are also aware of the challenges faced by the mental health care system and because we feel that this topic is very close to us we agreed to facilitate the discussion,” Feng said.

MBM student Lukman Onaolapo, specialising in Logistics & Trade, said that he really enjoyed volunteering at the event, adding that he would like to participate in future initiatives of this kind. “I decided to volunteer for Meetup055 when I read what it was about, because mental health is a serious topic and we all need support and care at some point in our lives. The event was great and it turned out to be an amazing opportunity to connect and learn,” he stressed.

For Reihaneh Ahsanizadeh, who is pursuing an MBM degree in Event Management, participating in the activities as a volunteer was a way to meet new people and develop valuable skills such as teamwork and serving guests. “It was a very good experience! Volunteering and helping others always gives me positive energy, and what I liked the most was being able to work as a team. I am definitely open to participating in other activities like this.”

WUP 16/5/2022
by Ulisses Sawczuk
©WUAS Press

Introductory Lunch Welcomes 54 New Students to Wittenborg

by Wittenborg News -

Introductory Lunch Welcomes 54 New Students to Wittenborg

Introductory Lunch Welcomes 54 New Students to Wittenborg

Third Intake in 2022 Includes Students from 12 Countries

“This is the beginning of your new life and career, and it will certainly mean lots of opportunities for you in the future,” said Wittenborg Executive Board member Karen Penninga to the school’s new students during the introductory lunch that took place on 12 May.

Coming from 12 different countries, 54 students will be starting their programmes on Monday, 16 May, in the school’s third intake this year. Wittenborg has six yearly intakes in February, March, May, August, October and November (click here for more information).

The new Wittenborg family members are originally from Yemen, South Africa, Vietnam, Pakistan, Brazil, Iran, Uzbekistan, Nigeria, Russia, Bangladesh, Turkey and India. In total, 46 students will be based in Apeldoorn, while eight will be pursuing their studies in Amsterdam.

Between 9 and 13 May, the group attended introduction week, having participated in various activities that offered orientation and information about the school, its programmes, services and educational system. In her welcoming speech, Penninga stressed the institution’s open-door policy towards students. “Whenever you have issues, please do not hesitate to go to your process tutor, or to the student support desk that is available every day,” she pointed out.

Introductory Lunch Welcomes 54 New Students to Wittenborg

Expectations and Goals

Alexandra Kukhtina, who will be studying for an IBA degree in Economics & Management, said that she chose Wittenborg because of the school’s core values of internationalisation, diversity and ethics, which she also shares. “I feel happy to be here, and I hope to have a great time and make many new friends. The introduction week is going perfectly well, and we have participated in sessions that have provided us with information that will be useful for our journey,” she said.

MBM student Maulik Barot, specialising in Logistics & Trade, mentioned that the programme he will be pursuing is exactly what he was looking for. Barot pointed out that another reason why he chose Wittenborg is because the Netherlands is a very good country to live in. “I have lots of expectations, and the biggest one is to start my own business one day. At the moment, I am feeling a little cold but that is okay, because I am really excited to be here and I have made a lot of friends from different nationalities during introduction week.”

WUP 14/5/2022
by Ulisses Sawczuk
©WUAS Press

Introductory Lunch Welcomes 54 New Students to Wittenborg
Introductory Lunch Welcomes 54 New Students to Wittenborg
Introductory Lunch Welcomes 54 New Students to Wittenborg


MBM Thesis Analyses Market Entry Strategies in the Dutch Sesame Oil Industry

by Wittenborg News -

MBM Thesis Analyses Market Entry Strategies in the Dutch Sesame Oil Industry

https://www.wittenborg.eu/mbm-thesis-analyses-market-entry-strategies-dutch-sesame-oil-industry.htm

MBM Thesis Analyses Market Entry Strategies in the Dutch Sesame Oil Industry

Hossein Parvin’s Study Focuses on Challenges Faced by New Companies

With a long track record in business management, having run his own company for 10 years in Tehran, Iranian MBM student Hossein Parvin chose the Dutch sesame oil industry as the subject of his graduation assignment. Parvin’s research is divided into two main subtopics: while the first part seeks to identify the determinants of the Dutch sesame oil market, the second section analyses how companies in this sector develop their market entry strategies.

The student, who has just completed a degree in Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Wittenborg, explains that he chose this topic with the goal of learning more about business in the Netherlands in order to prepare for the next phase of his professional life. “I found this subject relevant because, according to statistics, the consumption of oils and fats in the Netherlands is high, and the country currently stands at the third position in Europe. So, it is definitely a profitable market,” he stresses.

To conduct the investigation, Parvin adopted a mixed-methods approach, involving qualitative and quantitative techniques. While information about the market determinants was mainly obtained from academic and government sources, research on the development of market entry strategies relied on interviews done with seven experts, including four Wittenborg lecturers and three professional consultants. In addition to that, the student administered a survey to prospective sesame oil customers, in order to collect data about their preferences. Parvin says that he also wrote to some companies to gather information, and adds that his research was facilitated by data transparency policies in the Netherlands as well as people’s willingness to help.

Among its conclusions, the study finds that, given the highly competitive character of the Dutch sesame oil industry, companies need to invest in promotion and strive for available markets. Moreover, according to the research, the authenticity of specialty oils such as sesame oil is an increasingly important issue in Europe.

Regarding his plans for the future, Parvin says he would like to stay in the Netherlands and work on developing his career. “I am currently studying Dutch and also searching for new opportunities. Perhaps I will set up a company here, or find a good job at a top organisation to broaden my horizons,” he points out.

WUP 12/5/2022
by Ulisses Sawczuk
©WUAS Press


Wittenborg Students Attend American-German Business Club Event in Munich

by Wittenborg News -

Wittenborg Students Attend American-German Business Club Event in Munich

https://www.wittenborg.eu/wittenborg-students-attend-american-german-business-club-event-munich.htm

Wittenborg Students Attend American-German Business Club Event in Munich

Activity Took Place at Wittenborg’s Munich Study Location

In partnership with the American-German Business Club (AGBC), Wittenborg’s Munich study location offered a special activity for its bachelor’s and master’s students. On 23 April, the school hosted the 17th AGBC annual exchange event, which included workshops delivered by nine guest speakers on topics such as education, marketing, psychology, technology and entrepreneurship, among others.

By attending the event, the students were exposed to new ideas and also had the opportunity to network with academics, businesspeople and entrepreneurs. During the workshops, participants engaged in various interactive activities, such as drawing exercises connected to body language and virtual reality trainings designed for health professionals.

According to the director of Wittenborg’s Munich study location, Sascha Liebhardt, one of the activity’s main goals was to help students develop their networking skills. “In order to network, students need to be able to walk up to strangers and introduce themselves, and most are not used to doing so. At this event, participants had the chance to have their first contact with businesspeople, and the American-German Business Club members are really open and friendly, so that helped our students overcome that threshold,” he stressed.

Liebhardt pointed out that this is the fifth time that the two institutions have co-organised the annual meeting, and added that the event provided a great atmosphere, including plenty of delicious food. “The students were completely engaged in the activities and all of them thanked me after the event was over. In addition to that, I always do a shout-out at these events, letting people know that we want guest speakers and faculty members for future events, and three of the speakers have offered to become regular guest speakers.”

Wittenborg Students Attend American-German Business Club Event in Munich

Bachelor’s student Ariela Carreno, specialising in Marketing & Communication, said that she really enjoyed participating in the activities and mentioned that the event was a great opportunity for networking and learning concepts that are not necessarily addressed within academia.

“I went to three presentations which were all very interesting and centred on different topics; it was nice to be able to decide which one to go to instead of being assigned to one. The activity I liked the most during the presentations was learning how to do a quick sketch of another person, because it was the most interactive one.
 
The president of the American German Business Club, Constanze Sabathil, said that she was really satisfied with the outcome of the activities, adding that AGBC’s Munich Exchange is one of the organisation’s most important events. “It was a true joy to see so many people in person, to listen to all these wonderful ideas, passions and projects, and to experience an event that is so full of good spirits. I am already looking forward to next year’s edition.”

WUP 10/5/2022
by Ulisses Sawczuk
©WUAS Press

Student Analyses Circular Economy Initiatives Developed in Nigeria

by Wittenborg News -

Student Analyses Circular Economy Initiatives Developed in Nigeria

https://www.wittenborg.eu/student-analyses-circular-economy-initiatives-developed-nigeria.htm

Student Analyses Circular Economy Initiatives Developed in Nigeria

Mendie Mbaba’s Thesis Focused on Private and Public Actors

Concerned about the increasing number of environmental disasters, as well as the barriers faced by businesses when adopting sustainable practices, Wittenborg graduate Mendie Mbaba decided to write his MBA thesis on circular economy initiatives developed in Nigeria.

Mbaba, who recently completed a degree in International Management, stresses that more research needs to be conducted on sustainability in developing countries, as it can result in innovation in areas such as waste processing and the reuse of items. To collect the data for his study, he made use of a qualitative approach, relying on methods such as questionnaires and interviews done with Nigerian companies’ stakeholders. Later, he conducted content analysis on the data he had obtained.

Mbaba’s study finds that in Nigeria circular economy is practised on an informal basis, since the country has not yet implemented adequate structures to support companies that are active in this sector. “The absence of appropriate legislation, coupled with insufficient policy implementation and the government's failure to improve essential infrastructure, prevents companies from taking advantage of the many opportunities available in the country,” the student points out.

However, he highlights that individuals and companies are becoming increasingly informed about circularity, and several initiatives towards the realisation of a circular economy have been developed in the Nigerian capital, Lagos. “The Green Lagos initiative is an important development, as well as the multiple actors – including NGOs, advocates for circular economy and universities – who have been working together to raise public awareness about waste management. Moreover, the Nigerian-Dutch cooperation to recycle plastic waste is also of great importance, because in addition to promoting technology transfer and human capacity development, it will facilitate equipment and machinery transfers to waste collection companies in Nigeria.”

The thesis also argues that one important milestone achieved so far has been the empowerment of designated government agencies to regulate the activities of manufacturing companies in the country. “The Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) of Nigeria and its affiliate agencies compel companies to take responsibility for the waste their products generate. This makes it possible to dispose of waste without causing environmental consequences,” says Mbaba.

Apart from sustainability and circular economy, Mbaba is also interested in the intersection between technology and business. “Now that I have finished my studies in International Management, my priority is to pursue another degree, possibly in data analytics or artificial intelligence,” he points out.

WUP 8/5/2022
by Ulisses Sawczuk
©WUAS Press


Project Week Gives Students Insights into Sustainability

by Wittenborg News -

Project Week Gives Students Insights into Sustainability

Project Week Gives Students Insights into Sustainability

Activity Conducted by Wittenborg and Start-up Connect2Co

In partnership with SaaS start-up Connect2Co, Wittenborg’s Munich study location coordinated a project week for 22 bachelor’s and master’s students between 6 and 14 April. Centred on the theme of sustainability in business, the activity addressed multiple topics including the Triple Bottom Line perspective (People, Planet and Profit), how to become a sustainability-focused entrepreneur and the interconnection between the economic, social and environmental aspects of businesses.

During their guest lecture, Connect2Co’s co-founders, Liam Fitzgerald, Martin Caron and Robbie Parisius, talked about the start-up’s trajectory, touching on subjects such as how to start a business, vision & purpose, product design and the importance of understanding who your customer is. They also discussed the work developed by Connect2Co – a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that connects companies to the people and tools they need to run and scale sustainable and profitable businesses. The start-up provides a one-stop shop console for departments and individuals therein to manage workflows, improve transparency and enable improvements to strategic decision making.

Co-founder and CEO Liam Fitzgerald said that sustainability is a priority for Connect2Co, adding that corporations and government regulators have placed an increasingly high emphasis on this pillar. “As the level of social awareness and regulation increases, corporations are understanding the utter necessity to operate within the guidelines that promote environmental sustainability. Students and younger generations are making career and life decisions to support and or work for companies that embody these principles. Thanks to this, more money is being spent by governments, organisations and customers to support corporations that adopt and innovate on the basis of these initiatives.”

Project Week Gives Students Insights into Sustainability

Student Engagement

Having been divided into groups composed of between three and five members, the students were tasked with defining sustainability from the environmental, business and social perspectives, as well as analysing entrepreneurship based on Connect2Co’s presentation and identifying and explaining the company’s business models.

At the end of the project week, participants were required to deliver a written group report, an online self-evaluation, a recorded group presentation and a poster.

Fitzgerald highlighted the students’ engagement and motivation. “Students were engaged throughout the entirety of our presentation, asking questions and providing valuable insight into the topics discussed; many of them met with the team off-campus to continue the conversation. The passion was evident and was proven through the presentations the students gave at the end of the project week. The work they produced was engaging for both Connect2Co and the academic department,” he stressed.

The director of Wittenborg’s Munich study location, Sascha Liebhardt, pointed out that, apart from encouraging participants to conduct research on sustainability, the project week was also meant to show them what it is like to be an entrepreneur in a real-life context. “They learned important lessons from a team of enthusiastic young entrepreneurs, and the idea is that this will inspire them to follow their dreams while being sustainability-minded,” Liebhardt said.

WUP 6/5/2022
by Ulisses Sawczuk
©WUAS Press

Wittenborg Representative Meets with Student Agencies in Vietnam

by Wittenborg News -

Wittenborg Representative Meets with Student Agencies in Vietnam

https://www.wittenborg.eu/wittenborg-representative-meets-student-agencies-vietnam.htm

Wittenborg Representative Meets with Student Agencies in Vietnam

Michael Sheppard Working to Strengthen Bonds

Since 16 April, Wittenborg’s visiting lecturer and Sales & Admissions Representative Michael Sheppard is in Vietnam, meeting with local student agencies with the goal of strengthening existing partnerships and establishing new relationships. Throughout his assignment, Sheppard has spent eight days in Ho Chi Minh City and four days in Da Nang. Currently, he is in the capital Hanoi, where he will conclude his assignment on Friday, 6 May.

According to the representative, each meeting has been unique. “Wittenborg has worked with some of these agencies for a long time and they have sent us many students, so their knowledge of the school is very strong. When meeting with these partners, I have been talking about the success of the relationship so far and what we can do to make it even more successful in the future. At the other end of the spectrum, some organisations do not yet have expert knowledge on Wittenborg, so I have been talking about our courses, advantages, unique selling points and what makes the school special,” he said.

Apart from meeting with student agencies, Sheppard has participated in events where he has given presentations about Wittenborg to Vietnamese students. During these sessions, he has also talked about life in the Netherlands and in Europe in general. “The students ask many questions about what it is like to live in the Netherlands, what Dutch people are like, how many Vietnamese students are already there, because they want a picture of what their life at Wittenborg will be like. These people are very motivated about the idea of studying abroad, not just because they want a strong education, but also because they desire a wider knowledge of the world and to have a new perspective on things.”

Sheppard says that he is grateful for the opportunity and proud to represent Wittenborg, adding that this is his first visit to East Asia and he really enjoys being there. “Every single meeting with the agencies has been very valuable and the Vietnamese people are incredibly friendly and welcoming; they treat you like a close friend as soon as you meet them. On top of that, they are really interested in Wittenborg and engaged in the discussion, so we have got some great outcomes and things to plan for the future as well.”

WUP 05/05/2022
by Ulisses Sawczuk
©WUAS Press


Plant Care Evening Gives Wittenborg’s Plants a Makeover

by Wittenborg News -

Plant Care Evening Gives Wittenborg’s Plants a Makeover

https://www.wittenborg.eu/plant-care-evening-gives-wittenborgs-plants-makeover.htm

Plant Care Evening Gives Wittenborg’s Plants a Makeover

Activity Brought Together Eight Staff Members

To make Wittenborg office spaces even more pleasant and beautiful, eight staff members participated as volunteers in the “Plant Care Evening” conducted on 25 April in Apeldoorn. During the activity, participants gave some of the plants that are located in the school’s communal areas and offices a makeover, focusing on those that were in need of special care.
 
Some of the actions included putting the plants that had outgrown their pots in bigger recipients, adding support stakes, discarding dead parts of plants, trying to help new roots grow, replacing soil and changing the pots that were in poor condition.

Wittenborg HR Manager Maike Nuyken, who organised the initiative, said that she is very satisfied with the work done that evening. “At the office, we take care of the plants regularly, but some of them were just in bad shape. The good thing is that we managed to save every plant; we did not need to discard any of them. One of the successful cases is a plant that had been kept in a strange location, and which has now been moved to the most prominent spot so that it gets enough light and care. We also gave ‘haircuts’ to pandan plants whose leaves were getting very long, and they look much nicer now.”

She stressed that, in addition to nurturing the plants, the volunteers had the opportunity to participate in a fun-filled, team building activity. “We had to work together, because you need quite a few people to do things such as filling the pots with new soil and removing the plants from old pots, and everyone did their bit. It is important to take care of the office environment together, because we all spend a lot of time there, so we want it to be a nice environment. Plus, we all had a good time and laughed a lot, and it was great to be able to learn from colleagues who are experts in taking care of plants.”

Student Registry Administrator & Examination Administration Coordinator Babak Moghadam, who joined the initiative, said that he enjoyed collaborating with co-workers that he does not often have the chance to spend time with. Moghadam added that, for him, gardening is a rewarding activity. “I enjoy taking care of plants and it feels really good to be able to keep something healthy and alive. Monstera has always been my favourite plant and I keep one in my office,” he added.

Some of the people who participated in the activity stayed after the work had been concluded and ate takeout dinner together. Among them was Manager of Academic Partnerships Myra Qiu, who said that she decided to join because she likes having healthy and robust plants around. “We are thinking of giving our plants names once we move to the new Wittenborg building on Brinklaan, so that everyone will know them better and be involved in taking care of them,” Qiu commented.

WUP 4/5/2022
by Ulisses Sawczuk
©WUAS Press


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