My name is Jose Lopez Flamenco and I am from El Salvador; the smallest country in Central America. I am thrilled to share my experiences from of Hanze University Groningen, University of Applied Sciences (UAS) MBA programme with you.
I decided to improve my professional career
As new economic, social, and political developments were taking place in my country, I decided to improve my professional career scope within an international context. I carefully selected the MBA programme of Hanze University Groningen, UAS. Without a doubt this was one of the best career moves I could have made.
The programme combines the lectures with practical exercises. I learn from the lecturers’ experiences and knowledge on the subjects, but also from my classmates’ input and knowledge.
The Master Programme MBA empowers me to share my experiences with other international students, which enriches the course value. The master courses such as Strategic Management and Marketing Management are combined with subjects like Self Development. They are deeply entwined, since in order to truly grow professionally, you must learn to grow as a person as well. Even lecturers assert that they are in fact continuously learning from everyone in the classroom.
A semester at ARU Cambridge
During my studies at Hanze University, I got to spend a semester at ARU Cambridge, The United Kingdom. There I learned new ways of developing and managing my own work. In contrast to the Netherlands, the British system is more individualistic. I got the chance to attend classes with think-tank lecturers from Judge Business School, from the University of Cambridge.
The Energy Battle
One of my best experiences in Groningen has been ‘The Energy Battle’. During the first few weeks that I was here, I found myself participating in this national event organised by several national and international energy companies. It turned out to be an incredible opportunity to meet and work with CEOs from highly ranked energy companies such as Gas Terra, Shell plc, DSM, incas3, Gasunie, E.on, Siemens, Tendris, and Grontmij.
At the battle I was presented a real life energy case formulated by DSM. DSM is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. Together with a team of other students and young professionals from several universities from all over the Netherlands I had to solve the case. We came up with an innovative solution towards cleaner and sustainable production. We got to present our ideas to the managing directors of the organisation, which was very exciting.
A smart career move towards a better future
The energy battle is just one example of the business oriented experiences that I have gained in my MBA. After these exceptional experiences, I can say that the Hanze University Groningen, UAS MBA programme has been a smart career move towards a better future. I strongly recommend prospective international students to consider the MBA possibilities of Hanze University Groningen, UAS. You will get an incredible and valuable experience that you and your future employer will be able to measure unequivocally.
As a final thought, let me wish you the best and let me encourage you to hold the reins of your future career choice steadily, always dealing with new challenges head on, with the right attitude and enthusiasm to discover yourself humble enough to learn.
All the best,
Jose Benjamin Lopez Flamenco
Hanze University Groningen’s MBA: molding today’s professionals for tomorrow’s challenges
Authored By: Harry T. Conway
Country of Origin: Liberia, West Africa
Seeing as the world economy is still trying to reel out of a recession, obtaining an MBA degree that equips you with the necessary tools to deal with new evolving challenges, particularly in the corporate world, and thereby putting your professional career on an upward path, has become an imperative for future students of an MBA. From my personal experience, the MBA of Hanze University Groningen does not only measure up on all counts of a top MBA programme (i.e. course content; qualified and competent lecturers; modern facilities, etc) but also in its approach to molding a rounded professional for tomorrow’s workplace. A professional prepared and ready to excel in the corporate world as a team player, strategic thinker, manager and most importantly, as a self assured individual.
Upon arrival at Hanze, like every other MBA student, I was filled with expectations and anxiousness. I was particularly curious whether the programme would equip me with the requisite skills to tackle challenges in today’s corporate world. With more than 10 years of professional working experience in corporate Liberia (i.e. Banking and Maritime), where new corporate challenges are ever present and becoming more sophisticated by the day, I had all the reasons to have high expectations. I therefore needed a programme that provided me with a tools kit to solve problems. And to be honest, I have not been disappointed. I consider it a privilege to be here at Hanze.
Instead of looking at problems from the more traditional perspective of identification, analysis and solution, I now “make the familiar strange and the strange familiar”. In other words, I get rid of ‘conceptual road blocks’ when solving problems. I think creatively. That is just one of the things you learn from the Module ‘Management Skills and Competences’. You also learn how to negotiate, organize and chair meetings, as well as about power preferences and play in organizations.
If, however, you are thinking Management Skills and Competences is the cream of the modules, then of course, I have news for you. This is the line-up of top modules which when completed should have set anybody on the path to professional growth: General Strategic Management; Financial Management; Human Resource Management; Marketing Management; Operations Management; General Strategic Management II (Topical Items including Business Ethics, Visual Teams, Risk Management and Lean Sigma Six); GSMII: Practical Strategic Thinking, Scenario Planning (i.e. anticipation of events 15 -20 years down the road), Corporate Governance; Organizational Dynamics, Cross Cultural Management and last but definitely not least Self Development. This course is most important to me because, no matter how knowledgeable you are in all other modules, if you cannot get a grip on yourself, you have not learnt anything. Understanding yourself, developing yourself and recognizing your own shortcomings instead of blaming others are the height of the Hanze MBA professional programme.
A true source of inspiration for individual success in this 14 months intensive programme is the fact that you will always work in teams. So, you always have fellow students of different national and professional backgrounds to count on for support. Remember, this is an University of Applied Sciences and so you will find visitations to companies refreshing. Finally, your presentations skills will be developed as you will do a lot of presentation as a group and individually.
If you are considering an MBA programme, Hanze is the destination of choice. You will not regret it
Studying an MBA at Hanze: An Enriching and Challenging Opportunity
By Muhammad Rivai Abbas (MBA Student from Indonesia)
I am very proud to be an MBA student at Hanze University Groningen as I have been given the opportunity to share knowledge with international students of different backgrounds and nationalities. This year there are 16 international MBA students from 15 nationalities with various different backgrounds ranging from civil servants, employees of state owned enterprises to employees of private companies. Mingling with friends from diverse cultural backgrounds and values enriches my knowledge and skills, in which I am more able to understand and learn from other cultures.
Discipline and Hard Work
The MBA at Hanze University is not easy, as I find it very heavy and challenging. Not only because of the courses which are so solid, but also because the tasks (either group or individual) require a lot of time and attention. I can say that in order to study well and pass the courses, I need to have discipline and work hard. Though, above all, the most important is a strong willingness and motivation.
An Outlook of the 1st Semester: Management Basics
In the first semester, students study the basics knowledge of management in business, such as Financial Management (FM), Human Resource Management, Marketing Management (MM), Operations Management (OM), and General Strategic Management (GSM). In order to ensure the same level of the MBA students, we had to attend a two weeks introduction program before the start-up of the first semester. At the beginning of the introduction week, we were required to do assessment tests of the basic subjects. For Financial Management we needed to understand the main concepts in finance. So, for those who are not really good with numbers, they should not worry. The lecturer was very nice as he always made sure that his students understood the concepts. The HRM course was tough but enjoyable. In addition to doing mini research as a group, we also had some lectures from guest lecturers with practitioner backgrounds.
Meanwhile, in MM subjects, we studied important concepts of marketing, more particularly related to the use of internet technology in marketing in a global context. The course that inspired me the most is however OM, because we were given the opportunity to visit companies .For instance the Phillips plant in Drachten and FloraHolland in Alsmere where we got acquainted with their production process. During both visits, we were challenged to give suggestions to the problems the companies faced. It was very interesting and it provided a very valuable lesson. As for the GSM subject, we were given a lot of case studies which we had to analyze and apply concepts and business models.
The 2nd Semester: Supporting Knowledge
Unlike the first semester, in the second semester we are equipped with “supporting” knowledge of management and business and managerial skills such as Management Accounting, Scenario Planning, Organizational Dynamics, and Cross-cultural Management. Apart from the tight schedule of the courses, we also have to submit the problem statement of our thesis in early April and the finalize the thesis proposal by the 1st of June. Indeed, it is a challenge and hard work. Given the fact that the programme is tough and solid, the excellent study environment and facilities, and the fact that the university also has good career networks with national and multinational companies makes it all worth it!
My name is Igor Sinitsin, I am 19 year old and I come from Latvia. I am studying in the first year of the International Business and Management Studies programme at the Hanze University Groningen. Even though I’ve lived in Groningen only for a few months, I already can say that I had some amazing experiences and I would like to share them with everyone.
The multicultural environment, study abroad and internship possibilities appealed to me a lot
Choosing a university for my future studies was a pretty tough task. I had already experienced what it is like to live abroad for I did an exchange year in Germany while I was in highschool. Therefore I had no doubt that I wanted to study in a foreign country. I applied to various business schools in Germany and in the United Kingdom and I couldn’t decide where to go for a long time. But I found out that somewhere in the Netherlands there was a programme that could be very interesting for me. It was IBMS at the Hanze University Groningen. I applied to it and after a couple of weeks I got an answer that I was accepted to the university. It left no doubt that I would be studying in Groningen starting from September 2010. I guess you wonder why I was so convinced about this. First of all, I really liked the programme itself. Furthermore, the multicultural environment, study abroad and internship possibilities appealed to me a lot. Moreover, I have always found Dutch culture very interesting and going to the Netherlands seemed to be the best way to get to know the culture better.
Obtaining important skills and getting to know people from all over the world
I have just finished the first semester of my studies, so I can share some experience about studying international business at Hanze University.
For me, the multicultural environment of the programme is very important and interesting. In my class there are students from all over the world, who all have their own perception and way of thinking. This makes that even the most boring tasks become interesting. Through the work in international groups have obtained some useful communicational skills and discovered interesting facts about other cultures.
Group work is one of the most frequently used methods of doingregulary types of assignments in the business school. Lecturers who form the groups try to make teams with a mix of nationalities. Thanks to the group assignments I have been able to develop my intercultural communication skills very much.
Another aspect of the programme that I enjoy very much is that it is not only focusing on business knowledge, but also on everyone’s personal skills and competencies. In my opinion, these skills are very important for successful business people in today’s world. I am glad that I’ve been taught how to work in groups, communicate with others and hold successful meetings.
But study-related aspects are not the only good thing at the Hanze University. Extra-curricular activities organised by the International Business School Union (IBSU) are a great and well-deserved opportunity to relax after times of heavy studying. Thereby it is a great way to meet more students from the years above me.
I was really surprised to visit a concert of my favorite band in such a small place
Even though Groningen is a pretty small city comparing to my hometown Riga, it still offers a lot of possibilities to students. Students are the city’s main population (almost every third person here is a student). There are lots of parties, cafes, cinemas and other entertaining things going on out here. I was really surprised to visit a concert of my favorite band in such a small place. Groningen is also full of interesting and beautiful places where everyone can just enjoy the unique mood of this town. I think everyone will be surprised how many opportunities this city offers for everyone’s taste.
Name: Elena Chudomirova
Home country: Bulgaria
Study Programme: International Business and Management Studies (IBMS)
My name is Elena and I come from Bulgaria. I have already spent nearly two years in Groningen and I can, without any doubt, claim that these two years enriched my life in many different ways. Often people ask me “Why did you choose Holland and especially Groningen for your studies?” If I have to be honest, It took me one day to make this decision. At first I had set my mind on studying in my home country until one day it just occurred to me that I was ready for a change in my life. I wanted a totally different life, with new people and a new culture. I can remember it like it was yesterday: It was Wednesday and I went to the agency that helps arrange applications for students who want to go and study abroad. The deadline for the application was the end of the week, so everything had to be done within a few hours. I am very grateful for the kind assistance of the agency who helped make my dream come true. I applied for several universities in four different countries: France, Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Eventually I was accepted at every one of the universities. However, my decision was already made before that and it was: International Business and Management Studies at Hanze University.
Why the Netherlands?
I had done a lot of reading concerning Holland before I applied for the university. I come from a culture that doesn’t have a lot in common with the Dutch one. And that was what I wanted. I wanted to experience what it is like to live close to people who don’t behave, eat, and encounter with one another like the people who you have been seeing all your life. Of course, intercultural adaptability plays an important role in situations like this. One has to develop acceptance and tolerance towards all the cultural differences.
I did some research on Internet (Google pictures) and fell in love with the town immediately. So many green parks, a lot of terrace cafes spread everywhere around the lively city centre, beautiful buildings and happy people. The fact that almost each third person you meet within the city is a student is also a factor that drove me to select Groningen as my study destination.
Every bachelor programme contains difficulties to some extent. Even though the first two years were pretty tough academically, I never doubted that I had chosen the right study. The programme is really broad, meaning that no matter in which business field you want to end up, you can become a professional. Since high school I have beeninterested in the travel and tourism industry. I was therefore very enthusiastic when I found out I could do a major in Travel and Tourism.
As far as extracurricular activities are concerned, an IBMS student couldn’t even attempt not being involved in them. At the very beginning, during the introduction week, the student union IBS-U (of which you have to become a member!) will start organizing various social activities, where you can meet almost everyone that you’ll be spending your next years with. IBS-U frequently organizes parties, excursions, sport activities, business conferences, etc. These excursions are organized by students. The International Business School a close community where student-to-student, teacher—to-student and teacher-to-teacher are really close and friendly.
Tran Ngocdiep is a first years International Communication student from Vietnam
The reason for studying in the Netherlands is because I wanted to study in a European country. Thereby the Netherlands has one of the best educational systems in Europe. I found Hanze University through the website of the Nuffic. I had some friends who were also studying in the Netherlands and they had told me about the good study environment at Hanze University and Groningen.
Choosing International Communication
I’m in the first year of the programme International Communication. I decided to study this course because I thought it suited my abilities and preference. For example that I like to discover different cultures and enjoy to have international friends. While studying the course I have fallen in love with it. I can communicate effectively and I understand more about different cultures. I am not scared to misunderstand cultures.
I know more about my own culture now
In the first period of this first year I studied “Intercultural communication in the global workplace”. The subjects I got taught were really useful and practical. It made that my international friends and I can understand more about our own cultures and the culture of others. It’s very interesting to find out about your own culture’s characteristics and compare them with another culture. Besides, we also learn about the crucial points that make sense in intercultural communication.
First I didn’t understand my classmates, now they are my friends
When I started the first period of my studies I thought that my classmates were cold and had opposite personalities compared to mine. During this period we grew together and we’ve become friends. They are very friendly and open people. I think my international friends also understand more about me and my culture. It is nice that we can share the knowledge and emotions together now.
Groningen has become my second home
I feel very good in Groningen. It really has become my second home town. Groningen is very nice to live and really suitable for studying. It has everything that the big city should have, such as the big shopping malls, good traffic, good services in healthcare and food, etc. You will be busy if you live near the city centre because of shopping and enjoying the noisy atmosphere.
But there is more than studies and the city. After classes, my friends and I also take some courses at the ACLO sport centre, which is very near to the university and to where I live.
If you are doubting about choosing your own university, in my opinion, Groningen and Hanze University Groningen are the best choices for studies and enjoying a great student life!