Snow day

Monday, 11 December 2017, 19:30 | Category : Masters, Vlerick Experience
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As you might have noticed, it snowed today!

At our Ghent campus we have quite a big garden as well as a pretty large courtyard. That with the additional factor of having just finished an exam meant there was no other option than to go play in the snow! 

At Vlerick we have a diverse class with many different nationalities amongst us.

Some of our classmates have never even seen snow before (except for the other time it snowed but we had a career fair that day so no playing in the snow for us Vlerick peeps back them).

But guess what, today some of us made their very first snowman!

At Vlerick you don’t only learn about business relevant things. You also learn some other crucial aspects that are needed in life such as how to build a snowman. Teaching each other things and creating memories together.

Great right!

So, do you want to build a snowman?

Hope you had as much fun as us today!

Bye bye

Amsterdam study trip

Thursday, 7 December 2017, 8:48 | Category : Company Visit, International trip, Masters, Masters in Financial Management
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Last month, our fresh (or at least some of them still are) batch of MFM students went to Amsterdam, the city of canals, bikes, parties and, well… finance! The well-filled agenda of this day consisted of 3 company visits, of which the first one definitely the most appealing to most: ABN Amro. A handful of employees of its corporate finance department gave the students a warm and direct Holland-like welcome and introduced them to the company and its ample career opportunities, after which they were put in teams and did what they do best: case solving! Using spreadsheet models, groups of 5 students prepared for negotiations in a real-life M&A simulation, during which ABN Amro’s associates and trainees gave them helpful insights and guided them through successful negotiations. Eventually, one team won the M&A game. The prize: two bottles of champagne. Cheers!

In the afternoon, the group visited Optiver, which is a trading room. Forget Wolf of Wall Street-like scenario’s where men in suits shout and curse over telephones and figuratively throw around $ 100 bills. This trading room is nothing like you’ve ever seen (or thought of as) before. Some 100 mathematicians and engineers, having 24/7 access to a ping pong table, a restaurant with a personal chef, a bar and two PlayStation 4’s, wander around a campus-like office in sport shoes, jogging pants and hoodies. For once, our suited-up students felt awkwardly overdressed. After an exciting trading game, an exclusive and brief visit to the trading room and some testimonials from the traders and researchers themselves, our students were rewarded for their attention with nothing less than pizza and beers.

Gilles

Inside the Ghent campus

Tuesday, 21 November 2017, 22:56 | Category : Masters
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The first thing you notice when you visit the Ghent campus is that the building -which is quite old- has been put in a modern jacket. That being said, some of the original structures are still present today. If you have a slight interest in architecture and/or history this is something that will catch your eye. You might even wonder what happened in these corridors all those years ago.

If you have ever visited the campus you will notice that the façade hasn’t changed much over the years. When looking at the photo you can tell that apart from a Vlerick banner and a new door it remained pretty much the same. What went on inside did nevertheless change plenty.

Did you know that the seminary was already active in the sixteenth century? However, it was not till 1905 that they decided to build a new seminar located at ‘de reep‘.

Source: vlerick_alumni instagram

Architects A. Lemeire, A.R. Janssens, O. Bernaert and S. Mortier worked on the project together. Using gothic revival architecture -also known as neogotiek- was evident to them since it had always been associated with the spiritual and religious life during the Middle Ages. So it made sense to use this style to capture that same feeling. The seminar had room for 200 (religious) individuals and had a total surface of 10.448 mwhich was distributed across three floors.

The building was eventually finished in 1914, unfortunately for the seminary this was marked by World War I. The German military occupation named the building the ‘Hohenzollern’ barrack, Ghent residents mockingly decided to name it the ‘hay attic’. In 1918  the Belgian army moved into the building and baptised it as the ‘Albrechtskazerne’.

It was not until 1925 that the seminar could live up to its original purpose. A deal was signed and the priests could finally move into the ‘groot seminarie’ on the first of January in 1926.

Fast forward to the 21st century, 2002 marked the end of the seminary. Sending sons to become priests had become old fashioned and over the years the building became too big for its residents. A new purpose for the building was needed and renovations started in June 2002 by architectural firm Buro II. Minimal changes were made to keep the gothic revival architecture intact but Buro II added some modern and current twists. Ultimately creating the building we see today.

Source: Flickr

If you now enter the campus and walk through the corridors you can still see some parts of the ‘grand seminarie’. Among other things there are the typical arches on the first floor. On the second floor you can see some relics from when the building served as the ‘albrechtskazerne’. The chapel still exists but the only praying that is going on there happens when a difficult exam takes place. A little fun fact about the chapel; it turns out that during those good old days a priest would leave an organ somewhere inside the walls of the chapel. (Unfortunately?) This organ has not yet been found. There is however a pipe organ present which can still be used today.

Want to see all of this in real life? Then come and visit the Ghent campus on our open days and experience the history together with some classes!

Hope to see you there!

Bye bye bye,

Charlien

Cultural Diversity Event

Wednesday, 25 October 2017, 14:40 | Category : Event, International Event, Masters
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On Wednesday 18 October 2017, the masters and FTMBA students brought together their cultures at the Brussels campus: Greece, China, France, Congo, Spain, Finland, Brazil or Korea are only some of the countries represented that day.

It was an evening full of  full of tasty drinks and food, in which Vlerick students, staff and faculty had the chance to celebrate the enriching cultures and the diversity of our School.

To many more editions!

 

 

 

 

 

Vlerick masters

Vlerick masters 2017-2018 kicked-off!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017, 12:57 | Category : Masters
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September is fully back, and for Vlerick Business School, September means the beginning of a new Academic Year.

The 2017-2018 academic year has kicked off with students coming from 34  different countries from all around the globe. They are already immersed in the programmes and attended the first events, including Meet the Corporates and the Opening of the Academic Year with the inspiring keynote speech of Showpad’s CEO ( Louis Jonckheere, Alumnus of the School).

In the coming months, readers will be able to enjoy first-hand experiences from our students by reading this blog so, stay tuned!

Looking forward to a promising year!

Vlerick Masters

JUGGLING ACADEMICS & BUSINESS (2/2)

Wednesday, 24 May 2017, 8:12 | Category : Masters
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Growth hacking is a hot and trendy topic, but we have noticed that not a lot of people are familiar with it – including us. Which is why we created vlogs explaining what growth hacking is, how we are implementing some of its tactics on our consultancy project and how to balance this new phenomenon with traditional academic concepts and methods.

Be aware that this is a series of vlogs. In order to get the whole overview we strongly recommend you to subscribe on our channel (Duval Union Consulting) to stay up-to-date. Enjoy!

Vlog 1: Intro to our Growth Hacking Journey

Now that you’re introduced to growth hacking we’re able to take it a step further. The following vlog will teach you how to come up with the best unique value proposition (UVP) and unique selling proposition (USP) and how to digitally pitch your UVP.

During the upcoming vlogs we will show you how to split test and we’ll take you through the different steps of setting up a go-to-market strategy. Enjoy!

Vlog 2: Growth Hacking, How To Get Started!

Last weeks was all about setting you op to start your growth hacking efforts. However, now we will deep-dive in one particular growth hack called ‘A/B-testing’, or as some like to call it ‘SPLIT-TESTING’. This is mainly done with one goal in mind – improving landing page conversion. In this vlog we’ll take you through our process, how we applied split testing and what the results were. We also discuss a variety of tools to do it yourself and show you how to set up your own A/B test via one of these online tools!

Vlog 3: A/B Split Testing for Improving Landing Page Conversion

Nicolas, Britt and Eline

JUGGLING ACADEMICS & BUSINESS (1/2)

Monday, 22 May 2017, 7:15 | Category : Masters
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Going on an In-Company Project is always an adventure. For us it was no different. I, Nicolas Willemyns (in the middle), together with my teammates Britt Reniers (on the left) and Eline De Meyer (on the right) didn’t take this learning opportunity for granted. Since it’s the cherry on your Vlerick year (or pie if you wish) it is of utmost importance to choose wisely. With this super team consisting of a variety of different backgrounds, ranging from bio-engineering to applied economics, we were fully equipped to take on this specific challenge.

LAST DECEMBER

During your Vlerick year you become extremely skilled in networking. A skill that we used extensively throughout the year and which has definitely paid of during one particular event… the Vlerick Winter Reunion. Last December Minister Alexander De Croo, Prof. Stijn Viane, Mr. Frederik Delaplace and Mr. Jo Caudron discussed subjects such as the digital economy during this reunion.

We got immediately inspired by the vision of Jo Caudron (CEO of Duval Union Consulting). After his keynote and debate, the reception started. Our time to shine we – thought! Between some glasses of champagne we approached Mr. Caudron and after 10 minutes discussing anything related to digital we asked him the inevitable question: ‘do you currently have any project that we could tackle during our consultancy project?’ There we went, hanging between an awkward ‘NO’ and a redeeming ‘YES’. Luckily for us the answer was yes!

TODAY

What we are working on today at Duval Union Consulting is really exciting for us as marketers. We are developing a go-to-market plan in order to successfully launch a SaaS platform. This platform should allow companies to make smarter business decisions. Of course a lot about our project is still confidential, but for what I can say now is, please visit the website we made for our project via the following link: www.trendbase.io.

Furthermore, in order to come up with the most effective launching strategy we’ve been given the assignment to find the right balance between new marketing trends, such as growth hacking, and traditional academic methods. This is not an evident thing to do. It requires constant reflection on our daily activities, intermediate presentations and continuous learning. The latter brings us to another adventure. Duval Union Consulting bought us tickets to participate in a renowned event called Hack Belgium.

This event allowed us to immerse ourselves into extremely educative concepts and methods. We followed workshops on lean digital product development, business canvas modelling and learned how to draw like an artist. The fun didn’t stop there. We also raced with drones and fought side by side during VR games. In short, a head start for our consultancy project.

What should you take away from this post?

  1. Be bold enough to take the lead
  2. Be open and try to see opportunities in everything
  3. Be aware, success between academics & business lies in the middle

Interested in getting to know even more about growth hacking, our in-company project, launching a SaaS platform or simply wanting to more about us? Then we suggest you to subscribe to our vlogs!

Nicolas, Britt and Eline

From Bali to Belize, from Santiago de Chile to Shanghai

It’s the beginning of May, and in Vlerick terms that means just one thing: the start of our ICP projects. In case you never heard of this monster, it’s Vlerick slang for our “In-Company Consultancy Project” and is really just a fancy word for a two-month intensive internship. You might wonder, though, what exactly are we master students asked to do during these two full months?

Work hard, or travel hard?

Content-wise it all depends on your own topic and the business you end up in, but for everyone the overall lay-out is the same: in two months you gain more insight in the company you work for and the problem or project you are assigned to, so as to provide innovative insights about potential solutions to a current opportunity. The great thing about an ICP is that you can work in really interesting and even off-the-beaten-track locations, networks, and fields of industry.

As a MIMS student, I am just one of the students who has been sent across the globe. My fellow colleagues can momentarily be found in the city of Brooklynn, the jungle of Belize or Lima, the hotpot of Santiago de Chile, the megacity of Shanghai (24 million inhabitants!), the relaxing mountains of Switzerland, Bangkok, Vietnam, Swaziland, Tanzania, Budapest, Bali and more. It is a life-changing experience, especially if you’re able to spend the two full months at your dream destination.

I myself can only speak of my own experience, which is as diverse as the night sky of Shanghai (which ranges from yellowish, to purple, to orange, back to smog, and some hints of lilac; yet everything but black). It’s a city that must grow on you, or rather: the Chinese have to grow on you. However, after a week of deep culture shock, I really start to enjoy the rapid changes and heated lifestyle of this Chinese megacity.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor shanghai china

Administration can be a burden, and getting a visa is just a straight PITA, yet it’s nonetheless fascinating to see how fast new ideas can set off or how crazy a city can grow just because millions of millions of people set the radars going every day again. It’s buzzing, it’s never asleep, and once you realize the only way to go about is to let go with the flow. And, you know, it’s a motivating business stream to swim into.

What adds to this exciting experience is, of course, our project we’re working on. As a start-up, Createc Digital Ltd., is at the digital heart of Chinese online marketing and business development. Our project called Shake To Win is about a bright new platform on WeChat (which is the Facebook + Instagram + Twitter + PayPal + WhatsApp of China = it’s everything!) for Chinese tourists who wish to discover “secret spots” – be that local bars, experiences, fashion and design fairs, food halls, … — in Europe while traveling there. Could I ever have imagined working in Shanghai while connecting with Paris, London, and Rome? No. Do I like it? Hell yes!

Above all, it’s fun to realize that you can actually really start exploiting all the knowledge you learned in the past year. The theoretical frameworks we saw, we now apply; and the insights we attained, we can now induce. Working together with friends, above all, is the greatest fun. And why not in a city that goes beyond any imagination, and that pulls you abruptly out of your comfort zone?

 

Cheers,

Elien

IMEx experience

Monday, the 10th of April. After a week in Berlin, visiting start-ups and enjoying each other’s company, it was time for a little competition. This competition, otherwise known as IMEx (short for Integrated Management Exercise) makes you turn around a toy manufacturer that was recently hit by a fire. It brings together everything you’ve learned in the past year ranging from Operations to HR to Financial management. It consists of 12 rounds spread over one week, each representing a quarter, where you have to score as high as possible on three different metrics: Profit, People and Planet. The team who scores the highest on all of them, goes home with the prize and gains infinite Vlerick glory. Interesting detail though is that each team was joined by a financial wizard from the Masters in Financial Management.

Quarter 1, and the first thing you have to do is incredibly important… Choosing what we would call our company. After an intense brainstorm session, we came to a name for our company: Bert Smit. (no you did not read that wrong).

Now, in all seriousness, our company was making a loss and burning cash so something needed to be done and fast. A timer was ticking away valuable seconds while you were trying to estimate the market demand, the production capacity and employees needed while not forgetting marketing and R&D. It was only after the 3rd quarter everybody (including us) was finally break-even.

4th quarter, and it was time for supplier negotiations. Do you go for the very cheap yet unsustainable and less qualitative supplier? Or for the more expensive yet high-quality and sustainable award-winning one? How much price reduction can you negotiate? You have to do this while still making the same decisions as in the previous round, with the addition that you now also have access to the US market. Everything was time-intensive but Bert Smit was finally turning a nice profit.

7th quarter, the one everybody dreaded: labour union negotiations. In this quarter, a person from another team comes to you and plays the role of labour union. You get 3 rounds to come to an agreement with every round meaning one month that production is halted because of a strike. Your company is making a profit, but is still feeble so you want to get this over with as soon as possible.

The last quarters, competition between Bert Smit, Skynet, Styx and the other companies was getting ever fierce. With the finish in sight everybody was investing, spending money on training and turning out dividends to score as high as possible on Profit, People and Planet. Not only that, marketing efforts were increased to gain the attention of the Board of Directors (aka the professors and their assistants).

After the final quarter everybody was eagerly awaiting the results. Bert Smit scored highest on Profit but lagged somewhat behind in the People and Planet department. No time to lose, because now you had to prepare a presentation for the Board of Directors, explaining them how you managed to turn around the company and what the plans were for the future. This presentation, together with your score on the 3 P’s would decide whether you were the winner of IMEx.

Drumrolls please… And the winner is… Styx! with Bert Smit unfortunately coming in close second. Congratulations to the winning team and Vlerick glory will be forever theirs.

IMEx was an amazingly interesting experience. It brought together everything you had seen so far and even though it was just “a game”, it really felt like you’re trying to run a company. Great thanks to the professors and their assistants for making this possible and highly recommend doing it again next year.

Thanks for reading!

Thomas

MGM 2017

M3 2017 Trip To Dublin

On Valentine’s Day M3 left on their long awaited study trip to Dublin. Up first was a visit to the Digital Department of Oracle. Here, we were inspired by Alan Lawless. He welcomed the group and passionately explained Oracle’s value proposition. Up next we had a networking session, a session about data-driven marketing and a session about the new landscape of selling. This first day was finished off with a tour of the Oracle office. In the evening, we had dinner with the entire group at The Market Bar, which was a great treat.

On Wednesday, bright and early, a visit to Microsoft was scheduled. We were welcomed and briefly presented ourselves in 1 minute with 1 object. Subsequently we got an interesting introduction into Microsoft. After this, we participated in an interactive quiz and got a Microsoft Device Demo. After a short break, Vlerick alumni and MACH candidates (Microsoft Academy of College Hires) shared their experience with us. It was really nice to see their enthusiasm for the company!

In the afternoon we moved on to Enterprise Ireland. After a short introduction about who EI is and what they do, we received some coaching on the case we prepared for the agency Rothco. Some fine-tuning was necessary but then it was time to pitch our idea. It was the first time we presented our ideas to an agency, which made it a very valuable experience. Wednesday evening was then time for a party as our class motto is #workhardplayhard.

On Thursday, we walked to the Google offices. We got a guided tour, followed by a session on the different Google tools. We also got to talk to young employees and their recruitment experience. After the obligatory group picture, we walked back to the B&B. In the evening, we went to a bar where we were introduced to the marketing management students of Trinity College.

The official program was finished on Friday. However, Vlerick gave us the option to fly back on Sunday. As such, we used this opportunity to go hiking in Howth, go sightseeing in Dublin and, of course, party more ;-).

Thanks for watching and reading!

Gabrielle
M3 2017