DUBLIN TRIP – HubSpot: where tech and sales come together!

Hubspot company visitOn the second day of the trip to Dublin, our Marketing and Digital Transformation students visited HubSpot; the fast-growing scale-up. The day started by having a tour around the office. This was followed by a presentation about what the company does and how it operates. There was then a demonstration of the platform. But it didn’t stop there! The company representatives guided the students on possible career opportunities and left room for further questions through an informative round table.

Hubspot company visitWe started our visit at HubSpot with a guided office tour! It became immediately clear that they were cozy, a lot of light and dynamic. As it was lunch time not a lot of employees were at their desk, but we could see some nicely decorated ones: action figures at IT, the tiki Hawaiians bar at sales or just desks decorated with inspiring quotes to keep you going throughout the day. We came across the library that directly had a feeling of being at home, break-outs room where you could work more in silence or they even have a nap room! It is true what they say: company culture is everything and we directly felt we would fit in! They also reimburse your tuition, have a free book program and employee resource groups.

An interesting key takeaway is how inbound marketing has changed due to digitalization. HubSpot fully captures this change in marketing and focuses on Attracting the visitors then Delighting the customers and Engage the customers. This to create inbound value. This new way of looking at inbound marketing is important to understand and to capture customers in a digital age. To Attract potential visitors in a digital age digital advertising is being used. To Engage means trying to create leads out of visitors and make them customers. Delighting the customers means to create promotors. To make sure that your customers become actual promotors of your business. The change in inbound marketing in this digital age is very important and it is interesting how HubSpot is able to use their products to help companies capture this new way of inbound marketing.

Hubspot company visitSince HubSpot is rapidly growing and seizing every opportunity they get, the company is continuously hiring. The tech scale-up has great internships and full-time  graduate positions in different fields. For Marketing & Digital Transformation students they offer graduate roles in Sales, Customer Support and Product & Engineering. We had the opportunity to talk with employees in different roles and with different experience levels. They were very open in sharing their journey, success stories and challenges they face on a daily basis. The HubSpot employees also gave us a clear view on relocating to Dublin and life in Ireland. Lastly, we went over the different stages of the application process and how to optimize our chances.
HubSpot’s most important asset are the people! You work together with people who are as motivated and devoted as you are!

 

DUBLIN TRIP – Oracle: The most underrated revolutionary tech giant

On Tuesday the 18th of February we visited the first tech company on the Masters in Marketing & Digital Transformation Dublin trip: Oracle.

Dublin Trip Oracle Company visit

Oracle is an American tech company specialized in database software, cloud engineering and enterprise software products. Oracle operates in a B2B environment and is by consequence less known to the broad public. With a revenue of about $40 billion, they are one of the biggest players in the market. They take much pride in the fact that they are able to integrate all the different departments of their clients. Sales, marketing, operations, finance, IT and customer service, Oracle offers services for each of these departments, enforcing the synergy between them in order to give their clients the best integration possible. We can in fact say, that this is their unique selling proposition.

1. The art of Storytelling

Dublin Trip Oracle Company visitOracle is a well-known name in the B2B industry, however, on a consumer level, not many people are familiar with what exactly they do. In order to familiarize us with the company, we learned about the art of storytelling and the way it can be practically used in many situations, even in the professional ones where you least expect it. For the presentation of Oracle’s offering, an enthusiastic speaker engaged the audience by creating a story which started with introducing how an everyday company can encounter problems with integration between departments and how Oracle solves this issue. In order for us to understand their operations and offering better, volunteers helped out to put everything into context. This presentation was very informative, because we got to see how the art of storytelling has risen in importance and how one of the biggest tech companies helps their clients with integration between all departments.

2. “You can be anything you want to be”

In the second part of the visit, we had the pleasure to learn about the experiences of multiple Oracle employees who are very passionate about the company and eager to share their knowledge with us. It was particularly great to see a Vlerick alumni at the panel who was one of the speakers on that day, but was just a student in the same classrooms as us a few years ago. His story was of great inspiration to use, because we got to see that it is possible to work for one of the big tech companies and progress further up the ladder very quickly if you are devoted to your work. As his manager, pointed out, everyone has the potential to be anything you want to be with the right attitude and it is not really about being the smartest, but having the right growth mindset.

Conclusion

The first company visit of this trip was very informative and inspirational for all students. We found out more about a company that the majority of the public does not know exists. Oracle put a lot of emphasis on storytelling and sales in their presentation, because in their HQ in Dublin sales is their major department. Furthermore, the testimonials of some alumni showed that Oracle offers multiple great career opportunities for young graduates and that they have a great culture that helps the company as well as their employees to grow constantly. We would like to thank Oracle for this great opportunity.

MDT Update – Digital Marketing Campaign

Thursday, 13 February 2020, 22:46 | Category : Masters, Masters in Marketing Management, Vlerick Experience
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As part of the concluding assignments for MDT, before the In Company Projects, during the last weeks of January we presented our Digital Marketing Campaigns. The whole project took 3 months to complete and its clear that both the students and clients, mainly startups and small businesses, are happy with the results.

The assignments were real life cases, with real companies looking for digital consultants. MDT students applied the recently acquired digital knowledge and were able to help and develop the digital strategy for over 10 companies. The strategy included Facebook sponsored posts, Google Ads, LinkedIn ads, SEO audit and even the production of videos to be used over their different platforms.

What’s the best way to learn if not practicing it, right? MDT was able to bring real results to real companies!

Next week the class will go to our Digital Marketing trip, in Dublin, in order to see the companies behind all of this and its clear that we can’t wait to see the behind the scenes.

Check one of the videos created below:

José Vitor (Joe) Corrêa (Masters in Marketing and Digital Transformation – Gent campus)

MIMS European Strategy Trip

Monday, 27 January 2020, 12:32 | Category : Masters
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Last week the MIMS group went on the first European Strategy trip. Early Monday morning we left by bus to visit Eindhoven, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Darmstadt and Luxemburg in only 5 days. We were all prepared to visit some very interesting companies, network with the people there and have an amazing time with our class.

In Eindhoven we visited Signify, a leader in lighting technology. We were all amazed about how lighting can influence our moods, work efficiency and consumer behavior. Palo Alto Networks was the first company we visited in Am sterdam, a cyber security company. For most, cyber security is something they are not familiar with. But I am sure, whether we want to work in a company like this or not, we got some very interesting and useful information to protect us against cybercrime.

Next on the list was Kraft Heinz, which we visited after a short (but fun)
night in Amsterdam. Luckily some delicious cakes were waiting for us for the ones that had a little headache from the night before. We were welcomed by the Sales Director for Belgium, Nike Van Landeghem, a Vlerick Alumni. We had the privilege to listen to some great presentations and got information about their EMEA trainee program. Before leaving for a long ride to Frankfurt we had the opportunity to explore Amsterdam.

 

The next day we left Frankfurt to go visit Merck in Darmstadt. Merck is specialized in Healthcare, Life Sciences and Performance Materials. We had a small bus tour around the grounds and were amazed by its size – it was a village on itself. During lunch we had the opportunity to network with some of its current employees and management trainees. Lunch was also impressive, it was located in an architectural unique building, there were endless buffets and the food was amazing. In the afternoon we went to Lufthansa, where the MIMS students presented their groupworks for sustainability to Lufthansa. We had a tour in the crew area, which was a very cool experience. After this long day we went to a typical German restaurant together with some people of Lufthansa. The food was great – the most amazing Schnitzels, Bratwurst or for the vegetarians Kasespatzle. After a typical German Restaurant, the MIMS group went to a local German bar to round off a tiring but amazing day.

 

 

The following morning, we left for Luxemburg to visit the European Investment Bank, after this we had some time to explore the City. The next and final day the MIMS students presented to Amazon. Vlerick alumnus at Amazon gave a detailed introduction of Amazon and their current work, after which the HR showed the application process. Finally, we went to Pwc, where we had some information about audit and consulting jobs. After tis tiring but learning and most of all fun week it was time to head back to our home campus – Brussels.

MFM at AXA – SOFIA Business Simulation Game

Friday, 22 November 2019, 15:16 | Category : Business Game, Masters in Financial Management
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The 3rd week of November for the Masters in Financial Management was challenging and fun. Vlerick in partnership with AXA Belgium arranged a business simulation game. We were in teams of 5-6 with 3-4 Vlerick students and 1-2 AXA employees. The collaboration of experienced with fresh minds was so much fun, with ideas heating up the decision rounds, as one team had to have the highest share price to win the challenge. We had 2 professors of Vlerick guiding us along the decisions, which ranged from fixing marketing budgets, premium pricing, reinsurance amounts to dividend payout. There were two groups operating in 2 different countries, and each group had a winner. Overall, it was a wonderful learning experience of the insurance industry and business. We might have some MFM students who are considering to start their own insurance business :))

“KNOW YOU CAN” – We have survived yet another hectic week.

 

Anupriya Muppala Sai (Masters in Financial Management – Brussels campus)

 

Vlerick Halloween: Live, Learn, Trick or Treat

Friday, 15 November 2019, 15:31 | Category : Masters
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If you think the admission tests are scary, wait until you see our pictures…

Over the past two and a half months, we were busy with classes, groups assignments, Vlerick clubs, exams, applying for jobs etc. However, we definitely did not forget to have fun – you know the famous saying “work hard, play hard.”

On November 12th (we had to postpone it a bit because of our tight schedule), students of the Leuven campus finished all of this month’s exams, and the best way to celebrate this was… to dress up and celebrate Halloween at the V-Bar! Have a look at our crazy night 😉

Scared yet?

Halloween

HalloweenHalloween

Haiyung (Mandy) Huang (Masters in General Management – Leuven campus)

Our Vlerick journey so far – Masters in Financial Management

Wednesday, 13 November 2019, 15:28 | Category : Masters, Masters in Financial Management
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2nd September 2019 marked the start of a year full of surprises for me and my fellow Masters students in Financial Management. Yet, we had already been warned from to get-go that times would be tough, especially with the increasing number of assignments and exams.

Well, this is just the trailer of an amazing yet a roller coaster ride. We had really intense sessions with our programme director in the early months, followed by leadership seminar at Bovendonk (Nedherlands) where we worked as consultants for Bpost on a problem they were facing.

We had our first career fair in the month of October which gave the students a platter of diverse opportunities. Basically, as Masters students in Financial Management we are hustling between studies, job applications, career fairs, competitions and workshops. As a proud member of the cohort, I’m also happy to share that our group has already bagged many prizes in case competitions.

But what’s up next? We have the AXA Insurance Challenge in the coming week and are currently working on a startup idea in the entrepreneurship lectures. Yes, entrepreneurship for finance students! It’s just an example of what Vlerick is all about: “Building the overall skills of an individual”.

Anupriya Muppala Sai (Masters in Financial Management – Brussels campus)

MGM Berlin Study Trip – Siemens visit

Tuesday, 25 June 2019, 12:47 | Category : Company Visit, International trip, Masters in General Management
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At Vlerick we had the privilege to have an amazing Berlin trip. The subject of the trip was “impossible futures”, and therefore the trip was filled with interesting lectures about the future, and visits to companies who are frontrunners on innovation and research. For every timeslot, we had the choice of a few companies. Siemens Mobility was a very popular choice and the group was filled quite fast.

This is of course because the name Siemens has a certain grandeur among technology companies, and the trains and trams by Siemens are a known transportation mode in Belgium as well. At the company, we got great insights in the way Siemens is preparing itself for the future, with short introductions to multiple ways Siemens is working on innovations. In a one-day workshop, the digitization trends in mobility and the future of rail automation were discussed together.

In the second part of the company visit, we were treated to an in detail look at the locomotive of the future and a lot of our colleagues who chose for other companies were quite jealous when they heard we even had the opportunity to drive a train simulator!

Bernd Keller, ETCS (European Train Control System) Onboard, Retrofit Management, invited us to an inspection of the TC Lina, the Retrofit Test Locomotive. The bright blue locomotive was completely restored some time ago and was equipped with all necessary ETCS components in various installation variants.
We were able to see a live demonstration of how Siemens Mobility can retrofit trains already in service with the latest technology to make them fit for ETCS standards.

A highlight of the day was the ETCS laboratory. Inside the test lab, we had the opportunity to slip into the role of a train driver. The heart of the ETCS laboratory is the realistic setup of a driver’s cab with all the typical controls of a train.
After a brief introduction, we were able to test our skills as train drivers and set off for an independent test run. A small screen shows the field of view from the driver’s cabin.
The train control system ETCS determines information on the speed and position of the train and controls the driving behavior via the driver’s platform display. If, for example, the train’s recommended speed is exceeded, the system warns the driver to adjust the speed via the travel and brake switch. If a station is approached, the system emits a signal to initiate the braking process in time. We were soon able to prove ourselves as passable locomotive drivers.

Long story short: the Vlerick management students took some valuable lessons back to Belgium from Siemens mobility, a visit we will be sure to not forget in the coming years!

(Pictures property of Siemens Mobility DE)

The best month of our lives: Global immersion trip MIMS

With the end of March approaching, all the MIMS students were getting excited to leave for China and Japan. We had a busy schedule planned, going from Beijing to Shanghai to Hong Kong and then leaving for Japan to visit Tokyo and Kyoto. Thanks to Gaia, our program manager, for arranging all the visits we were sure we would experience a very interesting and enriching trip.

We arrived at our first stop, Beijing, where we first took the opportunity to visit the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and enjoyed a local tea tasting before diving into the Chinese business culture. During the first week, we visited Peking University, Hyundai Corporation factory and Innoway Incubator. At the university, we had a lecture by professor Tony Liu and he taught us about Chinese business practices and Confucianism. At Hyundai, we had a tour through the assembly lines in the factory and were faced with the local car market. It was very impressive to see how many cars were produced per day. To see the contrast to a large multinational, we visited Innoway Incubator the same day. In this street, digital start-ups from around the world are welcomed to open an office and they are supported and guided by Innoway in growing their network and knowledge. Artificial intelligence and robotics were omnipresent and we were introduced to a lot of cool features. One robot for example scanned your face and guessed your age, beauty and sex. Next to that, we could run on a treadmill surrounded by cameras and scans and after a few minutes, you received a full analysis of your body, fat percentage, heart rate, physical condition and running method, which could be confronting for some of us 😉 Besides the company visits, we tried traditional dishes like rice, noodles and Peking duck. We fully emerged ourselves into the local culture and we were ready for the next cities to come!

From Beijing we took the night train to Shanghai were we spend an amazing week. While Beijing is more traditional, Shanghai is more a combination of traditional and international, which is very fascinating. It is a city of contrasts in many ways! We visited so many companies of different kinds and one very interesting one was the port of Yangshan. It’s a deep water port that was recently built outside of Shanghai and they have ambitions of becoming the largest container port worldwide. The same day we also got a lecture from Jan Van der Borght, the representative of the Port of Antwerp. He explained us the logistic methods in China and gave some insights in the Chinese business world from a European perspective.

And if you think it cannot get any better, yet it happened by flying to Hong Kong. Despite the crowdedness and the humidity, I think it’s my favourite city! There is a great atmosphere and the dynamism and innovation of the companies and start-ups we visited was overwhelming. One company I liked very much was Diginex, a financial trading start-up. In two years, they have grown so much and their office with a view over the city was impressive, the least to say. During our free time, we went to the local horse races in the middle of the city, enjoyed the local food, went hiking and afterwards rewarded ourselves with some relaxing at the beach. This city was perfect to end our stay on the Chinese continent and get ready for a new cultural chapter: Japan.

Tokyo is a crazy city! The gaming and cartoon culture, the karaoke, the crowdedness in the metros and the streets, the typical intense working culture and the discipline of the locals were an eyeopener for every one of us. We were so happy to discover it all and also that we got the chance to meet students from the Shizenkan Business School. We had lectures and discussion the whole day in small mixed groups and they explained us about the growth of the Japanese economy and their vision on the future. Finally we ended our trip with a 2 night stay in Kyoto, a very beautiful city with a lot of history. We visited a brewery of Sake, the local rice wine and said goodbye to this wonderful trip during a delicious farewell dinner with the entire group.

I am so grateful to have been able to go on this group with our class. It was like a trip with our big family and we learned so much. So I want to say thank you to Vlerick and especially to Gaia for this amazing organisation and letting us experience all these unique moments.

News from the Ocean

On the 16th of March all students, alumni, professors, and faculty joined our Annual event, the Vlerick Gala Ball 2019. The Artcube in Ghent sank into a deep sea of music, food and dancing, and all guests were fully immersed in this year’s “Tales of the Ocean” edition.

The Ball started with an amazing reception and after the greetings and networking were finished, all guest could enjoy a delicious dinner from the Catering Joost De Paepe. The party after brought a lot of surprises: famous DJs, balloons that were falling from the ceiling, flying soap bubbles and hanging jellyfish.

The party is already over but we would love to share with you some great news: thanks to all of you we will donate around € 2700 to Sea Sheperd! Congratulations!

Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Their mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

We would especially like to thank all the sponsors and The Vlerick Ball committee that made the Ball happen:  Julie Van de Voorde, Benoît Masschelein, Hendrik Alliet, Lavinia Soubry, Renée Godyn, Charlotte Lismont, Bob Verbruggen, Gilles Bodart, Pauline Van Hove, Amélie Vandenberghe, Suzanne Ogiers, Anne-Sophie Vermeire, Evelyne De Keukeleire, Manou Nys, Yulia Zhuk, Florence Delcoigne and of course our incredible alumnus Ruben D’Hooghe.

The Ocean is proud of you and thanks you for your support!