Our visit to AB InBev’s headquarters in Leuven

Friday, 19 November 2021, 11:33 | Category : Masters
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Most of us have had at least one of AB InBev’s famous beers, such as Stella Artois, Jupiler, Budweiser, Corona, and my personal favorite, Modelo; but if you have not AB InBev it’s a global brewer company that sells their products around the world and we had the opportunity to have closer look to their operations!

Tour of company’s brewery

As part of our investment research assignment on AB InBev, our entire MFM group got the opportunity to visit AB InBev’s office in Leuven. The goal of our visit was to learn more about the company, understand its operations, planned projects, and ask questions on topics we considered would be useful when evaluating the company. The start of our visit started by a tour of the company’s brewery.

The day began with a tour to the company’s brewery, which produces a variety of beers such as Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, and Jupiler. We were able to follow the history of AB InBev from its beginnings to the present day thanks to this tour. We then took a closer look at the brewing process. Without doubt one of the highlights of the visit was the tasting. Indeed, at the end of our tours we were able to sample various varieties of beers. We were also given gifts bags containing different types of beers, non alcoholic and alcoholic ones. The second half of our visit was a business briefing that included themes such as investor relations, ESG, and debt. This kind of briefing came in handy as we will be writing our sell-report on the company. Furthermore, all hosts were friendly and eager to answer our burning questions.

Overall Experience

Overall, we had a wonderful time touring the AB InBev headquarters. It was not only informative but also enjoyable. Despite the fact that the company is a global brand, we were pleased to observe that its roots are still firmly planted in Leuven, its birthplace. When going about the city, one may perceive such a relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start of an entrepreneurial journey

Wednesday, 30 June 2021, 16:19 | Category : In-Company Projects, Masters, Masters in Innovation & Entpreneurship
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Hello everyone, we are Nathan and Oscar. We are currently enrolled in the Masters in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and have been working on our start-up Thirty5 over the past few months.

How it started

We came up with Thirty5 by discovering that the disposable camera market was booming again. However, there were many disadvantages related to the use of disposable cameras, such as plastic waste, convenience, price and so on. Taking all of this into account, we believed we could do a better job and we started working on an idea to create the modern version of the disposable camera with a mobile application.

How it’s going…

Starting up our own company has been a journey of many challenges. For example, when we needed to decide on how to develop the application, we came across different alternatives. We considered developing it ourselves, working with other students, outsourcing, etc. After weighing all the possible options, we chose to partner up with the app studio Nightborn. Nightborn was a perfect fit as it was very important to us to find a partner that believed in co-creation and was willing to challenge us from a business perspective as well.

During the ICP period, Vlerick offered us the opportunity to work on our start-up full time, with the guidance and support of our coaches. This allowed us to really make big steps on many aspects, such as market research, setting up a legal entity, and working on the UI/UX of our mobile application for example. The alumni network also made sure that we could benefit from the experience of previous groups.

What’s next?

We are currently organizing a reward-based crowdfunding in order to test our product-market fit and to lower the capital that needs to be raised to finish the back-end development of the app. By participating in our crowdfunding, people can already buy film rolls in advance at launch prices instead of the prices when we go live. This is an incentive to the early backers to already purchase some of our film rolls now. You can find the crowdfunding on: https://nl.ulule.com/thirty5/

After a hopefully successful crowdfunding campaign, we’ll be ready to officially kick off the summer with the launch of Thirty5, so that everyone can use our app to capture their favorite summer memories!

 

Graduation Challenge: cast your vote now!

Wednesday, 9 June 2021, 15:43 | Category : Graduation, Masters, Vlerick Experience
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Who will win the Graduation Challenge 2021? You decide! Check out the videos made by our Masters capturing their year at Vlerick and vote for your favorite one on YouTube. The video with the most likes on YouTube (genuinely acquired likes only) will win the Graduation Challenge 2020.

👇 Take a look at the videos below and cast your vote now!

Masters in Financial Management

Masters in General Management Ghent

Masters in General Management Leuven and Masters in Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Masters in International Management & Strategy

Masters in Marketing & Digital Transformation

Our In-Company project at Neuhaus: a quick update!

It has already been four weeks that Alexandre, Guillaume and I kicked off our ICP at Neuhaus. We started without expectations about how it would go: what will we learn? Will we have a lot of contact with Neuhaus, as everything is online? Will we receive a lot of freedom? How is the culture at Neuhaus? Will we meet a lot of people in the company? So, the first day we were really excited to find out answers to all those questions.

All those questions quickly disappeared, as we immediately felt a good connection with Tim, our supervisor from Neuhaus. He immediately explained the project and what he expected from us. Moreover, we would have a weekly meeting to discuss our progress and questions we might have. After that first meeting my team and I were very excited and wanted to start immediately, as the project is so valuable and interesting.

We started by interviewing customers and experts to expand our knowledge. Moreover, we were wondering if our image of a Neuhaus customer was actually relevant and close to reality. Therefore, we worked in a Neuhaus shop for one day and gained a lot of new insights. Last, we have been able to talk to many Neuhaus employees: from data science to customer complaints and graphic design.ICP Neuhaus

We can not put in words how thankful we are for all those opportunities and information we received so far and how impressive the culture is. Even though we will only be working there for 2 months, we already feel part of the team and feel how excited everyone is. The atmosphere is open with a lot of respect for everyone and of course the drive to deliver great results. The same sense of culture can also be found with our mentor from Vlerick, Frank Goedertier. We discuss every step of the process with him and he is able to provide us with good tips and insights as well.

This week, we are already halfway through the project and delivered our midterm presentation. This included our findings of the market research and our recommendations for the project.

We are excited to start the last part of our ICP and Vlerick!

Written by Lara Barrezeele (current student Masters in General Management)

ICP Neuhaus

Sports Business & Digital Innovation boot camp

Friday, 26 March 2021, 16:35 | Category : Bootcamp, Masters, Vlerick Experience
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My Marketing & Digital Transformation journey is reaching its final – more tailored – phase. The past three weeks I dived into the world of Innovation & Digital Transformation in Sports Business with Professors Philippe BaeckeFrank Goedertier. We were pleased to welcome and learn from top professionals within the sports industry: Prof. Kenneth Cortsen (University College of Northern Denmark & Aarhus University), Bob Madou (Club Brugge), Willem Standaert (HEC Liège) and Niels Famaey (WAVE Agency).

Sports Business & Digital Innovation boot camp

We had the chance to pitch strategic sponsor partnerships for Félix Denayer, one of the Red Lions’ key players in their quest for gold in Tokyo 2021 – and Tessa Wullaert, the leading lady in Belgian Football. We were put into the driver seat as a Wave Agency strategist. Bringing together the values of an empowering lifestyle brand with the values and characteristics of these top athletes.

Sports Business & Digital Innovation boot camp
Sports Business & Digital Innovation boot camp
Next, we visited my beloved KAA Gent where alumnus Tyas Kastelijn gave us insights into how they lead this top football club from a commercial side. Next, we got introduced to the KAA Gent Foundation by Wim Beelaert and their beautiful mission to make my hometown a better place for all and inspire other cities/clubs. In the business seats of the beautiful Ghelamco Arena we elaborated on 2 challenges and prepared for pitches. Winning a limited Ghent shirt prize was the cherry on the cake of what was an exciting day.

Sports Business & Digital Innovation boot camp

Last but not least we focused on a Flanders Classics challenge for CEO Tomas Van Den Spiegel: the revival of Team Time Trial. He believes the format has huge potential and he trusted our input in sport technical, women’s race, Marketing, Data and Financial matters. My team elaborated on an in-stadium concept that would pioneer a payed fan experience in the world of cycling. We are very curious to see which of our ideas will result into practice in the near future.

Sports Business & Digital Innovation boot camp

Now, I’m ready to devote myself to my In-company Consultancy Project: a digital transformation challenge for Neuhaus, the top Belgian Chocolatier. Exciting times ahead!

Written by Henri Wuyts, current Masters student in Marketing & Digital Transformation

European Strategy Tour 2021

Tuesday, 16 March 2021, 7:40 | Category : Masters
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In January the Master’s in International Management and Strategy had the European Strategy Tour. Originally planned in Luxemburg, Germany and the Netherlands, this year’s edition had to be moved to an online setting for quite obvious reasons. But as a famous citation says: “Never waste a good crisis”, this year allowed the MIMS class to “travel” to much more European countries.

 

We were able to feel the sun of Barcelona with an insightful session in the offices of SAP where we had the chance to get to know their famous ERP system and how SAP acts as a strategic partner towards their customers. We then travelled to snowy Switzerland where we could get a glance of what it was to work at Google in their offices in Zurich. We then flew all the way to Germany where we had two very interesting sessions on the future of mobility. The first one was given by Volocopter where we first had to work on a case on their newly developed Volodrone that would ease the logistics in sectors such as agriculture and health before they could explain how their solution of autonomous drones would revolutionize the transport of passengers in densely populated areas. The second session in Germany was given by BMW and their view on the future of mobility and how we could take part in it. We then had two challenging strategy consulting sessions with Corporate Value Associates and KPMG where we had the opportunity to work real life cases in smaller breakout rooms.

European Strategy Tour 2021: Attending Companies

11 sessions and countless hours after, we can confidently say that this special format or the European Strategy Tour really opened our eyes to different industries and companies. It allowed us to significantly grow our network with various top executives from renowned companies but also to bond with Vlerick alumini during the alumni night where MIMS students could get a view of where previous Vlerick students were now working, which was truly inspiring.

 

With this, we’d like to thank the programme director, management, career services and all others thar were part of the organization of this two-week virtual tour.

Gaming & Esports elective: Game on!

Thursday, 4 March 2021, 17:41 | Category : Electives, Vlerick Experience
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In the final week of our electives at Vlerick Business School, we (Marvin Kaunda, Simon Decock, Lucas Verhoustraeten and Michaël Martens) got the opportunity to participate in the brand-new gaming elective, together with a limited group of students. This group had both gaming enthusiasts as well as those who rarely play a game in it but were all willing to learn something new.

Following the Covid-measures strictly, the group met on-campus where Prof. Bjorn Cumps guided us through the theory behind a game. Going from an introduction (‘What is a Game?’) to the Business models and ecosystems behind it.

He was joined by a vast array of guest speakers who each brought their expertise and learnings from a specific view. Jeroen Janssen from Happy Volcano introduced us into the game development trajectory and the business models and choices behind a successful game.

Joris De Coninck

Michiel Houwen (Operations Manager at DAE Studios: Game Technology Accelerator) introduced us to the learning perspective: ‘How can we train new talent and create a vibrant ecosystem here in Belgium?’ Next up were Nicolas Hulsmans (Co-Founder at Dexerto) with the community perspective, Birger de Geyter on marketing and gaming, Axel Gekiere  on the influencer aspect and Frederik on professional gaming analytics.

The fact that all these speakers had a distinct viewpoint gave us a 360°-view on the gaming industry going from industry applications to professional esports.

Finally, Joris de Koninck (Co-Founder Kayzr.com and StriveCloud.io) shed a light on automated gamification software whereas Tim Dierckxsens (CEO, Co-Founder at Arkane Network) presented us to blockchain in gaming. The fact that all these speakers had a distinct viewpoint gave us a 360°-view on the gaming industry going from industry applications to professional esports.

However, the elective was not over yet. Time for applying hands-on learning by making our very own game! Our main protagonist slidey cube slides his way through a 3D world trying to squeeze himself into holes in the walls. With a final presentation we surely hope to have convinced our peers of investing in our breakthrough game design.

Games & Esports elective

Games & Esports electiveTo summarize, an intense 1 week elective took us on a 360-journey through the gaming world, aided by Prof. Bjorn Cumps and an army of guest speakers. They taught us on business models and ecosystems but also on influencer marketing and blockchain. However, we’re convinced much more is to learn and are eager to apply gamification in a business context or even venture into gaming ourselves.

Written by Marvin Kaunda, Simon Decock, Lucas Verhoustraeten and Michaël Martens (current Masters in International Management & Strategy and Masters in General Management)

Looking back on a successful online Career Fair

Friday, 26 February 2021, 13:48 | Category : Career Event, Masters
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This February, at Vlerick Business School all students had the ability to attend a Online Career Fair! That was an opportunity to communicate with potential employers and to find a vacancy of interest.

At first, after logging in, the students appeared in the digital space where he or she could see which companies are participating in the February Career Fair. When clicking on the Exhibit Hall, there was a possibility to read the information about each company and see which open vacancies they currently have.

Online Career Fair

Online Career FairDuring the day, the companies organized webinars, where students could ask any questions they had.

Students were able to choose a chat of interest on the list after clicking on the Webinar schedule.

Another very interesting and important feature of the Virtual Career Fair that enabled our students to network with companies – the chat function! Students could chose any company or several companies from the list and enter a chat room. They were able to ask a question openly in a group chat, write a message to company representatives privately, or even have a call with them. That enabled students to get to know a specific company better and to network with company employees from different industries.

The Online Career Fair was an ideal opportunity for students to keep in touch with companies during COVID-19 times. A very useful tip for students attending future Fairs: enter as many chats of the companies you are interested in as possible, that will enable company representatives to start a conversation with you first.

Daria Yuklyaeva (current Masters student in Marketing & Digital Transformation ).
Click here if you want to chat directly with me >

How we took on the Investment Research Challenge… with success!

Monday, 22 February 2021, 18:06 | Category : Masters in Financial Management, Vlerick Experience
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With global markets in turmoil, a global pandemic wreaking havoc across industries and an unprecedented level of uncertainty for future outlooks, this years´ Investment research challenge at Vlerick was exactly what it depicts; a true challenge. 

In late September 2020, we were introduced with this years´ choice Kinepolis, a global cinema operator. The extensive project enabled its participants to immediately put into action what we were discussing during our courses in a real-world scenario. The participants were analyzing financial statements, elaborating strategic implications, interpreting impact of news and made sure to know every detail of the enterprise by heart. All that flowed into the keystone of the project: the valuation of the company´s target price.

Since our group did not have experience with financial modeling and capital budgeting outside of the classroom, this posed the biggest hurdle to our team. It took us several days and nights and extensive discussions with helpful peers to finally conclude a valuation with both multiples and an extensive Discounted cashflow model (DCF) that represents all the information, scenarios, sensitivities and assumptions we have gathered over the course of months. We would like to reiterate how grateful we are to our colleagues of the 2021 Financial Management master for reaching out and helping us despite having an extensive workload themselves.

Several months of extensive qualitative & quantitative research and analysis along several night shifts have proven to be worth it all the way.

All of that work enabled us to author a sell-side analyst report which we would not have been able to do a few months before. Another nerve wrecking part was the live presentation of our results to a jury of experts as well as Kinepolis’ CFO Nicolas De Clercq in mid January 2021. Several months of extensive qualitative & quantitative research and analysis along several night shifts have proven to be worth it all the way.

We would like to thank our peers of 2021 MFM, Natalia Matanova, Ph.D. Kerstin Fehre, and Wouter De Maeseneire for granting us the possibility of deep-diving into a company, whose industry was severely impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, but continues to prove how agile capital management, strong stakeholder communication and a resilient growth strategy can be effective measures to survive the on-going pandemic.

IRC Group 1B (MFM21)

Investment Research Challenge

René Höwelkröger, Charlotte Cnockaert, Victor Berthet, Jesus Molinos, Mohith Dayananda (current Masters students in Financial Management)

Recap: The Vlerick Boardroom Series

Friday, 5 February 2021, 13:40 | Category : Career Event, Vlerick Experience
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Boardroom Series

Last week, Vlerick offered us the opportunity to meet up online with some top entrepreneurial leaders who are a member of the Vlerick Board or Vlerick General Council. For this Recap, I have gathered quotes and key takeaways from the participants. It was wonderful to learn from these passionate and skilled leaders, we all got energised to pursue our future goals and are eager to connect with the extended Vlerick network.

Hi Daphne (current MGM student), how was your meeting with Frans Muller (President & CEO, Ahold Dehlaize)?

Frans Muller inspired us with the story of his incredible career path. He gave us his insights into how to select the right career opportunities and shared with us that he still gets very motivated every single day to work hard. I learned that, when looking for challenges, you need to determine for yourself some criteria that need to be met by the challenge. Only when multiple of those factors are met, you have to take the risk and go for a next career challenge!

Frans Muller

 

Hi Dries (current MIE student), can you tell us something about your meeting with Louis Jonckheere (Co-Founder Showpad)? 

Louis JonckheereThe positivity for the future was remarkable, thanks to his inspirational vibe, he strengthened my entrepreneurial fire even more! Let’s solve problems & let’s get down to business.

“Based on his own experience, Louis pointed out that self-confidence and motivation are key to success.” Charly (current MIE student)

Thanks again for sharing your inspiring story with us, Louis (Co-Founder Showpad)! Could you explain why it is important for you to attend these kind of events?

The Vlerick community has given me so much over the last 10 years when building my entrepreneurial career, I want to give back and pay it forward to the next generation of talented and driven business leaders.

And how about you Stefano (current MIMS student), how was your meeting with Kristine De Valck (Professor Marketing, HEC Paris)? 

Hi Thijs, it was a nice chat with her. I am glad that I have participated, because we discussed extensively about how to tackle the job market and the key differences in teaching style between HEC and Vlerick. As key takeaway, I would say the following:

“The chat with Kristine De Valck reinforced my confidence in approaching the job market in such a turbulent time”. Stefano (current MIMS student)

Hi Grégoire (current MIE student), how was your meeting with Herman Daems (Chairman Board of Directors, BNP Paribas Fortis)?

Insights from the boardroomHey Thijs, it was interesting! Firstly, he thinks that bank agencies have to change what they do, since normal banking is done automatically at home. Banks should move more to “private banking” services.

Secondly, there was no real big stock market crash, despite the real economy being slowed down in Covid-times. This is actually normal, since it is not like a war, both the supply and the demand haven’t moved that much. The economy should restart fast, once the restrictions are gone. On top of that, due to the lower interest rates, it is easier for big companies to finance themselves, so their value increases.

“Try to provide cash from yourself, before going for help from banks and other investors”. Arrya (current MIE student)

What about you, Eva (current MGM student)? How did you experienced your meeting with Herman Daems?

We talked about the content from his book: ‘Insights from the Boardroom’, (‘Geheimen van de bestuurskamer’). It is a must-read to learn more about corporate governance, the past and future from (international) Boardrooms. The critical analysis of the function of a board of directors is broadly explained in the book, and foresees unique insights by the expert, Herman Daems.

And last, but certainly not least, Jacques (current MIE student) shared the favourite poem from Rudy Provoost (Founder, Managing Director, YQUITY)The road not taken