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 and 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

How knowledge from the past supports the future

Thursday, 4 February 2021, 13:54 | Category : Career Event, Event, Vlerick Experience
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“Learning from your mistakes, people appreciate that.” That is exactly what Mr. Frans Muller, CEO of Ahold Delhaize, told us during the Boardroom Series. Using old knowledge to pursue your goals in order to make a difference. One hour later we elaborated further on this “future success” topic with Mr. Louis Jonckheere, Vlerick alumnus and co-founder of Showpad. Looking into the future, he advised us to “Continuously look up. I want to get to that level.” Not only did we talk about how to move ahead as a young entrepreneur. They also both shared how they walk the talk in their own careers.

Frans advised our current generation to: “Do not be afraid, making mistakes gives you energy to learn from. Create your own goal, your own purpose. What can I do so nobody gets left behind?” While doing so: “Successful entrepreneurs have an ethical compass, personally I want to contribute to a healthier society. A better chain called responsibility.”

Frans Muller, CEO of Ahold Delhaize

Louis his advice for our current Vlerick students was to: “Ask yourself what are your superpowers? Make things happen, take initiative. I started a business to rent out karaoke machines. Vlerick pushed me out of my comfort zone but they also put me in the position to elevate myself.”

Personally, I conclude that your goal will become more clear once you take the initiative to move forward. While doing so make sure you act right. Or as Louis would describe it: “Be persistent – be insane – be willing – be driven and the believe in the vision keeps you going. Vlerick is the best time to start a business.”

Louis Jonckheere, Showpad

Written by Dries De Mey (current Masters in Innovation & Entrepreneurship student)

Meeting up with top entrepreneurial leaders during Vlerick Boardroom Series

Recently, we (Gijs Kriger, Jens Jacob, Gilian Verschooten, Stephan Verhelst and myself) got the opportunity to meet up with Mr. Frank Donck in the context of meeting a Board member of Vlerick Business School. Frank Donck is a Masters in Financial Management alumnus from Vlerick and currently is managing director of the private equity firm 3d investors. Mr. Donck is member of various Boards of listed companies (Atenor, Barco, Elia, Luxempart and KBC) and non-listed firms. He is also vice-chairman of Vlerick Business School and a member of Belgium’s Corporate Governance Commission. Quite a list, and since we had only one hour with him, we couldn’t wait to start asking our questions.

We met up with Mr. Frank Donck in the context of meeting a Board member of Vlerick Business School.

We kicked off the evening by introducing ourselves and asking what the usual route into Private Equity (PE) is, by either doing PE internships first or by gaining experience in investment banking or consulting. Mr. Donck answered that he has seen multiple different routes into PE (direct, as an analyst, through investment banks or through functions at larger corporates) but that it is important, when making those choices, to be passionate about what you do and not force yourself in a certain track or industry (life is too short to do unpleasant things deliberately).

You have to accept that not everything will be perfect

When we asked Mr. Donck about how he manages to handle high expectations and pressure in combination with a family, he told us that it is of the utmost importance that your family life is in balance, that you have lots of help and that there is give and take. You have to accept that not everything will be perfect. Or as the French say: le mieux est parfois l’ennemi du bien.  It is extremely difficult to manage crises in your professional and personal life at the same time.

It is very important to accept that your career will have ups and downs.

Mr. Donck also told us that failure and success are sometimes not far away from each other. He gave us an example of the time when he was chairman in the Board of Telenet. In 2002, the company was in financial distress and on the verge of bankruptcy. Three years later in 2005, the company went public and it was perceived as a success story. This shows how stories about success can quickly be seen as fairy tales, but it’s sometimes worth adding some nuance.  In this respect, it is very important to accept that your career will have ups and downs.  You just have to keep going in the understanding that this will happen. You don’t get to hear the stories that turn out badly nor what risks have been taken to achieve success.

Our hour was over in no time and we quickly took a picture at the end of our talk to remember this moment. We are grateful for this opportunity and we would like to thank all Vlerick staff involved for making this happen. We would also like to thank Mr. Donck for making some time for us and sharing his insights and wisdom with us.

boardroom series

Boardroom Series with Mr. Frank Donck

Written by Karel De Potter (current Masters in Financial Management student)


Beursrally: MFM students compete in virtual investment competition boosting team & competitive spirit

The Beursrally/Rallye Boursier is a virtual investment competition organized by the Belgian newspaper that mainly focuses on business and economics, De Tijd (Mediafin). This challenge lasts from the 16th of November until the 22nd of January. The goal? Choose the right investment portfolio with a budget of 50k to achieve as many gains as possible on the stock market. The rally provides an option to compete within a team against one another. This year the competition held over 30.825 participants, of which almost 7000 are students. The players are aged between 18 and 94. One of our Masters in Financial Management (MFM) students, Gijs Kriger, had the idea to start an internal competition within the Masters in Financial Management at Vlerick Business School.

The competition has been going steady for a couple of weeks and the final countdown is getting closer. The participating students and professors have chosen vastly different portfolios, which of course is visible in the results of the players. The leading player, Camil Boukari, has already gained returns of over 12k, whilst we have other players who have ended up making losses as well. It all depends on the risk the players are willing to take to become part of the victorious.

The Beursrally competition has really fired up the competitive spirit within the MFM students. To continue this pleasant rivalry, the founder of the competition keeps us informed about the state of the competition. These past few weeks Gijs Kriger has taken it unto himself to send us weekly updates about the competition. He mentions some interesting people from the leaderboard, highlights some of the investment strategies, and discusses different portfolios chosen by the students who are engaged. This weekly update has shown to be quite popular around campus, with everyone looking forward to a new informative update.

beursrally mfm update

Read the final edition of the Vlerick Times (click on image above)

Yasmine: The Beursrally is a very popular subject amongst the students right now. It has gotten a lot of people invested in the stock market and they seem to be actually enjoying the learning process as well. Is this something you foresaw, or how did you come about organizing this Beursrally?

Gijs: I participated in the competition last year, as well. For me personally, it was a very insightful experience and a great introduction to trading. During these COVID times, I also felt the need to make sure our master’s in financial management class was still engaging with one another. As such, I came up with the idea to organize something for which I could combine my interest in participating in the challenge again, whilst also boosting unity within our class. This rally is not part of our official curriculum, so the students get time to bond and learn out of the school context. Another driving factor was the low need for time in this rally. I realized last year; the competition does not take up more than a couple of minutes each day. An ideal combination, especially with the famously packed program the students of the financial master have.

Yasmine: Being one of the participants of the competition, I can definitely vouch for that. It does not take up too much time, it is more so a slow learning process spread over the weeks. Of course, it might not have been time-consuming for us, the participants, but for you, as an organizer, a lot of work must have gone into this project.

Gijs: Correct. Especially in the beginning, I had to set up a lot of stuff. I contacted several professors to ask whether they had any interest in joining the competition. I asked Vlerick Professor of Financial Services, Simon Ashby, to give a lecture, a sort of ‘investment strategies for dummies’. This lecture ended up being rather fruitful as well. Students took the given advice into consideration and did actually invest in Moderna and Pfizer as was suggested in the lecture. I also made sure my classmates got very excited about the competition, which I continued to do. That is the reason why I keep making weekly updates, it keeps everyone engaged. I must also admit that secretly I also like making the updates.

Yasmine: This weekly update you give, can you give me some information about the contents and how you came about them?

Gijs: Well, as I mentioned before they exist to keep the competitive beast in all of us alive. The update I provide is also rather short, it is a quick read, with only relevant information present. To add a little bit of extra spice, I decided to upgrade the formatting of my weekly updates. It looks a lot more appealing than a plain email.

Yasmine: Thank you very much Gijs. I think on behalf of the entire MFM class I can kindly mention that we all appreciate your efforts very dearly.

Sales Club Competition 2020-2021

Last week, we (Ann-Sophie Rottée and Florence Vandecaveye) had the opportunity to participate in the online edition of the Vlerick Business School Sales Club Competition. In the first round of this sales simulation, we took the role of an account manager at Hilti trying to convince our buyer of the value of their ON!Track product. In the final round, six of us competed against each other with as ultimate goal to close the deal.

We were prepared by the Sales Club through various sales workshops. Additionally, Hilti made time for a Q&A session about the product. During the competition we were pushed to our limits with challenging questions to test our abilities to improvise and stay calm.

It was a great learning experience and it definitely drove the sales skills of all Sales Club members to the next level!

Vlerick Sales Club Competition

We are proud to announce that as a winner (Ann-Sophie Rottée) and runner-up (Florence Vandecaveye) we will represent Vlerick Business School at the European Sales Competition later this year in Finland. We are very much looking forward to this experience!

We would like to thank Wendy Lisarde (Senior Carreer Advisor at Vlerick), Kimberly Pauwels (In-Company Projects Coordinator at Vlerick), Barney Jordaan (Vlerick Professor of Management Practice: Negotiation, Conflict Management, Mediation) and Deva Rangarajan (Associate Professor of Marketing- Miller College of Business, Ball State University) for organizing this great event and the sales workshops which prepared us for the competition. Additionally, thank you to all the Sales Club sponsors who acted as buyers and jurors, and congratulations to all participants for competing and showing the best of yourselves!

We look forward to exploring the world of sales further in the future!

Vlerick Sales Club Competition