Who are you and what is your position in the company?I am Roxanne van Doorn, former member of Asset IB&M. Last summer I finished mybachelor IBA and currently I am doing an internship at Vrumona (part of the Heinekencompany). My function is within the Trade…
Author: Go-Business Committee
Dr. Sue Park teaches Organizational Behavior (OB) to first-year IBA students. She lived and worked in multiple countries and has a lot of experience with different (organizational) behaviours in different cultures. In this interview you will get to know more about her very international career.
Why did you choose to specialize in OB?
As in many other cases in life, I did not actually plan to study OB or to be an OB teacher. It is more like the job chose me, because I had the right combination of skills and interests. When I was younger, I was genuinely interested in people. I would ask a lot of questions about topics related to social psychology, without knowing what it meant in theory. I was interested in attitudes, stereotypes, conception, etc. I spent a lot of hours talking about those topics with my friends and I found it very fascinating.
What do you like most about being an OB teacher?
In general, I really like to be a teacher for the first-year students, because this is a group of students who bring very fresh, new and crazy ideas and perspectives with them. As a teacher this is very fun and inspiring. Especially in OB; some students do not have a proper job, but still they can talk about their culture and their background. The best part for me as a teacher is the discussion that we have in class. I see that students learn and grow gradually within a very short semester and it is very rewarding for me to see the difference.
Why do you think basic knowledge of OB is necessary for IBA students?
First, I think OB is applicable to everyone, no matter what you do, because OB is basically about humans. It is just something we can all relate to and once you have the basic knowledge about OB, you have the proper tools to thrive as a human being in an organization. Individually you know what works for you and especially when you become a manager, these are critical topics: how do you engage your workers, how do you motivate them, etc. In today’s world it is almost unavoidable to be in a setting where you have to deal with people from different backgrounds.
In what way did online teaching affect your teaching style?
I think in terms of the content and the knowledge that I deliver it is still pretty much the same, but I think the difference is more about how I interact with students. This was the most difficult thing for me to adjust to very quickly, because I like to find ways to engage my students. Additionally, it is really important for me to create a safe place where students can share their opinions without fear. The second part I wanted to focus on was actually for myself, because I wanted to read the students reaction: their facial expression, their body language, etc. These are all the clues that I need to know to see if the students are having fun or if they are bored. This is difficult to notice online, so I think this part is what I am still struggling with.
What is something that you would like to achieve with regard to your studies?
I have been trying to stay active with my research and I would like to be more productive with my publications, so that when you type my name you would see my article popping up in Google Scholar. I am very much interested in the more practical side of research, such as policy-advice. Therefore, if I switch to another job, that will be my field of research.
Did you experience any differences with regard to OB while you lived/worked in different countries?
All the time! I am originally from Korea, but I also worked in Japan, I lived in the United States and I also worked with Australians, and now I am in the Netherlands. I have a lot of countries and cultures to compare and it is very interesting to see the differences. For example, in Korea staying late in the office is part of your work. You do some extra work and after work you have dinner with your colleagues or you share a drink with them. These are social occasions where a lot of important discussions happen (about work). If you stay in the office until 8 or 9 pm, in the Netherlands or in Australia, something is wrong. Your boss would ask if you have any problems in the family or if you have too much work, etc. How you act towards teachers is also very different. Here, I see that students treat teachers more like friends, but when I was a student in a different country, things were quite the opposite.
“Sometimes you have difficulties to find the right behavior in different cultures, but eventually I think it is a great advantage to learn the differences.”
What is the weirdest or funniest thing that happened to you during your career of teaching OB?
There are actually a lot of stories, but there is one I would like to share. I think it happened last year. In one of the tutorial groups I had a student who did not seem to enjoy the class. He was always sitting in the back, talking with his friends and when I asked him a question, he would not respond with a lot of effort. One day he came to me and he asked me if he could leave five minutes earlier, because he needed to catch his train. I said: ‘No sorry that is not going to be possible, because everyone needs to follow the schedule and I cannot make an exception for you.’ Even though I understand the pain of waiting thirty minutes to catch your train just because of a five-minute difference, I could not make an exception for him. After the tutorial it still bothered me, because he already did not enjoy the class and now it might become worse. I thought about how I could make this situation fair and how to motivate him to participate. The next time he asked the same question and I said: ‘Yes you can, but I have a condition: if you participate in the discussion and do not talk with your friends, I can send you home early. And everyone else too.’ This worked! He was very active and because I did not have to address him to stop talking, I was able to finish early.
Do you have some tips & tricks that can help students with studying the content of OB?
I like to recommend more unusual ways of learning that you can do very easily. First, I would like to invite you to look at yourself as a person. You can think of what type of person you are: what makes you angry, how would you react to certain situations, etc. These are very personal questions. Once you have a better understanding of yourself, this is going to be a good foundation when you think about other people’s behaviours as well. Secondly, you can interact with your colleagues in the IBA program. The IBA program is a great natural setting where you can have tons of indirect experience about different cultures and diversity. All the OB topics that we discuss in the classroom can be observed in the IBA program. It is a luxury for students to be in a very international setting, without going to a particular country. Therefore, I encourage you to make friends and engage in conversations with your colleagues and learn from them.
Written by Daphne Gommans, IBA student Tilburg University
An Interview with Dr. Jean Louis Steevensz, chair of the research group “Business Innovation” at Fontys University of Applied Sciences Today, besides being a lecturer, Jean Louis Steevensz is chairman of the research group “Business Innovation” at Fontys University of Applied Sciences in Venlo. Jean…
“Dream big and follow the dream, do it now, not tomorrow”
Amin Amani is a design engineer at ASML. He obtained his Ph.D. in the field of mechanical engineering at Delft University of Technology (TUDelft) in 2016. Amin is a passionate, motivated, and hardworking man who is always feeding his curiosity with new knowledge and challenges. These traits have turned him into an entrepreneur with heuristic solutions for unforeseen challenges. After his graduation and working in different industries (i.e. automotive, printing industries, and engineering consultancy), he ended up at ASML and is now working there as a design engineer. Meanwhile, since he has entrepreneurial characteristics, he began working on his startup at HighTech XL in Eindhoven. Besides, since 2018, he has commenced coaching and leading other startups with the technical aspect as well. Explicitly,
- Printed Electronics: Using printing technologies based on TNO patent for low-cost processes (Mentor, Aug 2019- Sep 2019)
- UVLite: Flame/spark detector sensor based on CERN patent (CMO, Sep 2019- Jan2020)
- inPhocal: Laser structured beam (Core team member/Technical marketing, Jan 2020-Current)
- Keiron Printing Technologies: LIFT technology based on TNO patent (Mentor, Jan 2020-Current)
Dr. Amani, how would you describe ‘entrepreneurship’?
From my standpoint, an entrepreneur is a creative person who has a heuristic solution or idea for a specific market problem. In other words, that person’s idea should solve one of the market’s problems. For instance, Arash Ferdowsi, the founder of Dropbox, understood that people need a platform to upload their data there and it should be accessible from all connecting devices, namely Mobile phones, Computers, and Tablets. It is noteworthy to say that this idea should be feasible from a financial aspect that generates a decent revenue stream for expanding your business. Also, I tagged entrepreneurship as a path. In this path, you do not know what will happen, yet you should have an entrepreneurial spirit to continue this path.
What is the entrepreneurship spirit? Should an entrepreneur have it instinctively or is it achievable?
Entrepreneurship spirit means that you should be brave enough to face challenges and accept the risks which might happen during this path. In other words, the risk of being rejected by an investor(s), losing all savings that you have saved, being refuted from your close friends or relatives, etc. From my point of view, an entrepreneur should have a spirit of turning Why matters to How matters. For example, instead of thinking Why I was rejected by an investor, asking him- or herself, How I can find a better investor, and How I can improve my idea/technology to be more attractive for investors.
What is the most important tool that an entrepreneur needs to have?
Team. The most important tool that an entrepreneur needs is a decent team. The proper team is a vital factor in the determination of one startup’s success or failure. From my standpoint, the best team is a mix of people who have different background knowledge such as marketing, technical, finance, etc. Moreover, gender diversity is also very important in startups. Based on the research of different startups organizations and also my experiences; working in a diverse environment can make the team smarter and helps the startup to go to market with a product that solves a wider range of customer problems, considering that the diversity can gain more trust of customers and investors.
At the first glance, it may look irrelevant that a team should be a mix of people with different skill-sets but it is necessary for the success of a startup. As an entrepreneur, you need different points of view from various fields to ensure your startup success. One important point, the team members should have the same entrepreneurial spirit.
Why do you think that the team is important?
The team (the team members) is an important factor. Because without a good team your chance of success is too low. The best example is LinkedIn. Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn has mentioned this vital point in his book (The Start-up of You).
Figure 1. Reid Hoffman (2012), The Start-up of You
Do you think that having sufficient financial resources is a high priority for running a startup or not?
As far as I experienced, the initial capital is not important. There are many options in order to receive funds or subsidies. I am happy to say that the Netherlands is one of the pioneer countries for supporting startups. I emphasize again that the main challenge for an entrepreneur is to find and maintain good team members.
Should students work full time on their startups to achieve a significant outcome?
My answer is No. There are many startups out there with team members that work part-time on their startup. Working full time does not guarantee your startups’ outcome. The team and its commitments to deadlines are more important. One more time, with good team members, you could reach all your goals. When an entrepreneur and his/her team are in the first steps (developing ideas, creating/expanding their connection, etc), it is usually still not clear for the team what the exact outcome will be. Because, as I said before, entrepreneurship is a path, and they will have to follow this path to see where they will end. Then, it is natural to look at opportunities as a plan B. In other words, if they work or study, they do not want to jeopardize their current task. If an entrepreneur works part-time with good team members, they will reach their plans a little bit later. When I was at UVlite, all team members worked part-time on the startup and we got the highest points from the HighTech XL venture manager during the program, since the startup output was great.
As a final question, what is your advice for passionate students who want to become an entrepreneur?
Dream big and follow the dream, break down the dream into the different goal- steps. Plan for the goals, stick to the plan, and stay positive! Do it now, not tomorrow.
You started looking for an internship during this pandemic. That can be quite a challenge. How did you find your internship company? What was your biggest struggle? It was a huge struggle for me. I had to look for an internship quite unexpectedly and therefore…
Who are you, where are you from and what is your educational background before coming to the Netherlands? My name is Taha Tajerian and I come from Iran. Before I came to the Netherlands, I got my bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. I did work…
While having free time we tend to focus on our hobbies and spend our time watching unmeaningful movies and series that barely contribute something to our academic or career development. However, lucky for us, recently a lot of film production companies have created various documentaries that are business-related which not only deal with business topics but also tell a story…making them extremely interesting and enjoyable to watch.
Apart from our all-time favorite econ and business documentaries such as E-dream, Startup.com, and Freakeconomics; here are some business-related documentaries to watch while having free time: American Factory, Decoding Bill Gates, Saving Capitalism.
- American Factory plot goes around Fuyao, a glass Chinese company owned by businessman Junming Wang, that was reestablished in an abandoned General Motors factory, and its journey of overcoming bankruptcy. American Factory shows all the business and personal conflicts of the employees as well as the cultural problems while reforming the company’s business model with the help of the dreams and hope of the employees for better life quality.
- Inside Bill Gates’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates shows the human side of the genius and creator behind Microsoft. The documentary shares Mr. Gate’s most relevant personal anecdotes and memories as well as the development of some of his many projects including the creation of a sanitary toilet for third world countries, eradication of polio, the use of nuclear energy to produce clean electricity and creation of the multi-billionaire and world-known company: Microsoft.
- Saving Capitalism deals more with macroeconomic and political topics. The documentary was released in 2017 and it shows how the government’s programs to accelerate the economy only are beneficial only to a small percentage of the United States’ population. It critiques and analyses the development of EE. UU’s politics and the influence it has on consumption, production and society’s consumption and life quality.
Finally, if you are interested in a more dramatic yet realistic approach, The Founder, a movie that apart from being based on the true story of the fast-food company Mc. Donald’s also includes a performance from Academy Awards Oscar Nominees actors. If you are more into dark and somber series, Dirty Money is for sure a must to watch. Dirty Money episodes uncover corporate corruption and accounting fraud, the first and second season are available on Netflix so it will for sure keep you entertained for a while.
By watching these, not only you are learning or reinforcing the business and economic topics, but you also get to see the personal/human side of business and economics and the different circumstances that affect not only all the owners and creators behind multi billionaire companies but also the millions of their employees. As well, it may make you feel more productive and less guilty to spend the whole day lying in your coach.
“So grab some popcorn and enjoy!”
Hello! My name is Sophie van Esch, I am 23 years old, and I am currently finishing the Master Marketing Analytics at Tilburg University. Prior, I studied the Bachelor Business Economics at Tilburg University after which I had really no idea what Master I should…
Hello! My name is Pieter Cox. I am a 22 year old Master Student at Tilburg University. This is my fourth year of studying on our beautiful campus. After my bachelor IBA I decided to start the master Information Management. I started this master in January of 2020 and have had half a year of courses now. As you may know, the second half of this semester has been given online. All classes were either given through conferences or a special other way.
Before I even started my bachelor study International Business Administration, I knew I wanted to do this master. When orienting for a bachelor study, I also looked at the possible master studies given at that same university. Information Management immediately caught my attention. The reason why I chose this master is because I feel like there is a lot of potential in data and IT when combined with business. The study is well ranked and it perfectly fits my interests. Furthermore, my father’s company is also data/information management based and I have always been very interested in what he was doing.
Immediately when I started, I noticed a big difference with my bachelor. Courses are all focusing on one topic: IT. Furthermore, the master has blocks/units instead of semesters. This allows students to focus more on a select amount of courses. Each block is either 2 or 3 courses, so you have more classes per week in those courses. Block 2 and 4 are blocks where no mandatory courses are given, but you have to choose from electives. Throughout the year, you have to pass 4 electives. A few examples of elective courses are: Cybersecurity Risk Management, Smart Business Networks, Knowledge Management and Project Management.
“Immediately when I started, I noticed a big difference with my Bachelor”
The courses I follow are mainly about data management, project management and a bit of programming. Personally, I like the data management and project management courses the most. For example, Business Intelligence & Data Management is about data management, data warehousing and data mining. This course also includes programming with SQL and Python. Programming is not really my thing but there are only a few courses with minor programming parts in it, such as this one. Another course which was really interesting to follow was Project Management: People and Technology. This course was focusing on how companies should develop their software and projects. You learn about various methods such as Agile, Scrum and XP. The course really focusses on how to successfully start, execute, monitor, and manage IT projects. Overall, many of the courses try to include guest lectures which gives you a lot of real world cases to the theory you are learning about. Due to the current situation, my third block was completely provided by online lectures. One of the courses, Knowledge Management, was given through a virtual world called SecondLife. Other courses were given through canvas conferences or Zoom lectures. Since I started in January, my thesis has not started yet. I am considering writing it at a company, since that would give me some more practical experience.
When looking back at this past half year, I really start to see the progress of what I have learnt about IT and business. I am looking forward to what the future will bring me in this study. Hopefully, this article will help you in your decision making. If you have an interest in IT and Management, this is the perfect Master! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through an email on my university account. I wish you all best of luck with your Master.
My name is Lisa Cornelissen, I am 22 years old, and currently I am finishing the Master Finance at Tilburg University. Prior to this Master I did the Bachelor International Business Administration, also at Tilburg University. A year ago, I had to make the decision…
My name is Max and I am currently following the Marketing Management Master, which I started last September. Besides my study, I work as an online marketeer at a marketing agency specialized in creating Google Ads campaigns and website design for SMEs. When I started…
My name is Michel, currently a Supply Chain Management (SCM) master student at Tilburg University. I started my master in September 2019, and plan on graduating in December after I have written my thesis combined with a fulltime internship at Royal Philips. Prior to Supply Chain Management, I did the bachelor study International Business Administration. Aside from studying, I have been active at T.S.R. Vidar and Asset | International Business & Management. In the academic year of 2018-2019, I had the opportunity to do a board year at Asset | IB&M in the role of External Affairs Officer.
Making a decision on which master to follow was not an easy one for me, as initially many different subjects within my bachelor interested me. What helped in making this decision, was to get an impression via career events to see whether the business environment of major companies in that industry would suit me. In the end, the decision was between Strategic Management (Consultancy Track) and SCM, as through career events I experienced that I enjoy both consultancy as well as SCM-related cases. The largest discrepancy between both studies is the focus: Strategic Management is quite general, whereas SCM focuses mainly on the field on supply chain and logistics and is therefore inherently more specialized. I concluded that the latter argument be a more valuable asset for the job market, and in the end I enjoyed the theories as well as SCM-focused career events a bit more than consultancy.
Nevertheless, the master SCM is still very broad within the domain of SCM itself. In the first unit (= half of a semester) of the year, the program starts with the three core courses of SCM: Production, Purchasing, and Distribution Management. Simply put, these courses depict the IPO-model from the standpoint of a general company: Input (purchasing) – Processing (production) – Output (distribution). These courses are the essence of SCM, and therefore it is useful to check in this unit which course(s) you enjoy and whether you would want to write your thesis or even work in that discipline. The other courses can be seen more as supplementary to these three core courses. Those courses involve understanding supply chain models, cover topics such as maintenance, sustainability, and decision-making in the supply chain, and recreating a real business through a simulation, all the while drawing on your knowledge of the first unit.
Personally, I am content with the master in general. Most (senior) lecturers are motivated, knowledgeable, and renowned researchers in their particular field. I would argue that not all courses are as interesting, but I have been interested in most of them. The courses are designed to stimulate many interactions between the lecturer and students. The field of SCM is susceptible to changes in industries (think of the growing importance of sustainability but also of 5G, Internet of Things, Big Data), and therefore both the lecturers as well as the organization of the program (Academic Director & Program Coordinator) are open to feedback and like to hear which topics you would want covered in the course. The workload of the master at the start is substantial (especially if you work during the week or follow an extra course), but steadily decreases after the first unit is completed.
“I would argue that not all courses are as interesting, but I have been interested in most of them“
One of the things I am less satisfied with is the lack of hands-on experience. The program is doing very well with inviting interesting guest speakers of a wide variety of disciplines, but doing projects for companies occurs only once. To gain some work experience, most students will engage in a part-time internship which is combined with writing their thesis. However, since you will start writing your thesis in unit 3, you will still have two courses and therefore cannot engage in a fulltime internship (from the start) if you want to gain a lot of work experience. Hence the reason why I postponed writing my master thesis for half a year, as I will have finished all my courses before engaging in my internship. In addition, I expected the program to be more quantitative and focused on data/IT. Businesses are increasingly integrating data analysis in their day-to-day operations, and therefore a more quantitative background and knowledge on data analysis would be beneficial. Unfortunately, the program merely offers one course in Excel and has no further emphasis on data analysis in different programs/programming languages (Python, SQL). The courses itself are predominantly theoretical and most of the papers used are based on qualitative research.
Overall, I am still very happy with my choice for SCM and the program itself. I hope to have given you a clear view of my own experiences and a broad picture of the set-up of the program. If you still have any questions, send me a message via WhatsApp or LinkedIn and I will be more than happy to help!