Author: Go-Business Committee

Interview with Dr. Amir-Ahmadi

Interview with Dr. Amir-Ahmadi

Job Interview, Nightmare or Skill Interviewing within the modern business setting invariably takes place in an environment full of urgency. The time allotted to the interview is essentially limited. Consequently, a non-directive approach finds very little application; it’s necessary to use the guided an in…

Master Student Interview:

Master Student Interview:

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…

First year student guide: Tilburg University

First year student guide: Tilburg University

Being a first year student at a university is an exciting experience, but also a completely new experience. Therefore, I (an experienced first year student) would like to share some tips with you. These tips definitely helped me during my first year as an IBA student. They vary from public transport to study associations, so be prepared to take notes!

#1 TOP week
TOP stands for Tilburg Orientation Program. TOP week is an introduction week for first year students, where you can meet other students and explore the city of Tilburg. There are also lots of activities where you can explore the sport and study associations. You can have drinks, play games, but you also get information about your study. Therefore, I would advise you to participate in the TOP week. It is the perfect kick-off for your first year!

#2 Study and student associations
Study and student associations are the perfect place to meet with students, also from other years, and to improve some of your skills. These associations organize lots of informal activities (pub quizzes, parties, bowling, etc.) where you can get to know other students. There is Asset | Tilburg, Olof, I*ESN, and many more. You can learn more about them during the TOP week or on their websites. 

If you are also looking for something that can help you to improve some work and study related skills, you should consider joining a committee! For example, the study association Asset | Tilburg is split up in Asset | Accounting & Finance, Asset | International Business & Management, etc. Varying which study you do or interest you have, you can join one of the departments. Within these departments you can choose to join a committee. All committees of Asset | International Business & Management are available on the website. For example, if you want to improve your writing, designing, and planning skills, you can choose to join the Go-Business committee. If you want to join a committee, be sure to register on time: in some cases you have to prepare a small motivation letter!

#3 Facebook pages and WhatsApp group chats
Most studies at Tilburg University have their own Facebook page. Here you can find information about (formal) activities, you can find students who sell books or summaries and services such as tutorships to help you during your study. Often there are links to WhatsApp group chats with fellow students. In these chats you can ask questions about lectures, group projects, etc. It is a nice way to find out if other students share your experiences. 

#4 To buy or to not buy books
This one really depends on what kind of student you are: do you prefer to read from paper or from your laptop? Study association Asset | Tilburg has a bookstore that provides you with a list of the books you will need, and offers a discount! Another way to collect your books is to buy them second-hand. You can find people who offer second-hand books on the Facebook page, ask around in the group chat or look at websites such as Marktplaats.nl. If you are also okay with reading from your laptop, you can ask people for the PDF-files. Pay attention to the fact that the PDF-files are often from an older version of the book. This can make a difference in the numbering of chapters or exercises. The differences are small, but I just wanted to make you aware of this. 

#5 Public transport
Dealing with public transport does not have to be difficult (if the NS does their job right). Luckily, Tilburg University has its own railway station. From there, it is only a 5 to 10 minute walk to the university, depending on the building you need to be in. Therefore, I would advise you to look at the map (available at the Tilburg University website) to find out where on campus you need to be. Additionally, I would say that it is better to be half an hour too early than half an hour too late, especially if you have exams. Because if your train or bus is delayed and you are only one minute late, it could be possible that you are not able to enter the exam anymore…

#6 Practice exams = life savers
During your semester you have two weeks of midterms and two/three weeks of exams. The midterms mostly account for around 30% of your final grade, while the final exam accounts for around 70%. Your result from the midterm will show if you should learn more next time or if your understanding of the material is good. Pay attention to the fact that if you do not do well on your midterm, you will need a pretty high grade on the final exam and this might lead to a lot of (unnecessary) stress.

If you want to prepare for your midterms or exams, I would strongly advise you to do the practice exams that teachers make available. I know I sound like a teacher right now, but it helps me a lot. By practicing these exams you get familiar with the structure of the exam, the kind of questions they ask, how to answer them, etc. And, if you are lucky, you get rewarded with a question on the exam that was taken from a practice exam. And who does not like a ‘free’ point? 

#7 Other ways to study
Next to making practice exams, I use three other methods to prepare for my exams. Making summaries is one of them, but because you have to learn a lot of chapters, this might take up a lot of time. That is why I also find it useful to make flashcards. It will take up less time, and because you have to learn many concepts flashcards will help you to memorize them better. Another thing I find useful is watching videos about certain topics. They can be very helpful when you do not completely understand a certain topic.

Written by: Daphne Gommans

Interview Organizational Behavior teacher: dr. Sue Park

Interview Organizational Behavior teacher: dr. Sue Park

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. …

Interview drs. Dirk Leysen

Interview drs. Dirk Leysen

IBA students know him from his phrase: “profit is an opinion, cash is reality”. He has been a teacher at Tilburg University for more than 20 years and is still teaching. Of course I am talking about drs. Dirk Leysen. Dirk grew up in Dessel,…

Academic and business insights

Academic and business insights

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 Louis has a PhD in Marketing and shares a lot of his professional insights, experiences, and accomplishments in this interview.

There are many takeaways, and not only for business students!

Did you intend to become a researcher from day one?

No actually not, I first studied electrical engineering and then started my career in the design environment. After a couple years as a product designer, I started to work at Phillips in medical systems. My main task was to install MRI-Scanners in hospitals all around the world. Here I really learned how to represent Phillips and my passion for marketing slowly emerged. Shortly after, I decided to start a master program in marketing and supply chain management. I was fascinated by the width of marketing and what it encompassed. I was very dedicated towards my studies and worked ambitiously on my thesis. Eventually, after my graduation I could continue with a PhD in marketing at the Open University, Heerlen (NL). For me this was a major opportunity. Because I combined my work with a PhD study it took me six years. Once I obtained my PhD and spent many years working in the high-tech industry, I discovered what research really is. How important it is in daily practise and how much joy it brings to me. Here I realized that “I can do something I really like!”.

What was your most striking project / achievement?

I was involved in many projects and every project was striking in its own way. But when I need to pin it to a couple major achievements, I remember my time at Anteryon. I started at Anteryon (A company that emerged from Phillips) in September and already in November I managed to close the biggest deal in the company’s history. It was a research & development project over the term of two years and around 2 million € in revenue.One recent achievement was my appointment to chair of the research group business innovation at Fontys University of Applied Sciences in 2019. I decided that I want to spend the last 20% of my working career passing over my knowledge to the next generation of businesspeople. But it was not easy to find a job as a lecturer. Finally, in the fall of 2019 I succeeded and three months later I was even appointed to chair of the research group (interim lector).

Eventually, I am especially proud that I obtained my PhD at a later age. I even like to believe that this is one of my biggest achievement. Kind of special was that I based my dissertation solely on case studies from my own work experience. Surely, this brings many issues regarding reliability and ethics with it. However, I managed to construct such a methodology that my research proposal was accepted. In fact, it was based on a theory developed by the University of Hertfordshire (UK).

I believe that sometimes you really need to be stubborn and “when you believe in something you need to push through!

What 30 years of experience can teach you as an IBA freshman!

What are the benefits of conducting research at a university instead of in a corporate setting?

The corporate setting is fundamentally different from the academical setting. The main issue in the corporate setting is the pressure of money. Companies want to see results quickly, since the research needs to lead to a new product. Further development and product launches are desired as soon as possible. Researchers are stimulated via an incentive scheme, based on filed patents.

On the contrary, in the academical setting this pressure of money is not as present. Time horizons are usually longer (around four years) and money comes continuously instead of one time investment like in the corporate setting. However, in the current COVID-19 situation we notice that funding is now more problematic.
Still, I value the working conditions in the academical environment. Some projects just need their time, and sometimes you cannot do it perfectly under pressure.

In your book “Challenges Developing Customer Orientation in Technical Oriented Organizations” you mentioned that the concept of future does not exist and that there is only now. Can you elaborate?

To provide some background, I lived for some time in Japan and there I learned a lot of the culture and in particular about Zen Buddhism and meditation. This is very philosophical and personal but the main point I like to make is that I criticize the mainstream theorem of constant view on the future. Personally, I believe that one should focus on what is happening right now. Describe things as they are today and investigate what one is doing now. When you transfer this to my current research group, where we help companies to rethink their business model: start with what you are doing now and most importantly why you are doing it!

As a professional researcher, what advice can you give the average IBA student on conducting research?

In my opinion students have the tendency to start business research too quickly. It is so important to really think about the research and not to start with analysing and forcefully trying to apply learned theorems just for the purpose of analysing. Students who start too quickly often overlook perspectives and need to go back later in their thesis/projects. This costs them twice the time and effort… 
Hence, my advice is to extensively think about what you want to achieve, the main idea and then reason backwards. “First thinking, then conducting”


Written by Cedric Boxberg, IBA student from Hückswagen, Germany

Entrepreneurship interview

Entrepreneurship interview

“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…

Internship interview: Stan Verdurmen

Internship interview: Stan Verdurmen

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…

International experience interview

International experience interview

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 for a large enterprise in my home country. The main activity of the company was about economic activities. Therefore, I decided to invest more in economics and continue my education in this regard.

Why did you choose the Netherlands as your next country to live in and for educational purposes?

The reason that I chose the Netherlands was the positive feedback I received from both my friends and sibling. My sister studied Nano Physics in TU\e and she is a PhD candidate. Also, my friend, he studied mechanical engineering and he got his PhD in this field. Therefore, I have a decent piece of experience about the Dutch culture, educational system, and its universities. Besides, I already knew that communication and talking are important for Dutch people and if I can do it well, in most cases I can have decent outcomes.

Did you face any obstacles with coming to the Netherlands, with living here or with your education?

About the obstacles, I have not been faced with serious difficulties, thanks to the information that I have had and my friends’ experiences.  The only challenge that I had faced was writing an essay. Thanks to the Writing skills course, which was presented to me by TISEM, I overcame that challenge.

Was it complicated to move to the Netherlands? Did you get any assistance?

The answer is no for me. I decided to apply for IBA since I knew exactly what direction I wanted to go in regarding my education. When I was admitted, the administration office sent me an email about the following procedures. The steps were clear and easy to follow. I took the steps and then I could go to Tilburg University.

Have you been able to make some friends and contacts here?

Yes, I have several good friends and we are still in contact with each other. If everything goes well because of the crisis, we have a plan to meet each other for the summer break.

Did you actively try to participate in the extracurricular activities that our university has to offer?

“From the beginning, I have tried to participate in most of the activities which assist me to get more information about Dutch culture and Dutch students.”

Therefore, I have become an active member at Asset | IB&M to participate in most of its activities. Recently, I applied to become the MAK board member, but I have a place in Eindhoven, so I was not able to do this.

Was it complicated to adapt to the Dutch culture in comparison to the culture of Iran?

The answer to the former question is negative for me, but it is undeniable that some challenges do exist. Since I think I am good at communication and making new connections and as I said before, Dutch people are also open to talking and negotiation, I have not faced a serious problem so far.

Could you also tell me something about the Iranian culture?

Iran is considered as one of the foundations of civilization and due to its dominant geo-political position and culture, Iran has heavily influenced cultures and peoples as far away as Italy. Also, traditions are important for the Iranian people. Hospitality is one of the main traditions that are important for Iranian people. When we invite someone to our home(place), we will try to do our best to welcome our guest(s) kindly with open arms. Also, giving a gift is another tradition that we respect. If we are invited to someone, we will bring a bouquet of flowers, a box of candy, or special gifts (such as special handcraft, Zaffron, or a specific item). Of course, it depends on how close the relationship is with the host. Overall, Iran has a rich history and culture that have had a significant impact on the world through art, architecture, poetry, medicine, etc. Yet, I will keep it short and not mention them all. 

After your studies, do you have any plans? Would you like to work in another country?

I have a concrete plan for my study and graduation. As you know, I have finished the first year and the upcoming year is my second year. This academic year I want to find a decent company for my internship to gain more knowledge about working culture with Dutch people. Also, after my graduation, I will find a job here in the Netherlands and work for a couple of years to implement what I have learned from both university and the internship.

If someone was coming from another country to the Netherlands or Tilburg university in specific, what advice would you give them?

I will advise them to follow their study very well. They must not feel shy and participate as much as they can in the events (informal and formal) that are provided by the associations like ASSET.

Must to Do: Business Documentaries to Watch

Must to Do: Business Documentaries to Watch

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…

EXCHANGE INTERVIEW: MALAYSIA

EXCHANGE INTERVIEW: MALAYSIA

Hi, I’m Ruben and I’m 20 years old. For my exchange semester, I went to Monash University in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. An experience to always remember. What reasons did you have to choose the country/city you went on exchange? It is the 16th of July…

Master Student Interview: Marketing Analytics

Master Student Interview: Marketing Analytics

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 choose. Therefore, I decided to start working at an Accountancy firm to gain some work experience and to figure out whether I would like to work in Accountancy. However, I realised that Accountancy was not the direction for me. So, I started to think again about what courses I liked the most during my Bachelor and I went to the Master open day where I talked to several Master students. I realised that I was looking for a combination of both statistics and customer behavior, since I liked both the marketing, mathematics and statistics during my Bachelor. Therefore, Marketing Analytics seemed the perfect combination to me.

“This Master is a great study program with the possibility to choose from a wide variety of electives”

I started the Master Marketing Analytics last September and I am very glad with that decision. The Master Marketing Analytics consists of seven courses (6 ECTS) and one Master Thesis (18 ECTS). A pro of the program is the possibility to choose from a variety of courses. There is only one core course that you are obliged to follow, namely Introduction to Research in Marketing. This course uses several statistical and marketing research techniques that helps to analyse data and make supported marketing decisions. You need this course before you are allowed to start writing your Master Thesis. Besides this core course, you have to follow one managerial course. I decided to follow Marketing Channel Management, which was an interesting course about aspects of different Marketing Channels. The other five courses are more analytical. You can choose between 5 courses which are offered by the marketing department: Conjoint Analysis, Market Assessment, Survey Research, Customer Analytics, Experimental Research, Pricing and Revenue Analytics, Social Media and Web Analytics and Pricing and Monetization Strategies, or 4 statistical courses of the marketing department and 1 course which is offered by data science. I decided to choose 5 courses in the marketing department, because I was not much into programming. I wanted to graduate within one year. Therefore, I had to choose some courses over others because they were only offered in the second and fourth block.

I liked Customer Analytics and Pricing and Monetization Strategies courses the most. Customer Analytics was mainly about how to analyse data with different models. There was one lecture a week where the theory and tools were explained, which we had to apply in the weekly assignment. I liked this way of teaching because you had to use the tools learned during the lecture to complete the assignments. Because of this, it felt less abstract since you had to apply the content your learned directly. Pricing and Monetization Strategies was about different pricing models. Even though this course was offered online (because of COVID-19), the teachers made the best out of it. We had to use Zoom and needed to participate in the discussions. The course content was based on the 3 c’s: pricing based on customers, competitors, and the company.

I started writing my Master Thesis in the third block. I decided to write my Master Thesis at the University because I wanted to graduate within one year. I had 2 courses in the fourth block which made it difficult to write my Master Thesis for a company. Also, there are a lot of topics that you could choose from when writing your Master Thesis for the University, so there is always a topic you like. I ended up with the topic Word-of Mouth and my Master Thesis was about whether customers are more likely to refer to status-products online or offline.

The main difference with my Bachelor Business Economics is the depth of the courses. During my Bachelor I had a lot of very different courses, while during my Master most courses were focused on analyzing customer behavior. Also, for most courses you have to do several assignments either individual or in small groups that helps you understand the materials.

Hopefully this article helps you with making your decision for the Master you like! If you have any questions, you may always contact me via LinkedIn.   

Master Student Interview: Information Management

Master Student Interview: Information Management

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…

Master Student Interview: Finance

Master Student Interview: Finance

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…

Master Student Interview: Marketing Management

Master Student Interview: Marketing Management

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 master, I also became an active member at Asset | Marketing, where I was part of the study trip committee. Currently, I am doing a full-time board year as vice-chairman at Asset | Marketing. This means I have paused my study for now, which I will continue in February 2021. In February, I will start writing my thesis and finish my last courses. 

In 2015, I started my bachelor International Business Administration at the Tilburg University. During the bachelor I noticed I enjoyed courses like Decision making in Marketing and Marketing Management a lot more than the more numerical courses like Financial Accounting and Statistics. This made me realize I wanted to know more about the ‘human’ side of companies. After postponing my bachelor thesis by half a year, I finished my bachelor in 2019. By that time, I was not sure whether to follow a master more specialized in management or marketing. After a half year of backpacking and working in the dive industry, I came to the conclusion I loved working with customers and creating offerings that have value for them. So, I decided I would start a master’s in marketing when I came back home. 

At Tilburg University, you can choose between two Marketing masters, Marketing Management and Marketing Analytics. It is also possible to follow both masters since a lot of the courses are the same for both masters. Keep in mind when following both masters, that you will have to write two masters theses. Since writing theses is not my strong suit, I decided I would follow one Marketing master. I decided to go for Marketing Management instead of Marketing Analytics, since Marketing Management focusses more on the managerial and creative side of marketing whereas Marketing Analytics is more focused on data analyzing markets. For a clear explanation between the two masters, watch this video by the program director of both masters.

The master Marketing Management consists of five core courses, two elective courses and one master’s Thesis. The five core courses for Marketing Management are Brand Management, Marketing Channel Management, Marketing Communication, Strategic Marketing Management, and Introduction to Research in Marketing. These courses teach you how to develop innovative and effective ways to distribute, design, price and promote products and services, both on- and offline. For the two elective courses you can choose two out of seven courses that are a bit more analytics and data heavy. For example, Conjoint Analysis and Customer Analytics. 

Since I am only halfway my master, I only followed Brand Management, Marketing Channel Management, Introduction to Research in Marketing, Conjoint Analysis and Customer Analytics. From those courses I enjoyed Brand Management and Marketing Channel Management the most. During Brand Management you will learn about the way consumers think, feel and behave with respect to brands and the way organizations perceive and manage brands. Next to the lecture of Brand Management you will also work on an actual business case for a company. I, for example, worked on an interesting case for Côte d’Or, one of the brands of Mondelēz International. In the beginning of the project you will go to the office of the company the watch a presentation. After that, you will work on your project for a couple of weeks with your team, which you will present before the actual (brand) managers of the company. Marketing Channel Management on the other hand is a bit more theoretical and teaches you everything about the one of the four P’s of marketing. 

You will learn how companies handle different streams to sell its products or services. This knowledge becomes more relevant than ever since the distribution environment becomes more complex every day and is essential to know when you have an interest in marketing or strategy consulting. 

The main difference between IBA and Marketing Management is that during IBA you will learn a little about a lot and during your master you will learn a lot about a little

The main difference between IBA and Marketing Management is that during IBA you will learn a little about a lot and during your master you will learn a lot about a little. Another difference is that a year of IBA is divided in two semesters, whereas a year of Marketing Management is divided in four blocks. This means you will have less courses at the same time, however the workload of the courses is more intense. This way you really focus on two or three courses before moving to the next instead of having to deal with five courses at the same time. During your master you will get in contact with companies more often than during your bachelor which is a big advantage of doing a master. You still have your (guest) lectures, cases, presentations and papers you have to read so in this respect there is not a huge difference between doing your bachelors and masters at Tilburg University. 

As mentioned before, I will start writing my thesis next February. When writing your thesis, you have the choice to write it for a company or for the university. I would prefer to write it for a company, not only because your thesis will help solve a current problem a company is facing but you will also make some connections along the way. Making connections with companies and recruiters during your master is very important since it makes it much easier to get your foot in the door with your potential next employer. 

I hope I gave you an idea what the master Marketing Management is like and if you have any further questions, do not hesitate to write a mail to m.m.vdrSchaft@tilburguniversity.edu.

Good luck making your choice!

Max van der Schaft