September 2013 to August 2014, were the 12 months I spent as a Kofi Annan Fellow and they marked the best moments in my life as an entrepreneurial student as well as a person. Learning at Hogeschool Utrecht, University of Applied Sciences, became a thrilling experience. I got to study with various international students. To add to that, the International Business for Emerging Markets (IBMS) curriculum opened my mind to the adaptation of strategies for emerging markets. This will be essential for my career.
The three years studying as a business student prior to joining the Kofi Annan program was mostly theoretical. Finishing my degree in the HU program showed me the practical side of being a business student. It has a dynamic, precise and flexible challenging curriculum. The flipped classroom approach in one of the courses seemed unsettling at the beginning, but I found it to have unpredictable advantages that groomed me into a better student.
There was one thing that Mr Nils de Witte, one of my lecturers always said, “I am not here to teach, but I will create a platform for you to learn.” I learnt the importance of taking initiative and being innovative. I developed a voice I did not have before. There was no way I would just sit and listen to a lecture, but my lecturers sat down and listened to me. From there advice and counsel was given for me to work on and improve my ideas. The supportive learning environment was pretty much amazing! I was able to apply practically all the theoretical lessons I learnt.
My “eureka” moments were quite plenty. One of our courses allowed us to play a business simulation game. The game displayed real life business situations needing real life business decision-making. I was the Human Resource Manager. For every decision made, the effects and results were reflected and compared to the company’s competitors. It was thrilling to implement theory into practice and see the effects of every decision made while being time-conscious. The internship in an emerging market was challenging, but proved to be the best way of measuring how much I had achieved as a KABS fellow and business student.
My journey as an entrepreneurial student and Kofi Annan Fellow groomed me for the most important qualities of being an entrepreneur. I was able to develop an unwavering passion for being innovative. I was challenged to think creatively and outside the normal boundaries. To look for that thing that would stand out as unique. Now I can positively say that I am more open minded, I believe in growth and I am always thinking ahead with a continuous flow of ideas.
I am not afraid to try something new. I believe I am capable of creating something new all thanks to the Kofi Annan Fellowship. The lessons I gained are a treasure that will follow me, everywhere.