The power of campus life #LifeasaNyenrodian

''My Nyenrode experience was built on three pillars: the study program, the student life and the student association (the NCV)." Daniël Smits, Full-time MSc in Management alumnus and Treasury Analyst at ABN AMRO, shares his experience at Nyenrode and how the program shaped him to become a manager in the banking industry.

Daniël Smits''My Nyenrode experience was built on three pillars: the study program, the student life and the student association (the NCV). I think of Nyenrode as a good reflection of one's life later on. The program not only constitutes a tough but instructive curriculum, but also focuses heavily on both personal and professional development and includes a very profound social aspect. Nyenrode requires you to cope with stress, fatigue, social pressure and deadlines just as you would later in life. Being able to balance all of these factors greatly enhances your time management skills.

An academic playground

What makes studying at Nyenrode such a great preparation for the future is the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. In other words, it’s an academic playground.

For me, the Nyenrode campus life had the most impact. It required me to become socially engaged with new and sometimes very different kinds of people: people I would not have met or tried to meet if I had just stayed in my comfort zone. At the same time, I am grateful that my Nyenrode experience also made me realize where I come from myself.

The power of the alumni network

I believe there is actually a fourth pillar at Nyenrode: the alumni network. The alumni network has an unwritten rule that when receiving an e-mail or phone call from a Nyenrodian, you are required to answer and at least hear him or her out. This allows you to easily get in contact with alumni who are both older and younger than you.

I would like to be an asset to Nyenrode by becoming closely involved in the alumni associations. During my studies I saw the positive impact alumni can have on getting things done and ensuring the continuity of an association. I would like to be available to Nyenrodians, just as they have been and would be for me.

During my interview process at ABN AMRO, I got in touch with some alumni who were already working there and asked them about the company’s values, culture and application procedure in order to prepare myself as much as possible. The help I received in my preparation combined with my financial academic background eventually landed me my first job: a finance traineeship at ABN AMRO.

Focus on leadership development

In addition to the main courses on management and the specialized tracks, the curriculum includes a Career & Personal Development program aimed at providing students with the tools and skills to develop themselves and their careers at any stage, from finding their first or next job to growing within their current organization or becoming an entrepreneur. Within this program, students are required to assess their strengths and weaknesses. They are also given reviews of their CVs along with job interview training and practice.

Becoming a top young professional

Last year I was awarded a top 15 ranking in the Best Young Professionals competition, which is organized by Memory Group in collaboration with the Rotterdam School of Management. This competition is an annual contest that aims to find the best young Dutch professionals in a pool of 1,000+ candidates by judging them on their studies, extracurricular activities, career development and personal growth. I am convinced that winning this award can largely be attributed to my experiences at Nyenrode.

All in all, the MSc in Management (Financial Management track) prepared me very well for a kick-start in the financial sector, where I am currently working. It’s also great to see that this is true for many other Nyenrodians, some of whom are my direct colleagues.''

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