Nyenrode on Tour
One thing that is certain, is that the current crisis calls for adaptation. Last week, Nyenrode Business Universiteit’s Executive MBA students of the Economics and Entrepreneurship module should have left for their trip to South Africa. Due to the current corona restrictions, this trip unfortunately had to be cancelled. Elisa Ostet, program manager, took the opportunity to organize a different type of trip instead. She sat down with Erwin Nyhoff to map out a 4-day journey to surprise the 38 students of this class. With a 1958 baby-blue Cadillac and a guitar, they toured the country to give the students a dose of Rock ’n’ Roll.
Their first stop was in the small village of Luttenberg in Salland, in the east of the Netherlands. Erwin Nyhoff, finalist of the first edition of The Voice of Holland and front-man of the band ‘The Prodigal Sons’, played the first notes of ‘Heroes’. Fellow students were able to enjoy this musical surprise online. Because the planned module in South Africa could not go ahead, the students received handmade espresso cups, a typical South African gift, from our partner university ‘University of Stellenbosch Business School’.
The Cadillac’s visit to the students caused quite a stir here and there; in the busy city centers of Utrecht, Amsterdam and The Hague, the musical interlude came as a welcome surprise to both the students and their neighbors. The group app allowed students to follow the duo during their four-day journey and the forty scheduled concerts.
The fact that music can really go straight to the heart was quickly demonstrated in the first concerts. “Erwin hadn’t played some of the songs for a long time, but they still proved to be favorites with the students, for instance ‘One’ by U2. We saw some cool dance moves, but also the occasional tear,” Elisa says. “Music unites people, and even though we can’t be together at Nyenrode, this musical surprise really created a connection from student to student. It was amazing to see and speak to the students again after six months of only having digital contact with them,” she continued.
Without COVID-19, these students would have graduated by now. Most of the students are more than six months behind in their studies. Despite the fact that the end is in sight, Elisa says that the study program is very demanding for the students and also their partners and families. “Life, meanwhile, goes on, often with additional challenges, such as home schooling, due to current circumstances. It was great to give students a bit of a boost in this way and lighten their hearts.”
As a finale, Erwin parked the Cadillac in front of the Traffic Radio studio at the Mediapark in Hilversum last Friday. Our Canadian student Cynthia Kennedy made her debut on Dutch radio here and was interviewed along with Erwin about this week of musical connection. “The Corona-period has been challenging. We were incredible lucky with the support of the University. Each stop is such a wonderful surprise. We as a class have been looking forward to each mini concert. We sent each other videos of the performances. It gives us the opportunity to feel more together even if we are all separate in our little towns. It’s a little ray of sunshine in the corona clouds.” Erwin ended the Corona Cadillac Concerts with a rendition of the song ‘Play me’ by Neil Diamond.
Listen to Cynthia Kennedy and Erwin Nyhoff’s interview on Traffic Radio here.