Stand for development

Willem van Donge, Head of Career & Personal Development and connection-maker

As Head of Career & Personal Development, Willem van Donge helps students to find and develop their strengths and passions. “My goal is to help our students make their personal and professional ambitions come true. We do this by asking the right questions and providing insights so that they are able to further develop themselves.”

Personal and professional development at Nyenrode

Career & Personal Development holds an important place in the study program at Nyenrode. Willem van Donge explains: “We help students and participants from ages 18 to 55 to think about who they are, what they want and where their strengths and passions lie. Because of these wide-ranging generations, each development discussion is different. For example, the younger generation needs more direction and focus. For the older generation, it’s a time of re-evaluation: where do I currently stand? At Nyenrode, we offer a safe environment in which everyone can talk about who they are and where they stand.”

Willem explains what makes Nyenrode so strong: “Through our focus on personal and professional development, we help the students further in their careers. For example, management students learn a lot about themselves, each other and the business world by examining cases for a company. That’s not the kind of knowledge you can get from books; instead, these are primarily insights you gain through your own experience.”

Commitment

Willem says: “What’s great about Nyenrode is that the people, students and alumni are highly committed. People participate much more in your thinking process than at a regular university. They help you to build a network and explore ideas. Even though you ultimately have to do it yourself, this commitment connects students and participants with many opportunities to enrich their careers.”

Energy

People show growth and gain insight; that’s what Willem thinks is special about his job: “One example is a full-time MBA student who sends a message after two months saying that she’s come across an interesting challenge. Making this connection between students and companies on a daily basis is what makes me happy. In doing so, I contribute to the development of our students as well as to the growth of companies.”

“Why is this role in the organization a great fit for me? First of all, I enjoy doing it, and my background and experience enable me to look at things from the perspective of organizations. I like to learn about companies as well as people. This allows me to provide good career advice to students and participants. That playing field of both organizational and personal development is what re-energizes me every day.”

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