Student of Agricultural Business Administration, Alan Husum: "I really enjoy growing things, food-wise and business-wise. California is a high agricultural area and I always grew vegetables myself. I have the ambition to start my own company, which needs to be sustainable. The food business offers good future perspectives for a sustainable company."
"I grew up in California and later moved to Denmark. I found this study online. The class consists of 50% Dutch students and 50% from all over the world. There are a lot of cultural differences. Everyone brings a different perspectives and/or different opinions to the table. This often makes the starting phase a bit more difficult, but you also end up with a better project."
Lots of projects
"The first year was even better than expected. We worked on a lot of projects, for instance, a project looking at the beer sector. We were investigating how big beer brands can compete with the smaller ones. People like drinking quality, with the experience from the small specific beer brands; so for big companies it can be hard to compete. The bigger brands need to assure they have the smaller beer taste from the smaller beer brands."
"Another project was about importing roses from Africa. Here we looked at the entire supply chain and the logistics within. Where do the roses come from? Where do they need to be sent? How do we keep them chilled? How big does the farm need to be? How many dispatchers do we need a week? The sustainability question was critical in this project."
"Since you work with developing countries, you need to make sure both people and the planet are respected and treated correctly. Furthermore, working with different cultures requires kindness and respect towards each other and the globe and this needs to be in balance with the profit incentive. In our educational programme we learn how to balance these sometimes competing issues with the example projects and within class."
"At the moment, we are working on a project together with Food Technology. We have created a new innovative drink. A vitamin C tablet you can drop into a glass of water and turns it into a fizzy soda drink. The Food Technology students are developing the tablet and we are working on how to market this product, including the strategy, action plan, strengths and weaknesses of the product as well as the opportunities and threats posed by the market. We presented this on the VHL University of Applied Sciences (VHL) business fair. For my internship, I would like to explore this some more, so I can learn everything I need to know about starting my own business, you never know how it may work out! My advice for new students: study hard and don’t forget to relax!"