“This programme really appealed to me for several reasons," says Klaas Groenen, a Business Administration and Agribusiness student at VHL University of Applied Sciences (VHL). “First of all, the study programme is very broad. The foundation is similar to a regular business administration programme, but the focus, examples, internships and assignments are all geared towards the agricultural sector. “For me, it’s the perfect combination of my personal interest and a solid education.”
“I am really happy with this study programme. The first year consisted mainly of the basic subjects for business administration. You'll have to get through this, but with the right lecturers and guidance, it won't be a problem. The many international students and the English-language programme ensured that the pace of the lessons was not too fast and that the material was easy to follow. Sometimes students from different programmes were brought together to exchange knowledge. For example, we worked with the Food Technology programme to develop an edible product. We then had to present this to representatives of Rabobank, supposedly to qualify for a loan. Very educational!”
"The highlight of the study was my internship in the second year. We were given a lot of freedom in choosing a location. I always wanted to go to Canada and work on a ‘mega farm’ and this was of course a great opportunity! I really did go to Canada and I truly had the best time of my life. I had a wonderful host family and got to learn all the ins and outs of running a mega dairy farm.”
“I also went abroad for six months to complete my graduation project. In Kazakhstan, I conducted research for a company that produces potato fries on a large scale throughout Europe. I witnessed great opportunities in Central Asia. I was mainly concerned with finding a suitable strategy for getting the right amount of potatoes. Is that by working with local farmers and supporting them, or by starting your own farm? Or perhaps a combination of these two? To find this out, I worked on some of our own test fields and with some farmers who we advised. The best thing about this project was to see how a commercial company tackled a difficult question and made a decision based in part on your research and advice.”
“In the future, I would like to have a job where I can tackle projects just like my graduation project. This is how to be both entrepreneurial and free in your approach, all the while commissioned by a large company. Do you have any tips for future students? Make sure to choose an internship and graduation project that suits you and don't be afraid to go abroad. These are often wonderful assignments and experiences that shape you as a person. Don't overly concern yourself with whether it looks good on your CV. Your personal story combined with your experiences is much more important!”
Want to know more?
Programme information International Business in Flowers and Food
Besides being a student, Klaas Groenen is also a talented elite athlete. Read here about how he combines his studies with cyclocross at an elite level.