Students visit Greijn, a specialty plastics manufacturer, in February
Students in the Value-Based Marketing course of Maastricht University School of Business and Economics (SBE) are nearing the end of their seven-week experiential learning programme.
At this point in the course the student perspective has been largely positive, says Johannes Bogershausen, one of its designers and tutors. Johannes notes that students particularly like the varied structure of the course. Rather than sitting in a lecture hall twice per week, students are asked to attend and even facilitate tutorial groups, visit and discuss ideas with company representatives, attend Question and Answer sessions, and meet in small groups to develop solutions to their chosen challenges.
Students themselves are enthusiastic:
“I enjoy having contact with the company representatives and wish we could have more time and opportunity to exchange ideas with them.”
“The course readings are both theoretical and practical. We can really apply what we are learning in our work with the companies.”
“The companies involved in the course are regional companies, not a multi-national like McDonalds; companies who are too big to benefit from participating. These regional companies may be able to actually utilize our solutions.”
“Working in a small group is a good challenge. We get to know students from different backgrounds, with different disciplinary expertise, and different ideas about how to solve these problems.”
“The course is especially useful for those students who may not have much on-the-job training. It gives students real cases to work on, which will then give them real experience to take with them to the job market.”
Students discuss the Greijn challenges with Claudia van Duren, responsible for marketing and sales at Greijn.
Students are now preparing their final management reports to present to the jury on 27 March. The jury will judge each report and award prizes for the best solutions devised for each company. Stay tuned for a report on the event. Early indications are that it should be an engaging experience for all involved. The jury will include representatives from the three participating companies, University and industry leaders, an advisor from the Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel), and other experts.
By Leslie Sherriff
Leslie Sherriff studied international relations and economic development at the University of Southern California and the University of Pittsburgh in the United States. After 10 years of managing international relief and development projects in the US and the Balkans, she moved to Maastricht with her husband and son. She currently works as an independent consultant and writer for a variety of institutions.
About the Value-Based Marketing course
At SBE students are combining practice with theory. All SBE Masters students in Strategic Marketing and Entrepreneurship are required to test their real-world skills via an innovative course titled Value-Based Marketing. This seven-week applied course challenges students to provide solutions to real problems presented by local Limburg companies.
SBE Associate Professor Dr. Lisa Bruggen is working with support from NV Industriebank LIOF, the Province of Limburg, and Innovation Centre of the Chamber of Commerce (formerly Syntens) via the “Limburg Makers” programme to implement this first year of a three-year initiative.
Related article: SBE students take learning outside the classroom