Participants' past experiences
IBR Participant's Experiences
How did previous IBR participants experience our project? Below you find two descriptions of two participants that joined us to Vietnam and South-Africa & Mozambique.
''Last year - in combination with the minor Finance - I participated as a researcher in the IBR project focused on Vietnam and Malaysia. Social activities are instantly implemented in the project after the application procedure. Every Monday evening, you spend time with your committee before the social in The Brouwerij with all participants. Besides, activities such as an IBR weekend are organised by the activity committee.
Besides the social part of the project, serious work have to be done as well. It starts with an acquisition stage, in which you will contact a lot of different companies. Interaction with professionals concerning their international activities was mind-opening for me. Furthermore, the IBR board arranges some acquisition training to boost your communication and selling skills. Once you and your research partner have been assigned to a company, you will start with your research. Martijn (research partner) and I had weekly phone calls with our company called Topicus. The involvement of Topicus was very helpful and educational. In addition, during these weeks all participants of the IBR project were offered consulting workshops in Amsterdam from McKinsey and Bain & Company. I think everyone will understand that changing minds with high-level consultants is always interesting.
Unfortunately, some weeks later Covid-19 spread rapidly through all parts of the world. The IBR board did everything they could to deal with the situation, but traveling to Vietnam and Malaysia was not possible. Does it mean the whole project failed? In my opinion absolutely not. Almost all research teams were able to continue their research online and deliver valuable advise to their companies. Martijn and I still interviewed prominent board members of Vietnamese banks behind our desk in Groningen. Besides, I have learned during all stages of the IBR project and I still speak a lot of the students I met during the IBR project.''
Maarten Moshage - Participant Vietnam & Malaysia 2020
“It all started in October 2016. The beginning of my IBR adventure. I am thankful I participated in IBR Vietnam 2017 because it was the best decision I have ever made. IBR is a perfect combination between working abroad and traveling with a great group of other driven students. All in all, living and working abroad has improved my skills. The skills I gained during this interesting and challenging year truly enriched me with a lot of useful and valuable experiences which probably will be of a great use in the near future.
After a careful selection procedure our group was formed. Although we had a group of diversified students, this turned out to be an awesome group. We got to know each other very well after our first participant’s weekend. Surprisingly, we all shared the same love for beer. Our favourite weekly pub, the Brouwerij, will confirm this definitely. I really enjoyed all our social activities such as, Sinterklaas, the Sushi Mall, the Monday evenings and finally all our crazy weekends in Vietnam.
In January, together with my research partner, we started our research for a large company, namely AkzoNobel. The goal of this research was to gain a good understanding of the salt lick market for dairy cattle in Vietnam. Moreover, we had to point out business opportunities for AkzoNobel. In April, it was finally time to go to Vietnam. We started our field research in Hanoi for two weeks. Thereafter, we went to Ho Chi Minh for the last three weeks. Using bikes, we visited several farms, distributors and some other knowledgeable people. Based on the gathered information, the end report was written. While researching, I have learned invaluable lessons. It’s an opportunity to put all obtained theory into practice.
Finally, the traveling period started after five weeks of research. Together with four other girls I travelled through Vietnam and Sri Lanka. We had such a great time! I believe IBR is an excellent opportunity to make new friends, use theory from studies in practice, and travel abroad. Therefore, I would like to recommend IBR to all of you!”
Nina Algra – Participant Vietnam 2017
“This year I participated in the IBR project and went to South Africa and Mozambique. I am 23 years old and I started the master Finance last year. It was a great experience to combine the serious work and travelling! I really like the social aspect of IBR: the weekly socials, participant’s weekend, and activities like Sinterklaas, girls’ night and all you can eat in the Sushi Mall! We got to know each other very well and I made good friends.
In the preparation period, we followed an acquisition training that helped us with acquiring companies. The research couples were carefully (and perfect!) made by the board in December. In February, we started our desk research for a company that produces water storage tanks and in April it was finally time to go to Africa! After an exhausting flight to Johannesburg, we directly started with our research and called some extra companies that we could visit there. We did our research in Johannesburg for all five weeks, because the most relevant companies for our research were there. It was very educational to put all theory what I’ve learned at the university into practice. We did a lot of interviews with sales and procurement directors.
After the five weeks of research, we had an amazing weekend with the whole group at the beach in Mozambique. After this weekend the travelling period started, which I did with four other girls! First, we drove along the southern coastline of South Africa. After that, we flew to Namibia to rent a 4×4 car and toured through Namibia and Botswana. We saw some beautiful nature and, of course, spotted animals! We saw many zebras, giraffes, antelopes, elephants and nine(!) lions, of which one whelp that was only one week old. We finished the trip with a joint weekend with all students! Overall, IBR is an experience I will never forget.”
Anna Koerhuis – Participant South Africa and Mozambique 2017