Learn to be proud

4 campuses, 4 stories - Efforts in the Netherlands increasingly pay off

The Netherlands already offers a choice of excellent business schools, but Vlerick is increasingly being seen as the logical alternative. Its international environment and network, proximity, quality education, top rankings and value for money are turning heads.

Roland Mol / Yolande UylenYolande Uylen, Corporate Relations Manager, and Roland Mol, Business Development Manager for Vlerick in the Netherlands, both agree that our School has a lot to offer. “We’ve made a conscious effort to increase our activities across the border over the past two years,” says Yolande. “And we can see that it’s paying off. We organise customised programmes, open sessions and seminars at various locations in the Netherlands to let people experience Vlerick. What we see is that the Dutch are initially attracted by the content of a seminar or session, then they maybe recognise the speaker so decide to attend, and then when they meet us, they express astonishment that they didn’t know us before. They’re impressed by our knowledge of both management expertise and leadership development, our ways of transferring this knowledge and our passion.”

Passion to serve

It’s particularly this passion that makes us stand out from other business schools in the Benelux. “It’s a passion to serve,” explains Yolande. “It’s the welcome people get when they arrive at Vlerick, whether they’re joining a programme, attending a network seminar or simply visiting. It’s a feeling of being valued and part of a community. People sense that we’re different.”

Five differentiators

Yolande and Roland have identified five key differentiators in the Netherlands for our School. Yolande: “One is passion; another is experience, especially in combining management expertise and leadership with organisational development. We offer a uniquely strong tradition of developing ‘head, heart and hands’.” The third differentiator is that we create a continuous learning loop. Yolande: “Being active in executive education and research for business means we develop our own learning, continually creating new applied knowledge. People can join us at different entry points, be it as a participant in one of our programmes, a research business partner, or a returning graduate. There are lots of possibilities to stay involved and keep up with new developments.” The fourth differentiator is related to the third in that it concerns our practice-based entrepreneurial education. “We place high value on you as a person acting in an entrepreneurial manner. What’s more, companies are really keen on practice-based learning.” And the final differentiator is simply that Vlerick reflects its teachings. “The business models we teach, the vision we have, are all reflected in our own organisation,” says Yolande, “We practise what we preach.”

Proud to be Vlerick

By exploiting these five differentiators, Yolande and Roland aim to really make our presence felt in the Netherlands. “We have a lot to offer, but people have to know about us and experience Vlerick, and that’s where our biggest challenge lies,” says Yolande. “We’re good at what we do,” adds Roland, “but we’re currently too modest about it.” Yolande sums it up: “So now we’re aiming to continuously show the Netherlands who Vlerick is and why we’re Benelux’s number 1 business school.”

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