“Last summer I participated in the Netherlands-Asia Honours Summer School, a nationwide honours programme for 100 Dutch bachelor students. The programme consists of a summer school and a project for one of the partners, which can be either multinational firms or ministries. In addition, it consists of many cultural and business visits which is a unique part of the programme. It gave me some insight into how business is done in Asia.
Another component of the programme involved writing an article. They told us to try and let go of our European view on things and try to see things from the Asian perspective. I was studying in Taiwan and decided to write something about the difficult relationship with China, especially on the brain drain that is happening. China is luring young Taiwanese talent to the mainland with better working opportunities and conditions.
‘There is something more than China just being the bad actor’
I met an entrepreneur in biotechnology who did business in China and was going to expand there because of more flexible regulations and better opportunities. He shared his perspective on that situation and showed me that there is something more than China just being the bad actor. Taiwan has also put itself in a difficult position by sticking to regulations that slow down innovation. ‘Het Financieele Dagblad’ (financial newspaper) awarded me a prize for my article, as they decided it was the best of the 100 submissions.
The experience of the summer school reinforced my idea of what I want to do. I really want to work with quantitative data, so I will do a master’s and will likely go into strategy consulting. Besides my studies I work around 20 hours a week at a student-run consulting firm called Young Advisory Group. We run it ourselves so a lot of the time involves recruitment, finance, and acquisition of new clients. We’re all consultants, partners, and entrepreneurs. The aim is to get students to do strategy consulting projects for companies to experience different industries, gain work experience and grow.”
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