Our theoretical practice company Diskotech participated 30th March on a lecture held by Victor de Bruin and Rick Bastiaanssen from Avans University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands during the International Week of Business and Services. The name of the lecture was Serious Game: Negotiation and Collaboration.
They started the lecture by telling us a little bit about what the Netherlands is famous for and about Avans University of Applied Sciences. Then we started the Serious Game. The setup of the game was that a wealthy philanthropic billionaire divides 15 million Euro’s between six universities. The universities get to decide among themselves how the money will be divided. Only when full consensus is reached, the money gets divided.
The participants of the lecture were divided amongst the universities. The game consisted of informal rounds and negotiating rounds. On informal rounds universities visited one another to discuss why they needed the money and how much they were asking for. Negotiating rounds consisted of representatives of each university sitting around a table to discuss and to find a solution that was suitable for everyone. The last round was the final call, where representatives of each university tried to reach consensus about how to divide the money. In our case, consensus wasn’t reached.
What were the five most interesting points of the lecture?
- The person who started the conversation set the tone of negotiation
- At first everyone focused mainly on the gain they could achieve
- Best results were accomplished when the focus was on co-operation
- Full consensus means that everyone has a veto right
- Engaging students in the subject matter by activating teaching methods
It was effective and interesting way to teach about collaboration and negotiation, and we believe everyone had fun. After the lecture, we interviewed Victor de Bruin and Rick Bastiaannssen about the school system and working life in the Netherlands.
The interview of Victor de Bruin and Rick Bastiaannssen:
The application process for the business studies in the Netherlands differs from Finland because most of the time there are no entrance exams. The commitment of the students is measured instead in the form of minimum study points they must acquire. For the first year that is at least 50 study points out of 60. However, the International Business programme has a language skill requirement (B2 English).
The structure of the studies is often fixed except for the minor chosen. There is however increasingly a need to let students choose their own projects and courses. The study methods are quite similar to those of TAMK such as lectures and real projects. The
Business Administration students establish their own company and must have it funded for real. The studies last for four years and include a work placement and writing a thesis.
After the graduation, some decide to continue their studies and get a Master's degree. Others usually don't have problems finding jobs because the job market is quite good at the moment. Some get employed by the company they did their thesis for. The future looks good for business and trade in the Netherlands which is especially good for International Business students. They also have good prospects for positions in other countries.
When doing business with the Dutch it is good to consider that they are very direct and mean what they say so they can get irritated if you beat around the bush. The Dutch are not very formal when it comes to business etiquette but are quite open and easygoing. They don't take themselves too seriously and have good language skills especially English.
Victor de Bruin and Rick Bastiaannssen with Diskotech OPY: Anni-Maria Weckmann, Milja Rauhala, Samuli Ylitalo, Anni Virtanen, Joona Virtanen, Jaani Österman, Henna Turpiainen, Juuso Virtanen, Valtteri Turpeinen and Paavo Viljanen
Written by Milja Rauhala, Anni-Maria Weckman and Anni Virtanen of Diskotech OPY.