Entries by The MaastrichtMBA

The dos and don’ts of starting your own business

His information technology and software company Kabisa won the NRC Carrière Helden award 2016/2017, which is a Dutch award for being an outstanding employer by, for example, offering the best possible talent development and working conditions for employees.  While being your own boss and starting a company is one thing, hiring staff and being an employer is quite another story.

“You don’t need a plan but you do need a client!”

With a big smile, Harm de Laat glanced over the collective group of MBA students. Not too long ago, he actually was one of them, a MaastrichtMBA student participating in an educational week. In his introduction talk he mentioned MBA director Boris Blumberg approached him to host a presentation and share his experience, as a fresh graduate and seasoned entrepreneur. It is a perfect fit for this particular week, featuring Entrepreneurship and New Business Development.

No good theory without good practice

It’s a topic that kept everyone on their toes during the whole session. How creativity and entrepreneurship can be matched and proven fruitful, perhaps even in a conservative business environment. For Nadine Kiratli, this was her first introduction to a MaastrichtMBA student audience and non-purchasing professionals. After sharing her background and connection to Maastricht University, from a Business and Economics student to her PhD research and current tenure track as an Assistant Professor, the conversation and feedback within the group would become central as a lead over the course of the day.

Is creativity a new buzz-word?

Creativity in the workplace, in entrepreneurship, raises a lot of questions. Is creativity manageable and if so, how? Often people confuse creativity with innovation, so in order to make clear what the difference is, the group was asked to share their views on the concept of creativity. “A new way of doing business that adds value,” says one of the students. “Having an open mind to a solution of a problem, even if it is new to the company,” another student chips in. “It’s a thought process of developing new ideas.” “Creativity is recombining things that are considered not to be combined.” The answers were diverse and creative in their own right and all seemed to steer into the same direction: how to develop novel and meaningful business solutions? Nadine then posed a series of suppositions to which the group had to respond by individually choosing one out of two or three given options. After, they had to explain and validate their choice. An example: are people born creative (nature) or is it something that can be taught (nurture)?

Entrepreneurship is an attitude

The last Breakfast Booster before the summer break had to be something special. Prof. Dr. Paul Iske, one of our business school’s professors, would certainly live up to that promise in a very engaging way with lots of humour. He founded the Institute of Brilliant Failures to create more awareness for the complex relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship, and how failures can be beneficial to future success. This morning we learned that failure is not a bad thing. Quite the opposite even!

Prof. Dr. Paul Iske started with an anecdote about the pointer he needed for his presentation but had forgotten at home. He then downloaded a pointer app for his phone which turned out to work brilliantly. It was a crowded room at Buitenplaats Vaeshartelt, and a good lift off for a talk about the stigma of failure, and how to change one’s perception and attitude.

Be the change you want to see

For anyone who is interested in our MaastrichtMBA programme, attending a class experience or talking to one of the students or alumni is the ideal introduction. And every once in a while, we interview members of our growing MBA community to share their stories. Even when you have reached the end of our programme, the network you have become part of will be yours for life! This time we asked Charbel Haddad to answer some of our questions. Please continue for a story about change and transformation.

Can you tell us something about yourself and why you decided to sign up for the MaastrichtMBA programme?

May I start by saying I am a better listener than I am a talker? But I will give it a try. My name is Charbel Haddad, I am 38 years old and married. I was born in Lebanon where I’ve lived most of my life. I studied telecom engineering and I am a working professional for fifteen years in a mostly technical context, with some pre-sales and project management. I moved around between various multinational companies like Siemens and Ericsson, and now I am working for a mobile operator in Luxembourg.

Eduniversal’s 2017 Best Masters & MBAs Rankings

On April 11th, Eduniversal published the 2017 issue of their Best Masters & MBAs Ranking, which again confirmed the MaastrichtMBA as one of the world’s best part-time executive MBA programmes and Maastricht University School of Business and Economics as one of the world’s top business schools. Ranked alongside the MBAs of renowned institutes, such as London Business School, INSEAD, Copenhagen Business School and University of Mannheim Business School, Maastricht University SBE gains continuous acknowledgement and appreciation from the global community of leading ranking bodies for its high-quality MBA provision.

Headquartered in Paris, Eduniversal is a global ranking and rating agency specialising in higher education. The company has established strong expertise in evaluating academic institutions and programmes in France since 1994, and internationally since 2007. Every year they issue the Best Business Schools Ranking (published in February, click here to see our accompanying press release) as well as the Best Masters and MBAs Ranking. These rankings are designed to provide information to prospective graduate students that will help them in their search for their future studies in the following geographical zones: Africa, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Eurasia & Middle East, Far East Asia, Latin America, North America, Oceania, Western Europe.

The MaastrichtMBA amongst the world’s best executive MBAs!

On April 5th, CEO Magazine released its 2017 Global MBA Rankings, which feature over 290 MBA, Executive MBA and Online MBA Programmes worldwide. After a pleasing Tier One rank in 2016, The MaastrichtMBA now claims 13th place overall in CEO’s Global Executive MBAs ranking and was announced the best executive MBA programme offered on Dutch soil!

The complete CEO Magazine Global MBA Rankings 2017 can be viewed in the latest edition of CEO Magazine or online on the magazine’s website.

CEO Magazine has been showcasing top business schools from around the globe since it first launched in 2008. In 2012 the publication launched its annual Global MBA Rankings, profiling MBA, Executive MBA and Online MBA programmes. This year CEO Magazine reached out to business schools across North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the BRICS, and received responses from over 160 institutions – a 20 per cent increase in submissions from 2016.

Learning Something New Every Day

Twelve new MaastrichtMBA students from all walks of life gathered in a classroom at Maastricht University’s campus in the first week of December. It was their introduction weekend to the MBA programme. Although they had only just met, a warm and open vibe of togetherness was already present, turning the session about Leadership & Learning into a very lively one.

Exploring brain capacity

Sonja Zaar, lecturer and researcher in the field of organisational behaviour and educational sciences, introduced herself to the group and promised a mix of information and entertainment, carried by the group itself via active participation in the various assignments she had planned. A first series of questions balancing myths and facts evoked amusement and laughter, as the group discussed whether people would use their left or right brain primarily. “It’s a myth, of course!” Sonja explained when curiosity for the correct answer grew bigger, “because the two sides of the brain are intricately co-dependent.” She supported her claim with an illustration mapping out some of the functions of our brain and body that definitely needed both sides of the brain. Another myth or fact kept the group bouncing off ideas and thoughts with their immediate neighbours in the room, as Sonja instructed. Do we use only 10% of our brain? “I sure hope that’s a myth,” Maurice Zeegers responded, and again the group burst out in laughter. Sonja Zaar had no trouble convincing the group of the fact that we actually use our entire brain, but due to internal and external factors we don’t make use of the full 100% all the time.

25 years of the Maastricht Treaty: Party or Hangover?

The signing of the Maastricht Treaty marked the first step towards the establishment of the European Union (EU) as we know it today. Now, 25 years later, it is time to take stock. Has the EU lived up to expectations? Is it up to the task of addressing the problems of our time – the euro crisis, the refugee crisis, Brexit and rising anti-European populism, with Trump as just the latest variation on this theme? Has the ideal of an integrated Europe become obsolete? We asked a number of Maastricht professors for their views on the institution under fire. Monica Claes, professor of European and Comparative Constitutional Law, and Bruno de Witte, professor of European Law, set the ball rolling.

When asked what there is to celebrate, the professors fall silent. Claes starts to chuckle, and eventually De Witte speaks up: “Celebrate is such a difficult word. Why celebrate something like that? Of course, it was an important moment in the sense that it made the EU what it is today. So it marks an important step whose consequences – both positive and negative – we’re still experiencing today.”

Eduniversal 2016 Business School Ranking Results

The ninth edition of the Eduniversal World Convention held in Perth, Australia, brought together 250 representatives from the world’s best business schools including Harvard Business School, London Business School, Copenhagen Business School, Melbourne Business School and Fudan University School of Management.

More than 120 schools from 50 countries participated in this event, which promotes the internationalisation of higher education and the mobility of students. At the Convention Gala Dinner, in the presence of Her Excellency the Honorable Kerry Sanderson AC, Governor of Western Australia, and several ambassadors to countries of the academic institutions ranked, the 2016 ranking of the World’s 1000 Best Business Schools as selected by 1000 deans was unveiled and the three best academic institutions by geographical area were rewarded with a prize.

Maastricht University School of Business and Economics – home of the MaastrichtMBA programme – again was awarded a prestigious Five Palms of Excellence rating, which proofs our business school’s strong global influence.

The Natural Process of Innovation

While it is freezing cold outside, the 46 attendees at Buitenplaats Vaeshartelt are taking care of a warm ambiance. They have been asked to leave spring early to attend the 2017 Winter Edition of the Breakfast Booster, organised by Maastricht University School of Business and Economics (SBE).

One of the first attendees is the speaker: evolutionary biologist Dr. Roy Erkens, who you can see is very excited about it. Also present is the Director of Postgraduate Education, Prof. dr. Mariëlle Heijltjes. Like the others, they are treating themselves to the large breakfast buffet.

Kick-off a special meeting

Diana Berdún Mingo, Marketing and Communications Officer at the business school, kicks off this special meeting. Why special? Because biology is not a common topic in the world of business and economics.

Erkens takes the floor and immediately asks the question that will be the focus of this Breakfast Booster: what can organisations learn from evolution? Evolution, the change in inherited traits within a population, is a traditional domain of biologists, however there are many parallels with business. “Evolution is a powerful tool that can serve as a reference for other areas” says Erkens, who wishes to emphasise that analogies do not always stand.