Besides the bicycles, nightlife, Van Gogh, and over 60 miles of canals, Amsterdam is a thriving business hub on the up.
95% of the Dutch population speak English. Over 170 nationalities live and work in Amsterdam. Business Insider ranks Amsterdam as one of the happiest cities in the world. It’s no surprise that some of the world’s hottest firms—Nike, Netflix, Uber included—have regional headquarters either in or close to the Dutch capital.
With the Brexit uncertainty in the UK, Amsterdam is also growing as a financial center—Europe’s business schools are profiting too—and the cities lively tech startup scene boasts success stories like WeTransfer and TomTom.
This year, Nyenrode Business Universiteit relaunched its full-time MBA program in a brand new location on the Keizersgracht Canal in Central Amsterdam, opening up new career opportunities for its MBA students.
Students on Nyenrode’s Europe-focused, one-year MBA program—ranked 38th in Europe by the Financial Times in 2016—visit companies and network with senior execs across five European immersion modules in Barcelona, Brussels, Copenhagen, London, and Zurich.
Typically, 82% find jobs within three months of graduation; 51% in Europe. Top Nyenrode MBA employers include Unilever, Microsoft, and ING. International MBA students can get a one-year visa to find jobs in the Netherlands after graduation.
40 students of 18 different nationalities are two months into the revamped MBA program. BusinessBecause caught up with three of them to find out more.
Mariana Lamadrid Padilla
Mariana fell in love with Nyenrode after attending the school’s Business Games, a summer live case study experience which gives prospective MBA students a taste of business school life. Before Nyenrode, Mariana worked in the education sector in her native Mexico. Now, she wants to make an impact on a global scale.
On choosing Nyenrode… I was looking for a full-time MBA program that would allow me to live abroad, experience a different culture, and would help me strengthen my managerial skills in a very practical way.
After attending Nyenrode’s Business Games—an intensive weekend where we got to work in a diverse team on a real case for a local start up—I really identified with the practical, international approach to teaching that the university offers.
On MBA life in Amsterdam… I’ve grown fond of biking around town—it’s a completely different way to experience the city.
As autumn starts to roll around, I am falling in love with the city a bit more each day. From discovering new cafes to study, great restaurants to eat all types of international cuisines, to getting lost on my way back home and discovering a new park or canal with a fantastic view, I could write several books on all my unexpected finds.
Plus, looking at a map, Amsterdam is extremely central to all of Europe. My wanderlust heart could not ask for a better hub for quick travel getaways.
On the future… I want to work for a company with purpose, not just profit, as their mission and vision, in a position that will allow me to impact the most people possible.
I believe Amsterdam is the perfect city to achieve this, being such a central location for multinational companies. I also really admire the work-life balance offered here, and the social responsibility and ecological awareness that is part of Dutch culture. I hope to find a job in Amsterdam, and to keep calling the city my home!
Gareth left a top communications job at Uber for his full-time MBA. He’s spent over a decade working in PR and, with an MBA at Nyenrode, he hopes to diversify and take the next step in his career. He’s even considering taking the leap to start his own business.
On choosing Nyenrode… I chose to have my first career break after two decades of continuous work so I could study at Nyenrode. The calibre of the university, plus its recently opened facilities in central Amsterdam made it an obvious choice.
I have reported to the management boards of multi-billion dollar companies for several years but it’s rare to find people solely with communications experience who have taken the next step. At Nyenrode, I want to combine my experience with a broader understanding of business so that my counsel is more holistic and valuable.
On MBA life in Amsterdam… It is an incredibly accessible city; compact yet with plenty of things going on. With great transport links and English so widely spoken, it is a great place to do international business.
On the future… I think the international perspective that comes with an MBA at Nyenrode, plus the university’s support to become the best possible leader you can be, will be the catalyst for the next stage of my career.
At some point, that may mean starting my own business. There’s a growing start-up scene in the Netherlands powered by the likes of StartupDelta, which is exciting. I have always been driven, so wherever I go next, an entrepreneurial spirit will be important.
Károly worked in HR for Citi in Budapest before relocating to Amsterdam for his MBA. He chose Nyenrode after participating in the summer Business Games, and aims to start a new career in Amsterdam after graduation.
On choosing Nyenrode… I participated in Nyenrode’s Business Games and I liked the school, the practical approach, the Castle of Nyenrode and, obviously, Amsterdam.
The stand-out to me is the multicultural aspect of the whole MBA program. A group of 40 from 18 countries means a lot of learning every day. From small interactions to group projects, and spending your free time together outside class, the program offers so much in that dimension.
On MBA life in Amsterdam… It may be small in size compared to cities like London or Paris, but Amsterdam is a lively and liveable city with a buzzing business scene. It’s so multicultural—I’m exposed to lots of different people in a new setting different from home. I’m loving every moment of it.
On the future… I am planning to stay in Amsterdam after the program ends. The job market is competitive yet open, and a degree from Nyenrode will be an advantage.
I’m still exploring my career options, but I have no worries. Nyenrode Business Universiteit offers a fantastic Personal Leadership Journey as part of the full-time MBA that will help me identify my strengths and drivers. The school is also famous for its network and its strong integration with the business world.