On October 3rd and 4th it was time for the annual Business Orientation Days; two days filled with all types of events to connect students and companies to each other. I had the pleasure to interview this year’s BOD VSAE coordinator (and also VSAE board chairman) Lobke.
Can you explain shortly what the Business Orientation Days are and why they are held?
The Business Orientation Days is a two-day career event hosted together with the Financial Study association Amsterdam (FSA). The event is not only aimed at students in Econometrics, Actuarial Science and Business Analytics, but also students in Economics, Business and Finance. The BOD’s objective is to foster connections between students and prominent companies, enabling them to interact with potential future employers and gain valuable insights into various industries. We do this by hosting presentations, workshops, lunches, dinners, individual meetings and masterclasses. Annually, the event boasts participation from around 45 leading companies, attracting around 600 students eager to seize the opportunities it presents.
What did the BOD (the program) look like this year? Can you walk us through the days?
For the early birds, the first workshops and individual meetings started on October 3rd at 9:00 or 9:30. While some got a start to their day working on a case or having an individual conversation with recruiters, others met the companies in a more informal setting during the coffee dates. After the first round of activities had ended, it was time for lunch. During the general lunch students had the opportunity to speak to the companies at the company fair, while others had a chat during the company specific lunches. In the afternoon students could participate in more workshops, individual meetings, but also presentations and even a masterclass! For some the day ended at the networking drinks, while others still had one more activity on their program: a company dinner. Here students spoke to recruiters while enjoying a nice dinner at a restaurant somewhere in Amsterdam.
What was the process of finding the companies like?
It’s a combination of us finding the companies and companies reaching out to us. As you can probably imagine for an event that hosts 50 companies, our acquisition team consisting of Stephan (VSAE), Frederike (FSA) and Berhan (FSA) contacted a lot of companies. But besides that, companies were also really enthusiastic about this new edition of the BOD and reached out by themselves, which we're really happy about!
What makes a company a good fit for the BOD?
Since our participants have such diverse study backgrounds, a lot of companies are fit to participate in the BOD. We welcome all companies who have a link to business, finance, econometrics, data science and more. We're very happy to have hosted such a diverse portfolio of companies this year!
What were the actual days like for the committee?
While for most students the day started during their first workshop or presentation, our day started on the steps of our beautiful venue KIT (Royal Tropical Institute) around 7:00. With a healthy dose of excitement and tiredness, we started preparing for all the students who were expected a little before 9:00. In the morning we guided the recruiters and students to the workshops and some individual meetings, after which we got ready for the peak moment of the day: lunch! While enjoying a nice KIT sandwich, we made sure that all the rooms were ready for the company specific lunches. In the afternoon the orientation continued: students attended more workshops, individual meetings and presentations. After celebrating a successful day during the networking drinks, the committee spread through the city to set up for the company dinners in restaurants around the Royal Tropical Institute. Full of fulfillment, we had our committee dinner together and went back home to get some sleep for the next day. Regarding day 2: eat - sleep - repeat.
What were the highlights of this years BOD?
This year we really focussed on upgrading the general lunch and drinks. While this was already very successful at both lunches and the networking drinks during the first day, the networking drinks on the second day was really the icing on the cake! Being able to celebrate together with the people with whom you've worked so hard to get this event to be the success that it was, is honestly an amazing feeling. For me specifically as coordinator of the committee, I could not be more proud of all the hard work they've put into this event and making sure that it would become the success that it was!