A family's legacy at Nyenrode
Victor van Leijsen, current Bachelor of Science in Business Administration student, is not your average Nyenrodian. Though Victor will be part of the first BScBA graduating class, he will not be the first Van Leijsen to graduate from Nyenrode. Read on to discover how Victor is following his father's, Bas van Leijsen (BBA 1983), footsteps as a Nyenrodian.
Q: Victor, it has been a number of months since your journey as a BScBA student started. Generally speaking, how was the transition from high school student to Nyenrodian?
"Two years ago, I already made the step from high school to a study in Maastricht, where I started the International Business course. I immediately joined a student association and I really enjoyed the new environment, and an exciting new academic program. After a while, however, I missed the structure I always had at home and especially noticed this with my academic results. So I decided to stop in Maastricht and join the new BScBA journey, where I can confidently say I made the right choice. At Nyenrode, I immediately felt at home with my friends around me on campus. Being part of a small group with ambitious students and having a lot of personal attention improves my study results and makes me feel that I am in the right place."
Q: Bas, as an alumnus of Nyenrode, I trust you played a significant role in advising your son Victor to follow in your footsteps and study at Nyenrode. Besides your connection with the university, what were the main reasons for recommending Nyenrode to Victor?
"The bachelor study of three years changed my life completely, especially due to its intensive campus life. I was 18 leaving the Oelbert Gymnasium, a protected environment of a small school. The freedom you get in a normal university is huge. Sometimes too big to handle and you drown in trying to set all priorities: tutorials, self-study, Year Club, Fraternity, friends at home. Nyenrode with its campus gives the perfect combination of all of this in a controlled environment: so young students get the possibility to develop themselves in a quick and pleasant way. At the campus I learned the social skills I required to excel in the business environment."
Q: Victor, you are part of what would be the inaugural graduating class of the BScBA program. Is there a sense of responsibility or even pressure among you and your peers?
"Ofcourse we want to finish this BScBA journey together with the group we started with as we are with only 31 students and thus are a very close group. So there is a certain feeling of pressure in that sense that everyone really has to get their degree. This again makes the group close together. There is also the responsibility and at the same time joy to make this BScBA journey a success for us and also for the next BScBA groups. Making this program a success means being proactive in giving feedback to the program management and be involved in the development of the program where needed. So indeed, we do feel the responsibility and pressure, but most of all we feel the honour to be the first BScBA group and to help Nyenrode with this amazing program."
Q: Bas, how have your studies at Nyenrode contributed to your professional development? After graduating from the university, how did it impact your growth into a Director?
"The 3 years at Nyenrode provided me with the social skills to climb the different ladders in business quickly. It also gave me the self-confidence to know and realize my strengths and weaknesses and to be able to make the right choice of jobs during my career. To arrive at the position where I am now: Director and Owner of a company working worldwide in Industrial Weighing.
The curriculum that I undertook for me was the right combination of elements: a general view of all aspects of business. If you required in-deep information on a certain business field you were able to turn to the right specialists and also be able to judge their performance. Exactly the right combination of strength and knowledge when having the final decision and responsibility of a company."
Q: Victor, Nyenrode places great emphasis on both the practicalities of business and students’ personal development. How has that contributed to your experience as a Nyenrodian so far? Has it contributed to your growth?
"As my father said, the BScBA study at Nyenrode brings the skills I need in the business world. The way these skills are taught is very personal due to the small group, which also brings forth the ideal environment where personal growth is stimulated. Surrounded by ambitious students and upcoming entrepreneurs, both on campus and in class, I perceive Nyenrode as this ideal learning environment. Change takes place faster than I had imagined: I arrived as a young liable individual and within months I can see myself becoming increasingly proactive. I already gained various new skills, hard skills such as accounting and strategy and soft skills such as communication and leadership. These and many other skills and insights all contribute to the development of my entrepreneurial and nyenrodian way of thinking."
Q: Bas, Nyenrode is famed for its network within the Netherlands. As both an alumnus and a Director, could you explain how the network has impacted you?
Bas: "First I have to mention my Year Club Grooveallegiance. After almost 34 years we still have a very strong friendship. During our yearly Dies trips and our shared holidays we have plenty of time for exchanging information, experiences, benchmarks and see how we can help each other.
But of course always when you are abroad and you meet a Nyenrode Alumnus, connections are easily made. In the end we all have the same roots from the castle in Breukelen."
Victor: "I definitely agree. Last Christmas holiday during skiing, I came across a Nyenrode Alumnus who did his BBA here, and you immediately feel the special bond that you have if you are both Nyenrodians. A very special gift."