"Being a Nyenrodian, more than anything it's a feeling"

Interview with Heleen van Hall MBA, Head of the Nyenrode Alumni & External Relations Office

“We believe it’s important to maintain close relationships with our almost 30,000 alumni. As Head of Alumni and External Relations, I’m their main point of contact. My role is to connect them with all the various entities within the Nyenrode network, and implement and monitor alumni policy throughout the university.”
“I started in this role in September 2016, and we’ve already made progress in a number of areas. For example, in November last year we launched the Nyenrode Community App, which keeps alumni,students and staff up to date on news and events. You can scan for or announce your presence to fellow Nyenrodians wherever you are in the world. Another project is updating the CRM data, which we’re doing with Swink, a company of one of our alumni, Niels van Buren. This is a huge undertaking. And I keep the network updated on developments each month, via the electronic newsletter.”

“The Nyenrode alumni network is unique. In my twenty-one years here I’ve come across Nyenrodians in many places around the world, and they all get a twinkle in their eyes when they talk about the university. They’re genuinely interested in how things are going in Breukelen, and they do their very best to help, irrespective of whether they live abroad, or are extremely busy with their families and work.”

“Alumni have helped us greatly in selecting foreign students for the BSc in Business Administration, and this year another group of around thirty are acting as facilitators for the peer group coaching sessions for full-time MSc and MBA students. A huge number have participated in the Claim Your Chair project and given guest lectures for the various student groups. An increasing number of alumni fund scholarships or contribute towards the upkeep of the estate and its monuments. I could go on for days.”

“I’d also like to mention the group who’ve spent a huge amount of time organizing the fantastic lustrum party on September 10, 2016, led by the VCV office. It’s amazing how Nyenrodians are always there for one another and for their alma mater. We greatly appreciate all these efforts.”

“There are often still discussions about what exactly a Nyenrodian is. For full-time students, this is someone who lived on campus and was a member of the Nieuwe Compagnie van Verre student association. This makes a huge contribution to the way people feel about Nyenrode. But with everything we do these days at the university, it’s difficult to make that distinction. For example, there are people who took the Foundations of Management executive program, which doesn’t strictly qualify them as Nyenrodians, but who then became members of the Nyenrode Alumni VCV executive board, and put huge amounts of time into this as volunteers.”

“To me, this indicates that while there’s certainly a definition for the term Nyenrodian, it’s primarily about feeling, combined with what you do or don’t do for the university community. According to the definition, I’m not a Nyenrodian either, but I definitely feel like I am one.”
For more information about the Nyenrode Alumni & External Relations Office and its activities, please contact Heleen van Hall,, +31 346 - 291432.

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