How did you end up at the Fontys University of Applied Sciences in Venlo?
I live in Krefeld and always wanted to study marketing or business. However, in my region, you can only follow these courses at expensive private universities. I was also interested in studying in another country. I heard of Fontys in Venlo through a friend and their practical approach and personal guidance really appealed to me. Especially in the field of marketing, I find the practical approach and the execution of projects important. I chose to study in English, because I want to improve my English skills and I might eventually work abroad.
How are you getting on with your studies?
Currently, I am in my fourth semester. I still need to do a six-month internship and spend a semester abroad. In September, I will start my internship. I prefer to work for a larger company, because there are more possibilities in terms of marketing resources than in small companies. I mainly apply to German companies because it is easier to contact them. However, I am open to internships at foreign locations too. The semester abroad follows immediately after the internship. I am still in search of interesting universities. I would like to spend my semester abroad in North or South America. I am currently taking part in the Start-Up Factory as part of my studies.
What is the Start-Up Factory?
The Start-Up Factory is a start-up project that spans two semesters. As a group of students, we are concerned with sustainability in the field of coffee capsules. We are investigating the possibilities for refilling coffee capsules and are looking for manufacturers that produce reusable capsules. We are still evaluating the most suitable materials. We also want to work with Fairtrade coffee producers, as the demand for Fairtrade coffee continues to grow. At the end of this semester, we will give a final presentation of the project.
How do you work together within the Start-Up Factory?
We conducted the preparatory research together last year: We analysed the market and looked at whether we should focus on the German or the Dutch market. The coffee consumption in the Netherlands is twice as high as in Germany, but we decided to choose the German market anyway. Since the members of our team have different backgrounds, we now divide the tasks according to our different skills and interests. One of us takes care of finances, I focus on marketing and deal with target groups and branding.
How did you get your job at the Wirtschaftsförderung Mönchengladbach (WFMG)?
I ended up at the WFMG thanks to my interest in start-ups and through a friend who received a WFMG start-up grant. After an interview with the board of directors, I was able to start as a working student. I now work in the field of business services and start-ups and take care of the contact with schools. Studies show that the subject of start-ups is far too unfamiliar to school students. That is why it would be great to organise a start-up day at schools.
You are already active in a start-up project, alongside your studies. What is this project about?
Together with a fellow student, I started a company that sells mouth masks, disinfectants, and other hygiene products to companies. The distribution is automated, so the products are delivered automatically when they are used up by our customers. We try to support the companies with automated processes, because the whole hygiene issue has become very important for the companies because of Corona.
Do you want to continue this start-up after you graduate?
It is a very interesting project. We like the sector, and our service is well received. We cannot yet make a definitive assessment of the extent to which a mass market will develop for these services. We will soon evaluate the feedback from our partner companies. But we have no specific plans for the coming years.