Dion recently started working and graduating at The Next Organization. Dion works one day as a working student on location and is working four days on his graduation thesis for his master in business administration, with a specialisation in innovation, strategy and entrepreneurship. In this interview, Dion tells about his first experiences at The Next Organization.
How did you end up at TNXTO?
In the spring of 2021, I was looking for a graduation project for my master's degree. My preference was to graduate in cooperation with an organisation, because I would like to gain more experience in the business world. Via a teacher of my university (University of Twente), I ended up at The Next Organization (partner of the University of Twente). The vacancy on the website really appealed to me. Topics that really appealed to me were clearly stated, such as innovation, inclusiveness and sustainability. I decided to take the plunge and immediately contacted the organisation. During my job interviews, I became increasingly enthusiastic about the graduation project. I really liked the opportunity to work with the company for a day in addition to graduating. This allows me to specify my interests and see what I find interesting within the consultancy field.
How would you summarise your graduation project in a few sentences?
In my graduation research, I am investigating which elements are most important for inclusive business models for companies in the Western world (corporate and mid-corporate companies). In recent years, much research has been done on how people in the 'bottom of the pyramid' (low income groups) in third world countries can be involved in the business model of companies. However, research has shown that in Europe, 21.1% of the total population also live in the BoP. So for companies in Europe, there is still a huge target group to reach, both in terms of selling products and/or services and recruiting staff. Improvement towards a more inclusive business model is badly needed to include everyone, including the BoP. Moreover, an inclusive business model can generate more turnover and/or profit for companies in the Western world and can create more stability in society.
What assignments do you carry out when you work at The Next Organization as a student worker?
So far, I have had the opportunity to carry out a wide range of different assignments. For example, I am developing a Shopify website for various clients, in which we implement various functions. In addition, I am currently developing a vitality meter together with a colleague, in which we assess the organisation from both an employee and employer perspective. Besides the above examples, I have had the opportunity to deal with many other interesting topics and customers, all very interesting. In the future, I hope to be able to look at as many different subjects as possible, so that I can get a good idea of the opportunities that consultancy can offer me.
In the meantime, you have been employed by The Next Organization for several months. Because of COVID-19 you now work one day at the office and the rest from home. How do you like this?
In the past year, I have only taken online classes. Unfortunately, online lessons work a little less motivating and I could not wait to get back to work physically. At TNXTO, I get the opportunity to work on location. The combination of working on location and having the opportunity to spar with my colleagues at TNXTO is very motivating! It suits me very well to work partly at the office as a working student and to be busy at home with my graduation. Because TNXTO is very flexible, I can decide myself what I will work on and which days I will come to the office. Fortunately, today's technology ensures that I always stay connected with colleagues through Teams, for example, to ask questions.
How do you like your first few months at TNXTO so far?
Good! I am very satisfied. I have had several internships in the past, where I often felt like an 'intern'. This is absolutely not the case at TNXTO. I am involved in many projects and because of the 'open door culture' I can always drop in on my colleagues to spar. Partly because of this, I felt at home very quickly. In addition, I recently set up new goals for the coming year with my supervisor Jade and TNXTO partner Steije. This 'half-yearly conversation' was a pleasant experience, because both my colleagues from TNXTO and I have insight into what I want to achieve in the coming six months. I am very much looking forward to developing myself further in the coming six months.
When you look to the future, what is your ambition?
In the coming period, I hope to learn a lot and develop myself further within the consultancy field. I am looking forward to contributing to more interesting projects and successfully completing my thesis. Furthermore, I expect to deepen my knowledge of inclusivity, innovation and sustainability and to discover if the consultancy field is indeed a good fit with who I am and my interests.
Would you like to know more about working as a consultant at The Next Organization? Or would you like to talk about this or other topics based on this article? Feel free to contact us for a (digital) cup of coffee with Dion or one of his colleagues.