General and specific report Stockholm Business School Autumn semester 2014 Aron Scheppink

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1 General and specific report Stockholm Business School Autumn semester 2014 Aron Scheppink General Report 1. Host institution and exact dates of semester abroad I went to Stockholm on the 21 st of August, While the semester started at the 1 st of September, I decided to go a few days in advance since I still had to arrange housing. The last exams were mostly between the 1 st and 15 th of January depending on which course you chose. 2. Contact with home faculty, preparation and journey After getting accepted at the Stockholm Business School, they directly sent a lot of information about all kind of things such as housing, courses, student life etc. Also, when you had a question for them, they responded quickly and always were willing to help you with everything you need. Most of the time they respond the same day or the day after at the latest. Erasmus papers could be sent by and they will sign it digitally. You also get a course overview with all the courses that are available in every period in an organized table. You had to send your preferences for courses (first and second choice) to them via and almost everyone was able to get their first choice. I booked my flight relatively late since I decided to go some earlier to search for housing which made my flight more expensive than it would be otherwise. But you can still fly for a reasonable price from Amsterdam to Stockholm. 3. Residence abroad a. Arrangements visa/residence permit There were no problems regarding these documents since it is a part of the EU and if you had any questions regarding anything the Swedish people are always kind and really willing to help you out. They have a really good understanding of the English language, which makes it very easy to communicate with the local people. b. Accommodation This was the only bad thing I am able to say about my period abroad. They have a big housing problem in Stockholm because there are simply more people (local and exchange students) than accommodation available. You can participate in a housing lottery of the university to get accommodation on one of the student campuses, which are great places to live. However, a lot of people didn t get accommodation via the lottery so had to look for themselves. This was really not easy since, as already mentioned, there are simply not enough places. So, I recommend to start looking for apartments really early in order to avoid disappointment at the end when you end up with staying in a hostel the first time of your semester abroad. In the end, almost everyone got a nice place to live and the university did all the best to help everyone. Also I got a really nice shared apartment in the city centre via a private website.

2 c. Reception and introduction The business school has a really great buddy programme which took almost one and a half month with in the first two week lots of activities every day and after those weeks at least two times a week several activities. This way, you got to know a lot of people very fast, which makes your start in a new country quite easy and a lot of fun! Since the buddy program was so great, I didn t really go to ESN parties so I m not able to really say something about it. Also entering Sweden in general was very easy since everything is very well organized and in English. The Swedish culture is quite comparable with the Dutch, which made it easy for me to adapt. d. Student life, culture, and leisure The life in Stockholm is really great! A good mix of students, young people, and adults. Since Stockholm is a capital city, there is always something to do with a lot of nice clubs, restaurants and bars. But keep in mind that Stockholm is a lot more expensive than Groningen! Also, I made some trips to various cities and countries. There is for example a great opportunity to visit St. Petersburg from Stockholm without a visa. e. Language As already said, everyone speaks perfectly English. Even the older people are speaking good English which made it very easy to communicate with all the locals. 4. Grant amount The Erasmus grant for Sweden is 250,- euros per month. 70% of the grant is paid in advance and after handing in all the paper work at the end the last 30% will be transferred to your bank account. Next to the Erasmus grant you still get your regular student fund and Dutch students are able to get a compensation for their OV-card of approximately 100,- per month. However, from my own and others experience this is not enough to cover all the costs during your period abroad so save some money beforehand! 5. Study (general) The courses in Stockholm were all each so I had to follow 4 courses to get my 30 ECTS needed. Every course at the Business School took approximately one month, with an exam directly after each month. You have only one course at the same time, which is a bit more intensive because all the content need to be covered in only four weeks instead of the 7 weeks you are used to in Groningen. However, I found the level of difficulty slightly lower than in the Netherlands so you don t have to worry that you wouldn t pass the courses! Also, the focus is more on group projects or participating in seminars. Sometimes you were able to pass the course with only doing group work or simply participating in seminars! 6. Other relevant info you want to share with our future exchange students Participate in as most activities as you can, especially in the beginning since that s the time where most of the possible friendships are made! Also, try to explore the city directly in the beginning so you can make the best out of your stay and you don t have to regret anything you didn t do because Stockholm has so much to offer for everyone!

3 7. Summary impression of the study period and any advice/suggestions/tips for students or academic staff who will be involved with the host institution in the future Make sure that you start looking for housing on your own from the beginning in order to have a back-up if you don t get housing via the lottery. It happens often that students advertise their room on the Internet because they are going for example on an exchange semester and are willing to rent their room for one semester. However, be aware of fraud! There is a lot of fraud on the Internet regarding housing advertising. So, I suggest to not pay anything before you have seen the room in real life! And of course, enjoy your stay! You are probably going to have your best semester ever!

4 Specific Report Fashion Marketing (FAM) The course took one month, and was given in the month of September. The classes were divided in lectures and seminars. There were two lectures and one seminar of each two hours per week. There was one compulsory book that had to be read for the exam and several articles that contained theories that could have been used in the case you had to do in the seminars. As already said, two lectures were given every week with sometimes a guest lecturer. The theory in the lectures added to the theories in the articles had to be used by the students to develop their case about a specific fashion company they had chosen. You also had to present your case twice, half-way and at the end. For this course, you had to study the book, lecture slides and articles stated in the reading list. The lectures where focusing on the nature and complexity of the fashion industry in relation to retailers etc., segmentation strategies, sustainability, and the speed and diffusion of trends in the fashion industry. Two times two hours of lectures a week with sometimes a guest lecturer. In addition, there is one seminar a week which will also take two hours or less. I had some marketing courses before in Groningen, however, this was something completely different since the focus was really on one specific topic while the courses I had were about some general marketing practices. In that sense, it was a whole new experience which can help you in analysing future markets. Only the seminars were compulsory. However, it was not a problem if you have missed one. The study load was quite low because you will almost always receive a very high grade for you case in the seminars which means that you have to get only around 10 points out of 100 on the exam to pass the course. So, actually you will always pass it!

5 Entrepreneurship in Societal Change (ENSO) For this course there were again two times a week lectures which vary in time from two until 4 hours each and a seminar which took approximately two hours every week. In the end there was one day of six hours which was devoted to listen and discuss about the presentations that were given by different groups of students about their group work. Every lecture was devoted to a specific subject regarding entrepreneurship in a social way. Next to that, you had to do an individual assignment as well as a group assignment and an exam. For this course, you had to study the two different books, lecture slides, and articles mentioned in the reading list. They all had something to do with social entrepreneurship. Furthermore, you had to do a group report about an own social idea and how to develop this idea into the real world. As already said, there were two lectures, which could vary from 2 hours to 4 hours each and a seminar that could take two hours each week. In addition, you had to do a lot of self-study since the group project and individual assignment were a lot of work in the beginning. Since my study consist partly of entrepreneurship it is highly relevant to the current study program. In addition, it is about sustainability and social impact, which is highly relevant nowadays in every business, which makes it more interesting and important. The study load for this course was relatively high compared to other courses. You had to do an individual assignment, two group projects and an individual exam. The exam was a take-home exam in essay form for which you had two days to finish. However, I ve heard that for next year they are going to change the take-home exam for a multiplechoice exam.

6 Operations Management (OPM) Again for this course there were two lectures and one seminar a week. In the lectures the theory of the book was told with practical examples of the own experience of the lecturer who was a really really nice guy. There was a compulsory book on which the exam was based and some additional articles that could be read to broaden your knowledge. The lectures touched different subjects of operations in a company such as capacity, supply network, process technology and organisation. In every seminar students were playing games, in which they had to apply the theory to virtual cases on the computer. This was very interesting and a new way of teaching which was, according to me, very effective and should be done more often in every course. The course focuses on both content and process of formulating operations strategies. The seminars were not compulsory, however, you could earn points when you attend the seminars and participated actively. The lectures were quite easy to follow and interactive because the lecturer used an interactive way of lecturing with a lot of practical examples of his own experience which made the theory easier to understand. Also his seminars were highly interesting since you had to explain the theory all by yourself in a real life case so you could see how it worked in practice. This course is highly relevant to my study program in Groningen since the operations are a key driver in every business because that s what provides a company the value they have. We learned how to manage those operations in the best way, and how to solve practical issues, which made it a very interesting course. The study load for this course was relatively low since you could earn already enough points to pass the course with only participating in the seminars. Next to that, the exam was multiple-choice exam which was also quite easy. All in all, I would highly recommend this course since it was very interesting because you did a lot of practical things and the lecturer was really good and nice. And most importantly, you will almost always pass the course.

7 Business2Business Marketing, Sales, and Account Mangement (B2B) We had 6 lectures and 3 seminars in total divided over 4 weeks. Both lectures and seminars took 3 hours each. The lecturer used the book as starting point in his lectures and explained theories of the book. In the seminars, several cases were used. In the lectures several topics were touched upon such as business marketing environment, segmenting business markets, pricing, supply-chain and logistics management, and customer relationships and partnerships. The seminars were used to present several cases by student groups in order to extend the theories explained in lectures. Afterwards, a discussion was initiated to investigate the theory. The course focuses on marketing activities that are directed toward other businesses, governments, and non-profit organizations, which makes it a different course compared to the traditional marketing courses since they are mostly focused on the B2C market. You are expected to attend every seminar since you earn points by attending and participating actively. However, it is not a huge problem when missing one seminar (you only miss the points for that one). The lectures were kind chaotic and thus sometimes hard to follow since he moved from subject to subject all the time. He didn t seem well prepared or so. However, the lecture slides were a good indication on which subjects to focus on for the exam. The seminars were okay, sometimes a bit long. This course was a perfect addition to my current courses since I had already a few marketing courses. As I said before, however, they all focused on the B2C market and it was interesting to see how the dynamics in a B2B environment work. Especially, since this is a huge and important market which is not really emphasized in my current programme. Doing the case presentation was quite some work, however, the other seminars were fine and you didn t have to do so much during the course. Since the lecture slides covered almost all the theory that was in the exam, you got a good preparation for the exam. All in all, you didn t have to study that much to pass the course because you earned already half the grade with seminar assignments.

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