What kind of assignment are students working on?
The assignment should be focused on building professional partnerships in China or Southeast Asia for a Dutch company or organization. During the minor, the student team is required to have made a minimum of 15 appointments in the designated destination (e.g. visit companies or meet with industry specialists).
Most assignments fall into one of the two following categories:
1) market entry (finding sales opportunities in the designated destination for Dutch organizations)
2) sourcing (finding suppliers or manufacturers in the designated destination)
However, the assignment may not fall into one of the above categories. No problem. We had teams working on other assignments before. But keep in mind that the assignment:
Should be focused on building partnerships in the designated destination
Should require at least 15 appointments to enable the team to write a good advisory report
The commissioning organization must have a significant interest in a proper execution of the assignment. (This means that most assignments offered by relatives or close friends do not qualify because of a conflict of interest).
So, the assignment could be customized to the needs of the organization.
Examples of a suitable assignment:
1) Market entry (research / sales)
Finding a potential distributor for the Dutch products
Finding a business partner to offer Dutch expertise in the designated destination
Finding a suitable location for a pilot store in the designated destination
Finding a potential joint venture partner for business development in the designated destination
Finding a reliable manufacturer for products of a Dutch company
Finding a reliable supplier of products / services
Activities that the teams can do for the assignment
Examples of activities that may be part of the assignment:
Finding (market) information for a Dutch organization
Conducting a market study / market research for a Dutch organization
Finding and meeting with new and/or potential customers
Visiting a trade show in the designated destination for a Dutch organization and reporting on new products, suppliers, manufacturers
Representing a Dutch organization on a trade show in the designated destination
Finding and meeting up with potential new distributors for products of a Dutch organization.
Sourcing: Visiting potential manufacturers that Dutch organizations may be interested in doing business with
Selling Dutch products and/or services in the designated destination
Visiting production facilities and/or inspecting goods/shipments
Selecting a representative / an agent for a Dutch company
Note: consider the above examples as components of the full assignment; it may be necessary to combine different activities to complete the assignment in such a way that it meets the requirements.
How many guidance hours (per week / month) should the Commissioning Organization (CO) take into account?
This is greatly dependent on the complexity of the assignment, the industry and/or the product/service. When the student team are executing their assignment they are expected to thoroughly understand the product/service and the industry of the CO very well. (Note that the students are expected to act as an industry professional when they meet with potential business partners). This requires in-depth preparation work from the students and you (the CO) might well be their prime source of information. A good briefing from the CO and proper communication about the progress of the project is essential, though how much time this will take, is open. Finally, time must be set aside for the team’s presentation of the findings of the project at the CO’s office at the end of the minor.
Are there any reimbursement requirements for the Commissioning Organisation (CO)?
The AUAS has no requirements with regard to compensation for the student team, so this is negotiable between CO and student team. Yet, at the end of the project the AUAS requires from the student team that the results of the project must be a valuable contribution to the CO. During the negotiations between the CO and the student team the CO can give clear indicators what are considered valuable contributions and the student team can negotiate the reward (cost compensation and/or other incentives).
Does the Commissioning Organization (CO) formally ‘hire’ the student for the project (with all the legal strings attached to it)?
No. The student is executing the assignment as a study project at the AUAS (HvA). The Commissioning Organization gives the student the opportunity to use their assignment as the subject. Yet, students can agree with the CO on additional conditions on their own initiative with respect to e.g. performance requirements, or compensation of cost.
What form of quality control can the Commissioning Organization expect with regard to the end result of the Assignment?
The end result of the Assignment obviously depends on the competencies and efforts of the participating students. However, the Assignment follows a detailed, tried and tested process that monitors the progress of the Assignment. Involvement of the Commissioning Organizations is secured at several stages during that process (BOSCARD Pitch, BOSCARD, Action Plan/Appointment Record, Interim Report, Final Report and Presentation on location). There is a Commissioned Examiner (COMEX) overseeing the overall grading process.