“The final five!” PRINS: the last 5 minutes

We caught up with three PRINS participants in that lovely limbo between final pitch and the jury’s determination. With just moments until the winners are announced, we asked how they were feeling about their team’s pitch, and – importantly – the PRINS course.

“The pitches are over! How do you feel?”

Leonie Schirmbeck

Leonie Schirmbeck

Between delivering their final pitches and discovering if their team is the winner,  PRINS participants have an exciting, stressful, and often giddy 5-10 minutes in which to bite their nails (or a sandwich), joke with their tutors (who can be more competitive than the teams themselves) and contemplate their fate. Or dance to loud electronic music to dial down the stress, in at least one PRINS case!

We caught up with three PRINS participants in that lovely limbo between final pitch and the jury’s determination. With just moments until the winners are announced, we asked how they were feeling about their team’s pitch, and – importantly – the PRINS course.


Leonie Schirmbeck (Case: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Q: The pitches are over! How do you feel?
A: Very relieved! It’s exciting because we don’t yet know who won, but at this point you feel very accomplished – and there is the overwhelming happiness of having done the pitch.

Q: How do you think your team – Team Triumphant - did? 
A: I would say we did quite well – and we did 10 case studies, which gave us quite a good basis for our advice, which deals with climate change. Also I really liked the design of our presentation, I think it looked great.

Q: Whether your team officially won or lost, how has the PRINS project affected you during this final BA trimester? Did you learn anything about yourself, or have an unexpected role to play in your team?
A: Well I would say that normally I am quite decisive and dominant, but with PRINS I intentionally decided not to be team leader. That taught me that I can actually act in a softer way - and that brings in a kind of soft power.  I realised how important it is to throw in a joke sometimes, and learned I can be the one who brings that humour!

Q: What about the work of a consultant? What have you learned from working with an organisation? Has it helped you clarify (or has it reinforced) your ambitions for the future in terms of work or further study?
A: I enjoyed it quite a lot. Because the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s questions were quite open, it’s nice to have this feeling you are able to interpret them as you will – it was a very free project, and for such an important organisation too.

It’s great for Bachelor’s students to be in this position. It’s especially important for students with no work experience: the PRINS is their moment, it’s the primary source of their professional development. I’ve done several internships, but this professional development is what I saw in my fellow students without that experience.

Aleksandra Jovanovic (Case: World Food Programme)

Aleksandra Jovanovic

Aleksandra Jovanovic

Q: The pitches are over! How do you feel?
A: Well first of all I think the teams had really creative and unique solutions to the case – we all had the same questions to address, but we tackled them from very different perspectives. And  yes, our project is over and we’ve presented our pitch: that’s a relief, but also a pity because we all enjoyed the PRINS. I am really happy with my team, there was really smooth communication, we complimented each other when appropriate, and that helped everything move more easily.

Q: How do you think your team – Seeds of Progress - did? 
A: I am really proud of my team, and our presenters have great voices and real charisma – they were born to speak publically! – and the PowerPoint was well visualised and caught the essence of our project. Plus I am happy and proud of the team in general, because we really achieved the goals we had set.

Q: Whether your team officially won or lost, how has the PRINS project affected you during this final BA trimester? Did you learn anything about yourself, or have an unexpected role to play in your team?
A: I am so happy we had a consultancy project because we aren’t really experienced – we haven’t worked in a big group like this before, with 12 students. It’s great because each person has their own creative input, and that really enriches the result. Personally, in the beginning it was a bit difficult to combine the PRINS with work on my thesis but I managed to find my way, and get settled into the weekly PRINS deadlines.

Q: What about the work of a consultant? What have you learned from working with an organisation? Has it helped you clarify (or has it reinforced) your ambitions for the future in terms of work or further study?
A: I really liked working as a consultant.  I love to give advice to people – and I think it’s nice to do this work for an organisation. You have to be really careful about conducting research before any consulting; and you have to learn the norms and values of an organisation. The PRINS course really helped me understand how to approach consulting in an ethical, consistent and responsible way.


Emma Franke van der Steen (Case: DAMCO)

Emma Franke van der Steen

Emma Franke van der Steen

Q: The pitches are over! How do you feel?
A: I am feeling good! Proud of how our team managed to work together - and a little bit relieved.

Q: How do you think your team – Team Kinetic - did? 
A: I think we did very well. I was afraid we wouldn’t fully convey our research because it was quite complex, but it was good -  in the end we really summarised it very well.

Q: Whether your team officially won or lost, how has the PRINS project affected you during this final BA trimester? Did you learn anything about yourself, or have an unexpected role to play in your team?
A:  For me it was an opportunity to put theory into practice, and I discovered I actually really like the practice – it’s tangible, it’s concrete. I’m really happy to discover I could do that. The other thing is that throughout my BA International Studies programme I’ve been very interested in sustainability, so I was really happy we could integrate theories of societal and environmental costs into our report in a practical manner.

Q: What about the work of a consultant? What have you learned from working with an organisation? Has it helped you clarify (or has it reinforced) your ambitions for the future in terms of work or further study?
A: It think it is fascinating to look at a real question in an abstract manner – for example, I don’t know anything about supply chain management, so it was great to look at DAMCO, see its strengths and vulnerabilities. It helps to have a bit of distance between yourself and the industry, when consulting. That’s the scientific part. On the other hand, there is the practical aspect of applied sciences.

I want to be a farmer, and through the PRINS course I realised that I am more of a leader than I thought. During PRINS I experienced that taking the lead, without disrespecting our team leaders, was actually something I enjoy and am good at. I discovered I can motivate others and bring structure to chaos. So – I’ve always known I wanted to be a farmer, but thanks to these personal insights from PRINS I have applied to be a  Farm Team Manager in New Zealand – I think it’s a fitting job for me!

One thing I’d like to say is that Dr. Sarita Koendjbiharie really gets us to understand how important this course is. We can say, Oh we’re just Bachelor’s students, what kind of impact will this team project have? But Sarita makes it so important, and in addition she makes us feel important. That is really key to our motivation and success.


 
Last Modified: 14-06-2017