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  • Writer's pictureRenate Matroos

The first day of school

Atrium at The Hague University

September 3rd, the first day of a new school year. Not a school year where I will be attending as a student. No, this time I’ll be attending as a teacher.

I’m not sure if it comes with age or with experience, but it seems like I don’t even really get nervous anymore whenever I do new things. I get excited, but not nervous. Maybe it’s not needing approval from my surroundings or not really caring what others think, but not getting nervous feels way better. I'm so much more aware of that moment and I can really experience everything without the darn nerves getting in the way. My alarm went off incredibly early so I could snooze an extra 3 times. At 7 am it was really time to get up and get ready. Since I moved to Amsterdam, it would take me a bit longer to get to The Hague. The Hague University, the school where I studied Small Business & Retail Management and where I graduated 2 years ago. A place I used to spend long days at and at times even late nights. I was excited to be back and see some familiar faces, but especially new faces. Faces of students I would see every week, at least so I hope! I know you might be thinking, what are you doing at the Hague? Let me start from the beginning. After I graduated I was exhausted, to say the least, and I wasn’t ready to work right away. And to be honest I didn’t even know what I wanted or was able to do at that time. So I traveled for a year or so. After I came back I found a graduate program that seemed incredibly interesting: Digital Innovation at Hyper Island. And interesting it was! I learned so incredibly much in a short amount of time and at that point I realised that the current way students are being taught in schools might not be the best or most effective way out there. So I started reaching out to my network and I ended up at The Hague University. Long story short I was asked to create a new component for the existing minor Entrepreneurship and the program ‘Improve your business’ was born. While developing this program I kept the students in mind, but also finding a way that wasn’t similar to the current way of teaching. I want students to become more proactive, give them a chance to be creative in their work, work together and learn how to co-create. Students have to start learning by doing, not just sit and listen to a teacher and take notes. And that’s exactly what this program stands for. The minor Entrepreneurship is for all students that are studying at The Hague University (or another University in the Netherlands) that are in their 3rd academic year. Since it’s not just for students from a specific program, it’s the best way to form groups with different backgrounds, which makes co-creation and learning from each other possible. During the minor Entrepreneurship, students will develop their own business idea. While some of them already have an idea others are struggling to figure out which of their many ideas is the best. During this semester they will be improving their ideas and who knows, there might be a few new registrations at the Chamber of Commerce soon! I will teach the students to brainstorm effectively, look at trends and see how these trends could affect or be implemented in their own company. Reflect as a entrepreneur and find their reason of being. I will be standing in front of the class on Monday mornings, not every single Monday since they will also get classes about intellectual property, logos and company names which my colleague from Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) will teach. I’m looking forward to this new journey and I would love to take you with me. So expect a post after every class I give. It might not be on the same day, but definitely in the same week. If you have any recommendations or questions, please feel free to email me at


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