Along with three other students, Arnold (17) started the Málaga Business Bootcamp, which was part of the reorientation program organized by MBO Amersfoort. Unfortunately, not everyone was as excited as he was: the first Dutch student dropped out even before the introduction started.
The Spanish student followed because of her job and further in the project the second Dutch student also gave up. It is conceivable that the absence of the rest of the group did not exactly help Arnold’s motivation. So it was necessary to quickly adapt to the situation and that worked out very well. The result was a brilliant marketing campaign…
Quitting studies at the age of 17: then what?
After finishing preparatory secondary vocational education, Arnold started studying Orthopedic Technician. “I am very technical, and I like working with my hands. Therefore, this study seemed very interesting to me.” Yet that did not turn out to be a success. Arnold: “I really liked the technical part of the training, but there was a lot of focus on the biological and medical aspects. That is not what I like the most, but I decided to stay for a while.
I kept it up for more than a year, but at a certain point I came to the conclusion that this was not the right study for me.” So, he started looking for another one. “But that turned out to be easier said than done. I did not immediately know what I wanted to do, but I was still obliged to attend classes at school. I could therefore choose to start a new study immediately or participate in the reorientation program. That choice was an easy one for me.”
An optional part of this program was an international bootcamp, organized by Málaga Business Bootcamp. Participation was entirely voluntary, but Arnold took this change: “I immediately liked the fact that this was an international project, which of course also means that for most of the time, the spoken language is English.
I know that my English is okay, but actually speaking this language in public is a different story: that does not feel familiar to me, which is why I normally avoid speaking it. This bootcamp was the perfect opportunity for me to work on that. I was pretty nervous, but I just did it.”
JongLeren.es, a Dutch agent in educational projects based in Málaga, normally organizes internships and other educational projects for students in the South of Spain. Due to all the circumstances, online projects have now also been added, including the bootcamp for MBO Amersfoort. Arnold: “For the project, our group of students was linked to a Spanish company, namely a store in the center of Málaga that sells natural cosmetic products.
Our assignment was to help the owner of this store to increase the brand awareness.” A marketing-orientated assignment, something Arnold had never done before. “I have never really been interested in marketing, as I am much more of a technical person. Still, this assignment had me thinking, because I really enjoyed doing it.”
Complete marketing campaign without any experience
The assignment for Arnold’s group was quite broad: the goal was to increase brand awareness, but it was all up to the students how to do that. A creative assignment, but before the work could start, the other three students had already left. Arnold: “It did not take long before I was left alone. Very unfortunate, because I was looking forward to it. And I thought that it ended for me too: the idea was to work together on the assignment, which was no longer valid.”
Fortunately, JongLeren.es took immediate action. Arnold: “Joost and Jackie of JongLeren.es, arranged Dutch and Spanish participants who wanted to join even the same day. I loved that!”
Arnold continued working on the project with his new group and came up with a complete marketing campaign: “In the end, we set up a whole campaign together. We came up with the idea of handing out samples of products from the store along with a flyer which mentions information about the product and the store. The flyer has a QR-code that leads to a survey with questions about the store and the natural products. If you enter this, you will be sent to a page where you can sign up for the newsletter.
If you sign up, you will immediately receive a discount offer on your next purchase in the store.” The plan had to be worked out in full the same week: “The flyer was made by the graphic designer of JongLeren.es and the texts were translated by the Spanish participant. So actually, the product we delivered was ready to use. The client was really happy with it and he immediately started working with it.”
Choice was made
After a lot of setbacks, the bootcamp turned out to be a great success for Arnold: “I am so glad I kept it up, because in the end it was a really nice assignment to work on and I learned a lot. Moreover, we have achieved a good result together!” He has now also made his choice of study: “After many good conversations with my supervisor, I now know that I want to start the ‘Mechanic Mechatronics’ course. I am looking forward to that.” Laughing: “So no marketing, but I do know that if I ever want to do something else, that’s not a bad option!”