How this school uses a real-time “Business Game” in their admissions process

El Salvadoran native Armando Cuellar Sanchez decided to get his master's degree at Nyenrode Business University in The Netherlands to kickstart an exciting career in an international environment. He tells MASTERGRADSCHOOLS about the challenges he faced as an international student and why Nyenrode's "Business Game" was the ultimate deciding factor in choosing to study there.

In short

Armando Cuellar Sanchez (El Salvador) - Nyenrode Business University

From El Salvador to The Netherlands

With a bachelor’s in economics and business, Armando decided to get his master’s degree in The Netherlands to expand his range of opportunities and further develop his career.

“In El Salvador, we have a small economy, but it’s really nice…Nevertheless, the study field is not so open for everyone,” he explains. “As a Salvadoran, you always want to have an experience abroad, to go to Europe and get to know the business of Europe.” (0:13)

Armando was drawn to The Netherlands because of the country’s high number of international companies, such as Shell, Philips, Heineken, Unilever, ING, and Aegon. “For us as Latin Americans, we always want to learn [about] other markets as well…We see it more like an investment and to get to know another market and to explore.” (12:59)

Why Nyenrode’s “Business Game” was the ultimate deciding factor for Armando

Nyenrode’s “Business Game” is an optional part of its Master’s in Management admissions process. Currently taking place online, the Business Game is a simulation of a real-life business case in which students are challenged to make quick, tough decisions and lead effectively.

“I was nervous when I came [on] the first day, but the whole environment attracts you to become a Nyenrode-ian because we solve a practical case with a real company,” Armando tells us. “For me, it was the point when I decided I have to come to Nyenrode because I really liked the experience…I think the pressure was good and we really got a good case out of it.” (03:41)

Not only does the Business Game offer valuable practical experience for prospective students, but the winner of the game also wins a scholarship worth €5,000. Let the games begin!

How Nyenrode helps students build successful post-grad careers

“In the beginning, you’re always wondering if you want to go back to your country because of [homesickness and] everything or if there’s not going to be opportunities,” Armando says. “But Nyenrode indeed helps a lot.” (08:55)

With a world-class Career and Personal Development (CPD) department, Nyenrode supports all master’s students and alumni in turning their career objectives into a reality. Through services such as career and networking events, workshops, CV and cover letter advice, career coaching, and mock interviews, CPD helps students and alumni discover and navigate their career development.

As a result, Armando decided to stay in The Netherlands: “Before, I was doubting [whether] to go back, but now after the help of Nyenrode, I decided to stay because they provided the opportunities and most importantly the network, so we can start developing ourselves in the work field.” (09:35)

Is Nyenrode worth the investment?

As an international, non-native English speaker, Armando was scared when he first moved to The Netherlands. How would he find a place to live? Would he be able to communicate with his classmates?

In the end, Nyenrode alleviated all of Armando’s worries: “Nyenrode [was] always helping,” he says. “When you come [to] Nyenrode, you will see that the investment is worth it.” (13:07)

“You will definitely have turnover from the investment because of the whole network you’re building,” Armando continues. “The campuses are really nice. The teachers are top-level – they’re CEOs [of companies].” (14:25)

Despite his fears about being an international student outside of his comfort zone, Armando has built long-lasting friendships at Nyenrode. He says, “I like the brotherhood that you can build at Nyenrode with your classmates. There are a lot of possibilities to hang out with them…They never leave you behind. If you’re in a restaurant with them, they always switch to English.” (15:12)

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