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Why working with students matters

Mr.Prezident likes to work towards a future filled with great stories. Those future stories will partly be created by the students of today. For this reason, last Thursday Mr.Prezident co-founder Pieter found himself standing in front of a big group of students at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. The goal was to inspire them to found their own company.

Pieter works with the University of Applied Sciences and the University of Amsterdam to prepare students for life as an entrepreneur. Specifically, those students who want to start a business while studying.

Leading by example

In his classes, Pieter takes his company Mr.Prezident as leading example. The company was founded six years ago when Pieter and his business partner Paul were students themselves. Pieter: “I like to tell students how we started out. What challenges we faced. Of course while giving examples of what went well and why, but I also discuss things that didn’t go so well. Businesses often share their success stories, but I believe the things that were difficult are just as interesting to study.

The main reason for Pieter to work with students a few times a year is to educate young and ambitious people on setting up a successful business while studying. “I find it important to not romanticise the fact that what they’re trying to do is not a stroll in the park. It takes a very self-motivated person to both set up a business - something that takes up enormous amounts of time- and at the same time live a student life and occupy the school benches.”

Learning from the next gen

On the other hand, it’s a great pleasure for Pieter to listen to the experiences of the youngsters he encounters in class. “In last weeks group, one of the students had put a biological toothbrush successfully on the market. It was inspiring to listen to this guy’s story, which was followed by an interesting conversation about scaling and branding his business (Fresqo’s speciality),” says Pieter.

While there used to be no infrastructure for students to set up their own company, we see that universities are increasingly becoming more flexible towards this group of people. Pieter: “When we were in these student’s shoes, our teachers didn’t really know how to support us. It’s great to see that ambitious students are being taken more seriously these days, being granted more ‘free’ time to work on their own projects. We can definitely see progress there.”

Want to know more about the Mr.Prezident story and how we can help you to tell your own? Have a look here or contact us!