As one alum noted, Dutch Alumni Day in St.Petersburg is quickly becoming a memorable tradition for all. Last weekend alumni spent an interesting day together with NANR members and representatives of Dutch community in St. Petersburg.

The day began with remarks by Hans Wesseling, the Consul General of the Netherlands in St. Petersburg, who expressed his enthusiasm about NANR activities and invited alumni to join next year’s Bike Parade in the city.

Three very different, yet inspiring stories of personal and business development followed. 

Willeke van den Brink provided alumni with an overview on how Severnaya, one of the largest poultry enterprises in Russia, has developed over the last 20 years. She stressed the high standards, quality control procedures and the sustainability of the enterprise as being the keys to its success. When asked what she found to be the most important thing you need to do to succeed in business, van den Brik replied simply: “Hard work”. 

Gerard Uijtendaal, a partner at Amrop, an executive search firm, and an Advisory Board Member of NANR, showed alumni how to turn a plain presentation into engaging stories that will connect with audiences. Through an example he demonstrated the power of storytelling. Many of those present later said they felt challenged to rethink how to organize ordinary public presentations. 

The third speaker, Bart Leenhouts, the founder of the Learn Dutch language instruction firm, explained how one can grow a community for your products and services by using online content marketing as the main sales channel. Leenhouts offered nine tips to follow his strategy and succeed. One of them - sharing expertise - is something that Nuffic Neso Russia and NANR also stand for. 

We finished the day at a wonderful outdoor terrace at the Renaissance Hotel, enjoying an outstanding view of St. Isaac’s Cathedral and delicious food.

NANR would like to thank the Consulate General for his endless hospitality, all of the speakers for sharing their knowledge and experiences with us and, of course, all of the alumni that were able to join us. We were really glad to see old friends and make some new ones. We look forward to seeing you at future events!

You can find the pictures of the event here.