Four years ago, Daan Jobse had to make a decision for himself. He was doing logistics at the moment, but he was not sure if he wanted to continue in this area. At that time Daan had a second job as a salesman and he enjoyed this a lot. Because of this experience he decided to continue his path in this direction and ended up choosing to go for the study Creative Marketing & Sales, so that he could expand his sales knowledge, but also learn how to think outside of the box. Three year later he stood for another important decision: choosing the right minor. In this interview you will read why Daan choose to go for the minor All Stars Rotterdam (ASR), his experiences during this minor and about his new passion for case solving.
In the beginning of the interview Daan told me that ASR was not necessarily his first choice. In the beginning he was very interested in sustainability, a minor that is given in Groningen. However, later when he arrived at the ASR booth during the minor fair, he talked with an alumnus who was very enthusiastic and triggered him in their conversation. He told me, “I ended up really liking ASR, because the minor is very broad, and you learn on a lot of different levels and on how to fix problems all the way at the root of the problem. I think there are a lot of problems to fix and ASR seemed to be the minor that could help me with this.”
Case solving was not something completely new to Daan. With his own study, Creative Marketing & Sales, he already worked on projects for a duration of ten weeks per project. However, even though with both the projects of his study and the cases of ASR, he had to solve a problem Daan remembers that the two are also very different. “Case solving is in a sense completely different, it is a different skillset and a different mindset. With case solving you learn to think in a different way, and it is not a straight line of learning.”
I wondered if it was difficult for Daan to make the transition from only focussing on marketing and sales to solving cases and having to keep much more aspects in mind. He told me, surprisingly, that the transition was not that difficult at all. ” It wasn’t difficult because your expertise is needed in finding problems and communicating them. You can find your spot in a team or a case competition, as well as you need all the other students from the other studies, like finance for example.” He continues, “And is why it was so fun to work with students from different studies. It really opened my eyes, and it is some sort of a sketch of what it is to work in a bigger company with different departments. You will not work with everyone on a daily base, but sometimes you do. And the teamwork during the minor with different students is some kind of a pre sketch on how it is going to be later on.”
Even though Daan really enjoys working together with students from other studies, it is not always easy. Because all the students studied something else for three years, usually all the ideas are very different as well. He told me, “In some case competitions someone has this great idea that goes in a completely different direction than you were thinking. It is hard to switch around and have a neutral overview of all these different opinions and ideas and choosing the best one without pushing for your own opinion. That is what I struggled with, but still, it is a super fun thing to do and really useful to learn.”
Currently, after having solved a lot of cases himself, Daan is now writing a case for the Rotterdam Case Competition. He told me he really enjoys the process of writing a case, “I’m learning a lot about how a case should be build up and what should be in it. When you write a case, it is actually the opposite of solving a case. You first start with searching for a problem and a solution and then decide what breadcrumb trail you are going to put out there that case solvers need to follow. And this trail needs to be good enough so that the case solvers can define the right problem in order to solve the case. I find the process very interesting and fun.
My last question to Daan was, “why should students participate in the Rotterdam Case Competition?” His answer was: “Well they don’t need to solve my case, but they need to do it for themselves and this is a unique opportunity. Participants can learn to see the bigger picture outside of their studies, to look at what they are capable of and that is more than what they think they can do. Broaden your mind and have another perspective on your school and study”.