Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Amsterdam School of International Business

Olmo van Beurden

Testimonial

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Gaining relevant team experiences, as well as start-up experiences were two key takeaways for me, which I later utilised when starting my own company.

Olmo van Beurden - AMSIB Alumni

As an International Business and Management graduate, Olmo’s entrepreneurial drive got him to where he is today as the Co-owner of SurfaWhile, where he specializes in sales activities and maintaining relationships with external parties.

Olmo was motivated to study at AMSIB after a multitude of international experiences that he had. Particularly, after his time spent in Australia, where he traveled for 12 months after his high school. He knew a few current students at AMSIB whose stories felt like options to him, he could relate to what they were studying and he was keen to venture into the world of International Business.

Notably, within his studies, Co-Creative Entrepreneurship (at the time called Young Entrepreneurship- YEN) was a catalyst for owning his own company. The module sees students creating a business from scratch and taking it throughout the entire business lifecycle. In Olmo’s case, they produced their own Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences sweaters and their company was awarded as best student company among all 26 first-year companies. Also, Olmo believes that it was his extra effort which got him a role as floor manager on the so-called market fair where all YEN student companies were able to present their products. Gaining relevant team experiences, as well as start-up experiences were two key takeaways for Olmo, which he later utilised when starting his own company.

Two other international aspects of the International Business programme are the internship and exchange. During Olmo’s rewarding internship at Barqo (a customer to customer (C2C) company for boat rentals), he gained useful, practical knowledge about the workplace. He familiarised himself with the vibe of being in a start-up, as well as the varying tasks that are given when being involved in an emerging company.

With his talent for languages, Olmo enjoyed learning Spanish as his third language. For his exchange, Olmo decided to go to the lovely, amazing and beautiful Cordoba, Spain where he was able to immerse himself in the Spanish lifestyle alongside enhancing his language skills. While on his exchange, his business, SurfaWhile, was conceptualized. Olmo was approached by his friend Hans with the idea of starting a company that would offer surf holiday packages online. Olmo loved the idea and jumped on board. Since then, things have escalated positively. SurfaWhile now offers surfing vacations located in France, Portugal, Spain and outside of Europe, including surfing camps, combined language travels and tailored family and group options.

Olmo’s advice for current AMSIB students? Give that extra amount, even if it is only 2% more than the average, you will gain more than that back. And make sure you enjoy that “extra”. A practical example of this, would be to prepare for all your classes and make connections, whether this is with your lecturer or fellow classmates. In the future, this could mean a reference or referral that you may not have gotten otherwise.

This is what he tells to ‘starting students’.

Sitting in the front row doesn’t cost you anything. Raising a questions doesn’t cost you anything – in fact it gains you extra knowledge and it saves you time studying. Furthermore, teachers will remember you, something which you can use in (for example) your entrepreneurial life. Some personal, concrete cases of this are:

  • The Excel-teacher was very happy to help me with our first draft of our Customer Relationship Management (in a spreadsheet) because he remembered me
  • I am invited regularly by teachers to come and give guest lectures at their classes, where I also get to present my company
  • I have been invited by the university in Cordoba where I studied to present, where they ended up paying my flight and hotel

Looking for your next relaxing holiday? You can always go SurfaWhile !