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Global Enterprise Project: Win-win for students and volunteers

Sharing knowledge, experience, and expertise and developing coaching skills at the same time? That’s what Smurfit Kappa employee volunteers are doing with Jong Ondernemen (JA in the Netherlands).

In April, Christophe Ceursters, Rens Beelen, Christianne Poortstra and Evelien Broers visited several secondary schools to give a guest lecture about working in an international environment.

We asked them a few questions to learn more about their experience.


What was your involvement in the Global Enterprise Project?

Christianne: “Through the collaboration with Jong Ondernemen we were asked to give a guest lecture at a secondary school. I said ‘yes’ immediately. What’s more fun than telling about what I enjoy most, my work, to a group of young people with the world at their feet?!”

Christophe: “The topic of the guest lecture was globalization. We discussed the topic and did an interactive quiz. I hope I conveyed well what globalization is and how it will affect the students’ lives.”

Rens: “The guest lectures will help students get a feeling of what the global workplace is about. In a few years, they will start their careers. The more experience they’ll have, the easier the transition to this new life will be.”


From your experience, what do you think is the added value this programme brings to young people or to yourself?

Christianne: “It is a fantastic initiative by the JA organisations to have students get in touch with global entrepreneurship and different cultures. For me, entrepreneurship is about thinking in possibilities . I hope the students were also inspired to think in possibilities, that they are aware of the fact they’re privileged for being Dutch and the possibilities that brings.”

Rens: “Not just for the students, also to me the lecture was really valuable. The interaction with the students gave me a lot of energy and I definitely improved my information conveying skills.”

Evelien: “I remember the days when I needed to choose a bachelor’s program, especially how tough it was. By providing examples from my work experiences I might be able to help students which are the same age I was back then.”

Any last thoughts about your experience?

Evelien: “Both students and teachers were really enthusiastic. The teachers immediately asked me if I want to come back next year.”

Christophe: “This was my first experience as volunteer at Jong Ondernemen and is definitely not the last. The interaction with the students gave a lot of energy. To be continued!”

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