Business Project First year (EN)

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Business Project

First year (EN)

© Hogeschool Utrecht: University of Applied Sciences Utrecht

Utrecht, 2014

© Hogeschool Utrecht: University of Professional Education, Utrecht, 2007

Business Project

Propedeuse (EN)


2014 - 2015

Term C


Full Time


Course site:


: Holger Hooimeijer, Koert Busser, Tanja Groenendaal


: 28.01.2015

Program leader

: Holger Hooimeijer, Koert Busser

Room, email

: 2.34,

Room, email

: 1.119,


© Hogeschool Utrecht: University of Applied Sciences Utrecht



1 Course description


2. Course goals and learning objectives


3. Place in the curriculum and related courses


4. Study burden


5. Pre-requisites


6. Exemption possibilities


7. Competencies


8. Didactic forms


9. Assessment


10. Course material and literature



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1. Course Description

The aim of this project is to combine the knowledge gathered in the generic courses (Marketing, Business Administration, Economics, Law and Finance) in the first year and to apply that knowledge to an integrated business case. Adding to this the skills in English reporting that students have learned, the following problem statement sums up the Business Project. Through following instructional lectures, working individually on assignments, getting feedback on assignments and participating in a Management Game, students do not only apply knowledge gained earlier, but they also develop new skills like collaborating, conferencing en receiving feedback.

The project revolves around cool-fresh products by Unilever. The Global Director of the Food division of Unilever would like to receive an advice. This advice that takes into account aspects of Marketing, Business Administration, Economics, Law and Finance, would pertain to the following question:

‘‘Which new or existing refrigerated product could Unilever introduce in the

allotted EU member state?

The director has indicated that he expects a concise management report, and not an in-depth research report. The management memo should contain an advice supported by arguments.

Math Test

In order to improve the successfulness of studying, all first year students take part in the Math test.

For administrative reasons this is linked to the Business Project.

Math in itself is not part of our curriculum, but it is present in the general Propedeuse courses like

Marketing, Business Administration, Economics, Finance & Managerial Accounting and Research

Skills (statistics).

The purpose of the Math test is to activate previously acquired knowledge and skills, and is based

on self-study. This self-study is supported with study materials on de course site (see tab ‘Math

test’) and with a Public lesson during the exam weeks of term A – D.

The Math test is offered five times a year (term A – E) and students are automatically registered

for the tests, until they get a passing grade (


2. Course Goals and Learning Objectives

The purpose of the Business Project is to:

Get insight into a multinational organization.

Enhance skills in analyzing and assessing relevant parameters with respect to an international decision,


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Develop international managerial judgments, bearing the strains of strategic thinking, analyzing and advising, applying and integrating managerial concepts.


Research relevant and collect vital information, necessary for strategic decision making

Generate strategic advice (and realistic alternatives) and consider consequences of this advice, based on findings and logical argumentation

Evaluate, explain and defend realistic strategic choices and the consequences of these choices

More specific:

• To gain basic international business research experience and to describe and research the food market in Europe;

• To learn how to co-operate in a (multicultural) team and to learn to how explore the introduction of a sustainable new packaging in the food industry;

• To apply an interdisciplinary approach with respect to combining economics, intercultural

management, marketing, (operational) management, BA and financial aspects in an integrated way and to report and orally advise an existing company in a real life setting;

• To gain insight and understanding about how to apply various business fields and how the above applies to a concrete market study and advice.

Upon successful completion of the Business Project, students should be able to:

1. Co-operate successfully in a project team with insight into and acceptance of other cultures; 2. Play an active part in project management and, when necessary, act as a project leader; 3. Behave appropriately in a team using interpersonal skills, displaying empathy towards others; 4. Prioritise and work with deadlines;

5. Find and select relevant information using electronic and other resources; 6. Carry out effective and efficient primary and secondary research;

7. Make clear and succinct summaries of research materials; 8. Justify and defend conclusions based on research;

9. Report progress and results using information and communication technologies (i.e. Word, Excel, etc.) in a professional business manner;

10. Write reports on economic, cultural, marketing, operational management / logistical and financial aspects of international expansion;

11. Assess the financial health and marketing strategy of a multinational; 12. Interpret liquidity, profitability and solvability ratios; and evaluate findings.

3. Place in the Curriculum and Related Courses

This project takes place in term C op the first year. It integrates all knowledge, skills and competencies learned in term A, B and C of year 1.


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5/11 The course evolves around five key areas:

• Finance (Financial & Management Accounting);

• Business Administration;

• Marketing;

• Economics;

• Law.

These courses have been taught in term A and B and will be taught simultaneously in term C (or D). Related fields: • Communication skills; • Research skills; • Computer Applications; • Case Studies; • ICM; • Business English;

• Study Career Planning.

4. Study Burden

As shown in the diagram below, students are expected to perform much unsupervised work! This approach involves working both with your group and on individual work that is required of every student.

Face-to-face time





Weeks1 and 6: 120 mins


Coach tutorials

8 x 60 mins


Lectures by expert 6 x 60 mins


Feedback from


5 x 60 mins


(1 ECs = 28 hours)


1260 (= 21 hours)

Unsupervised work





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Research (individual task)

Weeks 1 – 7 (360 mins a


2520 (42 hours)

Performing assignment

(individual task)

Weeks 1 – 7 (240 mins a


1680 (28 hours)

Compiling weekly assignment

(as a group)

Weeks 1 – 6 (120 mins a


720 (12 hours)

Preparing presentation

Weeks 6 -7 (135 mins a


270 mins (4,5


Compiling final report

Weeks 6 -7 (240 mins a


480 mins (8 hours)

Meeting minutes, e-mails, diary,

phone calls, preparing for any

resits, etc.

Weeks 1 -7 (100 mins a


600 mins (10



( = 119 hours)


Total 140 hours = 5 ECs

5. Pre-requisites

The course evolves around five key areas: Finance, Business Administration, Marketing, Economics and Law. These courses have been taught in terms A and B and some will be taught in simultaneously in term D. Knowledge of these fields is essential in order to work on the assignments successfully. Effective teamwork requires strong communication skills.

6. Exemption Possibilities

For exemption possibilities, contact the exam board.

7. Competencies

The following competencies are covered by this course:

DC.1, Level 1, components a, b, c

DC.2, Level 1, components a, b

DC .3, Level 1, components b, c

DC. 4, Level 1, components a, b, c


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7/11 DC.1Initiate and create products and services, independent and proactive. Competency level 1

Spot and track down new developments, keeping the clients and competition in mind, and translate these into products or services.

a) Identifying trends, taking into account customers & competitors, and translating these into products and services

b) Creating a basic plan for an enterprise, in a team. c) Running a project or enterprise, in a team.

DC.2Execute, interpret, test and evaluate market research. Competency level 1

a) Formulate a research question when given a problem.

b) Write a plan of action for a qualitative or quantitative research.

DC.3Determine what the strengths and weaknesses of an organisation are based on an analysis of the internal processes and culture, as part of the value chain. Also determine what the chances and threats are on the local, national and/or international market based on relevant national and

international trends. Competency level 1

b) Determine what data from the environment are necessary to describe the chances and threats of a company.

c) Execute a simple internal and external analysis (quick scan) of a given problem.

DC.4Develop a marketing policy for a company operating nationally or internationally and be able to support the choices made.

Competency level 1

a) Determine a product’s or service’s market chances based on a simple research. b) Translate the market opportunities into short term targets.

c) Design a plan of action for realizing these targets.

DC.5Set up, execute and adjust plans from a marketing policy point of view. Competency level 1

a) Determine the changes for one or several functional areas from a given marketing problem, in a team. b) Develop, set up and support a simple plan or advice for communications and /or sales and/or the

organization, in a team.

8. Didactic Forms

Various methods will be involved in the course of the project, with supervision from various lecturers and the coach for the class concerned:


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8/11 1. Instructional lectures (60 mins): each week (Weeks 1 - 6) there’s a lecture given by a lecturer to

provide context to the project and assignments that have to be completed (Marketing, Business Economics, Business Administration, Economics & Law or Communication Skills).

2. Classroom session with coach (60 mins): weekly guidance of the group process (Weeks 1 - 6) and the final presentations are given in Week 7.

3. Feedback (80 mins): weekly session (Weeks 2 - 6) with course lecturer(s) giving the various groups in the class technical feedback on the assignment and bringing points for improvement to their attention. This session is led by the experts (Marketing, Business Economics, Business Administration, Economics & Law or Communication Skills).

4. Independent group sessions: students are expected to meet at least twice a week as a group to liaise on matters surrounding the assignments and their planning. In week 5 and 6 it is very

important to work as a team to integrate all the research into a final memo that gives answers to the main problem.

9. Assessment

The course “Business Project” has positions in Osiris:

Position 1 [T1] Final Grade Business Project 90% Minimal a 5,5

Position 2 [T2] Grade Math Test 10% Minimal a 5,5

Grading for the Business Project

All different assignment are assessed and together they form a weighted final mark. The schedule below shows these assignments and shows what the weighting is of the consistent grades:

As stated in the previous chapter, students will be given several assignments in this

project. The assessment of the various assignments (those set by the experts plus the

presentation and the final report) are discussed below.

Course-related assignments

Students will perform all course-related assignments and submit them in accordance with

the 8 conditions


The assignment in Week 6 is to present all your findings from the previous weeks (in

accordance with the assignment). Students will give this presentation at a time in Week 7

to be agreed with your study progress advisor, with part or all of your team. It is not

required that all team members give the presentation (unless your coach decides

otherwise), but all team members must attend!


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Final report

Students will also submit a full final report in Week 7 (in accordance with the assignment).

Students will ensure that this report is submitted at the time and in the manner agreed with

the relevant Communication Skills lecturer. This will be told during the consultation hour in

week 6.

Each of the various assignments contributes a certain percentage to your final grade:

Test form

(in an arbitrary sequence)


Assessed by



1. Marketing assignment


Marketing expert


2. Business Economics assignment


Business Economics


3. Business Administration



Business Administration


4. Country analysis assignment


General economics


5. Law assignment


Law expert

6. Presentation


Study progress advisor

7. Final report


Communication Skills





Each of the constituent assignments must be graded 4 or higher and the weighted final

grade must be at least 5.5 to pass the project and receive 5 ECs.

Osiris grades and re-sit opportunities

In week 1 through 6 students have to do different assignments that are linked to different courses. At the end of every week they finish an assignment and hand it in to the expert of that particular course. He or she marks the assignment and gives the students feedback. From that moment on students can correct the assignment to get a passing grade. The group hands in the final version in before the deadline agreed on with the expert.

Each of the assignments needs to be finished with a passing grade. Each group gets one opportunity to hand in a draft version of an assignment and one assignment for a final grade. If the grade is still not a passing grade, the assignment cannot be redone in period C. Students will have to do a resit of all the assignment that the group has failed.


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10/11 In week 7 students hand in their final management report and personal reflection. Both reports will be graded. In the end students will have finished 7 different assignments. The earn the final grade, all these assignment have to receive a passing grade, and the student should have participated actively in the Management Game, Participation in the Game is determined by login data and peer review within the groups.

The deadline for handing the final version of the management memo and the personal reflection is 10 April 2015. For the resit period this is 26 June 2015.

10. Course Material and Literature

READER ( Required )

Title: Reader Business Project

Author(s): Henny Moesker, Holger Hooimeijer

ISBN: --- Edition: --- Publisher: HU-FEM

BOOK ( Recommended )

Title: Financial and Managerial Accounting Principles

Author(s): Powers, Needles and Crosson

ISBN: 13:9780538742979 Edition: 9 Publisher: South Western Cengage -Learning

Book ( Recommended )

Title: Introduction to Organizational Processes Author(s): Oteman, van der Lind and Postmes

ISBN: 9789086840717 Edition: 1 Publisher: IJzer

Book ( Recommended )

Title: Introduction to Organizational Theory Author(s): Loek ter Berge


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ISBN: 9789086840649 Edition: 1 Publisher: IJzer

Book ( Recommended )

Title Macroeconomics

Writer(s): N. Gregory Mankiw, Mark P. Taylor

ISBN: 9781408043929 Edition: 2 ISBN: South-western


Reader ( Recommended )

Title Syllabus Law

Writer(s): Lauta van Aysma, W.

ISBN: ---- Edition: ---- Publisher ----

Book ( Recommended )

Title: Principles of Marketing

Author(s): Kotler, Philip, Veronica Wong, John Saunders, Gary Arm

ISBN: 978-0-273-71156-8 Edition: 5th Publisher: Pearson/Prentice Hall

11. Course Evaluation

Standard FEM appraisal forms are used to evaluate this course after the exam. Students will also be asked to give open-ended feedback in week 6 of the course. In addition, a student panel will evaluate the course at the end of the block, and students will be asked to fill in evaluation forms.