From an early age, Ben dreamed of an international career in business. Straight after studying International Tourism Management at Tio Business School, he took the plunge and set up his own business. Now, together with a team of colleagues, he works for the best clients every day. To develop himself even further, Ben is following Tio’s Master of Business Administration (MBA).
After graduating at Tio, Ben founded Key-advice: a marketing agency that helps small to medium-sized businesses get more customers, a stronger market position, greater brand awareness and higher conversion rates. Ben started out on his own, but now has a team of talented freelancers around him. Together, they develop and implement custom marketing strategies for a variety of clients.
‘The best thing about being an entrepreneur? That is, without doubt, the freedom that my work offers,’ says Ben enthusiastically. ‘I like to be advised and inspired by others, but in the end, I’m in charge. It’s nice to be able to organise everything yourself. I’m very much involved in the collection, analysis and implementation of data. At the same time, I keep everything on track from an operational point of view. And yes, it’s true, as an entrepreneur you are never “off”. Work continues 24 hours a day. But that’s a price I’m willing to pay. Everything I invest in my business, I get out of it twofold.’
Ben started his business in 2019, right after he completed his degree in International Tourism Management at Tio. Why did he choose that degree at the time? ‘I come from a real entrepreneurial family – global business is in our family,’ explains Ben. ‘Past generations of my family have lived and worked all over the world. That inspired me. Everything came together for me at International Tourism Management at Tio.’
The personal and small-scale education at Tio immediately appealed to Ben. ‘There is always enough attention for every student in the small groups. This leads to dynamic teaching, with plenty of room to ask questions and to discuss the subject matter calmly with each other. I have the feeling that I’m learning more. I also like the fact that the lecturers have a lot of professional practical experience. The many practical examples in the lessons are therefore very valuable to me.’
Investing in yourself
Now, as an entrepreneur, Ben is back at school following Tio’s Master of Business Administration (MBA). Ben also wanted to continue developing beyond his business. ‘New knowledge and experience give my business a boost. The master's degree fits seamlessly with the path to my dreams. The title of MBA is recognised worldwide. This master's, together with International Tourism Mangement, is the perfect starting point for my international career. If you invest in yourself in a purposeful way, then go for the very best, I say.’
Studying and running a business
Combining a master's degree with running a business is tough, Ben admits. How does he manage it? ‘You can go a long way if you are motivated and have a solid plan. What also plays a part: Tio supports entrepreneurial students. Your study coach can help you make a plan, for example. In addition, Tio stimulates entrepreneurship in general. During my bachelor's studies, for example, I took the entrepreneurship minor. That's where I got my very first experience as a young entrepreneur!’
MBA opens doors
Ben is on his way to completing his master's degree and ready to focus on his business full time. What can he recommend to other (master’s) students with entrepreneurial ambitions? ‘Studying and running a business is hard work. But getting a master's degree in one year is extremely efficient. I see it this way: you give it your all for a while to have a great career. I can definitely recommend it,’ Ben concludes. ‘I am still very happy with my choice. My master's degree from Tio opens doors at home and abroad!’