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Interview

Dr. Matthias Spaink
PhD in Business Administration, Nyenrode Business University (NL), MBA University of Maastricht (NL), MSc. Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL). Regional Manager Middle East and Africa, Cargill International SA (CH).

Why do you teach at IFM?

I’m passionate about international business and I like to share this passion with a new generation of managers and entrepreneurs. IFM offers me a professional and pleasant environment, with first class people.


Which topics do you teach at IFM?

International Business and Negotiation.

What are the advantages of studying your topic?

Studying International Business and Negotiation not only provide a foundation for an international career, the topics are all around us. For instance, the International Business class helps to better understand economic dependencies between countries. In class we spend a lot of time discussing relevant actual events. The importance of Negotiation goes beyond the business world. We all negotiate with the people around us every day.


How would you describe your teaching style?
Interactive and a blend of theory and practice. Providing a solid academic framework is the base. I make use of case studies so that the students can apply the theory in business settings. And having been in International Business for more than 20 years myself, I use a lot of practical examples. And I like to speak about the things that are important in practice, but that you don’t find in any book.

How does your teaching style influence your class?
I like to bring the topics to life and I encourage the students to take a critical stand and develop their own way of thinking. I appreciate lively classroom discussions and I like it when students come to me after class to ask for additional reading or to exchange further ideas.


How would you describe your students? 
What they have in common is that they are smart and eager to learn. They come from a broad range of backgrounds with different walks of life. We always have students from different countries and different industries in different stages of their career. This makes the classroom discussions very interesting. And the students learn a lot form their fellow classmates.

What advice would you give to the future generation of entrepreneurs and managers?
In the words of Mahatma Ghandi: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”