Alexandra’s Road from Discovering Her Academic Direction to Adidas

Alexandra Prodan, our 2011-2012 Head Girl, graduated from Erasmus University and the Rotterdam School of Management, where she studied International Business Administration. Her Road from BSB started in 2012 as she embarked on her academic journey away from home. Navigating an international environment was one of the most important skills she took away from her time at BSB, along with a different mindset necessary in today’s world.

What university did you attend? What made you choose your course?

I went to Erasmus University, Rotterdam School of Management and took the International Business Administration course. My main motivation when choosing my course was probably not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I wasn’t one of those students that had a clear talent, and both my parents have an Economics/Finance background. Numbers weren’t (and still are not) my strong point, and I still wanted to have the flexibility to do something more creative later down the line. Then I discovered my course. It had a broad array of subjects ranging from Finance, to Marketing, to Psychology – it was a middle ground so to say, it made everyone happy.

How was university – what did you enjoy and what were the challenges?

Between my bachelor’s and master’s, I had four years of adventures. Some were a lot of fun, others were quite challenging but I always smile when I look back on it. The reason being, that when you start university, it’s one of the few times in life where you and most of your peers are in the same situation: probably the first time when you leave home for an extended period of time, so a bit nervous, a bit home sick but still very excited and eager. As clichéd as it sounds, the friendships I’ve made in those years are some of my strongest ones. It made all the challenges that come with the process of leaving home all worth it.

What came next and do you have future plans?

After university I moved to Amsterdam for my traineeship at Adidas and enjoyed it so much that I’ve been with the company ever since. My plan for the foreseeable future however is to travel for an extended period of time. After being in an international environment my whole life and making it to a comfortable step in my career, I want to explore the world – more specifically South America.

How did BSB help you achieve your goals?

I’d say that navigating an international environment was one of the most important skills I got from going to BSB. Adapting to new countries, new cultures and new people was made so much easier. That’s because you have a different mindset, which I think especially in today’s globalised world is even more important. Also, English and Business A-Levels were life savers for university essays which required argumentation.

When did you graduate from BSB? Any particular memories that stand out from your BSB years?

I graduated in 2012. I think the thing I remember most (and surprises people the most) is that there were only five or six of us in our Sixth Form. I think it really allowed to get to know each other and the teachers very well. I was even the only one taking French so I was alone in that class – not very ‘social’, but still know French to this day though! Also, I think my most cherished memories are from the summer trips we made – we went to Berlin in 2010 and Paris in 2011 or 2012 I believe.

Any achievements or contributions that you are really proud of?

I think my biggest personal achievement is that I now call the Netherlands home. I’ve built my own life and it all started as an 18-year-old who was dropped off at university, home sick, with no idea what to expect. As for bigger contributions to society, definitely a goal but one I’m still working on.

Anything that you want to say to your BSB teachers or tips to current students relating to academics or life at BSB in general?

If there’s one tip I’d give students, it would probably be that they should strive to find a balance between working hard for those grades and also exploring/discovering their own interests or passions, no matter what it is – you never know when that could help you in the future.

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