The International Financial Program selects 21 adequate students who have made substantial progress in their studies. They have been selected by strict criteria after which only the most motivated students remain. These motivated students form the basis of the research project. Two or three academic professors will guide the students throughout the entire process to ensure academic standards and function as cornerstone to assure high quality research. The program provides the company a unique opportunity to work together with selected students, have many contact moments with them and obtain a high quality research that broadens the horizon of the organization. All these beneficial aspects of the research will be obtained only at cost.
The students participating in the program are students that have affinity in the field of finance and accounting. Areas for research are numerous and largely depend on the needs and wishes expressed by the company. In the initial phase participants will come up with suggestions for research or work out ideas proposed by the company. Examples of subjects examined in previous years are: microcredit, market research, risk analysis, investment analysis and the conducting of audits.
Over the years the IFP has conducted research for:
- Sara Lee
- Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs
Topics that were covered in our researches:
- The fiscal climate in Panama
- General market and investment research
- The expansion of the Panama Canal & banking climate
- Working conditions in Mexico
Wouter Reiding – IFP 2010
I’m Wouter Reiding and I´m doing a master Finance at the University of Groningen. I’ve joined the International Financial Program (IFP) in 2009 and visited Mexico in 2010. We did a research for the Rabobank Foundation about Microfinance in the Mango sector. The first week we visited microfinance institutions in Mexico-city and the second week we visited multiple mango farmers on the Mexican countryside. After our field research, we travelled three weeks through Mexico, seeing everything from Maya temples in Chichén Itzá to partying on the beach in Playa del Carmen. The reason for me to join the IFP was the experience of doing research for a renowned company in an exotic country and the possibility of travelling afterwards. I’ve had a great time in Mexico and would recommend everybody to join the IFP!
Charlot Schutten - IFP 2009
Spending almost 6 weeks in Brazil was an opportunity which sounded challenging and exciting, and therefore I immediately knew I had to apply! The whole experience started far before the actual trip. Besides the social drinks, me and my fellow teammates quickly initiated the preparations for our research. Our group's job was to indicate the opportunities for Dutch companies in the Brazilian Offshore Oil & Gas Market for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. A very interesting and wide-ranging topic. We gathered a lot of information by arranging several interviews in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. We spoke with representatives of large companies such as Petrobras, ING, Vopak, and Mercosul Line, as well as with entrepreneurs of Dutch descent, and with the former Brazilian minister of Finance.
After spending two intensive and fun weeks with 25 students, it was time to team up. We took off to travel around this amazing country. After enjoying and exploring the great nature, beaches, and cultural places, most groups explored Rio de Janeiro during the last days. The International Financial Program gives you the opportunity to do research, travel around in an amazing country, and meet a lot of interesting people. I obviously would recommend it to anyone!
Jakoba van der Mei - IFP 2008
Being the 'benjamin' of the group, I hardly had any experience with assignments for companies abroad. From this point of view, it seemed a very interesting & challenging experience. And it surely was... IFP became an experience of a lifetime! I was assigned to a project for Sara Lee in Malaysia where we had to analyse their suppliers on the field of CSR policy. In order to become familiar with the subject, our team did a preliminary analysis at the toothpaste plant in Amersfoort. Afterwards we were equipped to do a proper analysis abroad, however, speaking English with Asians is a real challenge! Off to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: 2,5 weeks of interviews, meetings and supplier visits. We even flew to Johor Bahru (South of Malaysia) to visit a supplier. Learning & enjoying our time in Kuala Lumpur went side by side! We also had time to explore the city and dive into the bustling night life. The last 2,5 weeks of travelling were amazing! We saw all the wonders and beautiful landscapes of Indonesia (Java/Bali). Since the groups were more or less travelling the same route we could share experiences and party together! Based on my extraordinary experience, I would recommend everyone to sign up for IFP. It is invaluable for your professional & personal development!