How Valentijn’s MBA renewed his career

With a background in earth sciences, Valentijn van Gastel had a stellar career in renewable energy before embarking on his MBA at Melbourne Business School. His career focused on helping utilities and EU governments reduce the costs of large-scale offshore wind energy. So, what made him leave it all behind to study business abroad?

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Valentijn van Gastel
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Full-time MBA 2016
Valentijn wanted to expand his career prospects through new knowledge and an international experience, but moving to Melbourne Business School from Amsterdam appealed to him in a special way.

“Melbourne Business School is intimate and allows you to build deep relationships with students and faculty. It’s well ranked and puts great emphasis on providing practical and on-site experience, which I find important.”

After completing his MBA, Valentijn returned to Amsterdam to work as an independent consultant. He has delivered strategy advice to clients of international consultancy Eden McCallum and specialist green energy consultancy Ecofys.

“The MBA has given me the theoretical background and corporate experience to apply on my strategy engagements.”

Valentijn also started a small software company with fellow MBA alum Filip Reese. They developed an app that helps surfers find the perfect wave. The venture aligns with Valentijn’s life-long passion for surfing and combines his knowledge in meteorology and oceanography with his new business skillset.

“My MBA has helped me tremendously. Without it, I wouldn’t have started my own consultancy and software company. The innovation and entrepreneurship units at Melbourne Business School were really motivating. And I’m glad to have met so many inspiring individuals along the way.”

Back at his busy Amsterdam office, Valentijn says he’ll always be grateful to his cohort, who came from around the world and are now firm friends who he speaks with regularly. He also counts the faculty, Business in Asia trip and internship at Disney Australia among the highlights of his MBA.

“All the classes were of great quality. The Business in Asia trip was a two-week-long goodbye at the end of our final semester, and I had a great experience working at Disney on their sustainability strategy in the Australia/New Zealand region.”

Valentijn always planned to return home after his MBA in Melbourne, but after coming here with his girlfriend from Amsterdam, who worked while he studied, leaving wasn’t easy.

“Melbourne is, for sure, one of the best cities in the world. My girlfriend and I lived in a great area called Collingwood, with heaps of bars and restaurants nearby. The vibe in Melbourne is very relaxed and there is loads to explore on weekends. I recommend Melbourne 100 per cent. It was a wonderful experience.”

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