Back to newsroom
Impact Stories

Alexander: Building bridges between engineering and business with an MBA

In impact stories by Business School Netherlands

In the field of architecture and engineering consultancy, constant innovation and development play a crucial role. Alexander Veenstra, Team Manager Environment & Engineering at Sweco, a leading architecture and engineering consultancy, has experienced this transition from a unique perspective. With a background in civil engineering and an MBA degree (Cum Laude) from Business School Netherlands (BSN) in his pocket, Alexander shares his impact story on how the MBA has influenced both his personal and professional life.

Driver of change

Alexander is enthusiastic about his decision to pursue an MBA:

“I was originally technically trained as a civil engineer. However, after several years in practice, I began to see the complexity of business issues and became interested in how I could tackle them to add value. Five years after completing my Pre-Master in Business Administration at Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, I started my MBA at BSN. I saw it as an extra challenge to get this degree before I turned 40. And I succeeded!”

His choice of BSN was strategic: “BSN offered me the right mix of exemption, a Dutch-speaking and internationally accredited programme. And it taught me not only a methodological grounding, but also how to look at business problems and organisations from different perspectives, with responsible and well-considered decisions and sustainable solutions.”

A celebration of recognition and challenge

Alexander speaks of his time at BSN with a combination of pride and satisfaction:

“Completing the MBA was a challenge in terms of time commitment and personal life. It was also a celebration of recognition with the daily complex challenges of my job. The opportunity to acquire theoretical knowledge, not in school as in the past, but to apply this knowledge directly in my own organisation, added an extra dimension to the learning process.”

He emphasises the value of collaboration and interaction with fellow students. “It gave me an insight into the diversity of organisational structures.”

Learning to learn: a new dimension

What surprised Alexander most during his studies was the concept of ‘learning to learn’.

“Now I know how to study effectively. It gives me a lot more energy and confidence. I can see that I am getting better and sharper. Before the MBA course, I had heard of the LSA method (Listen, Summarise and Ask Questions), but asking open questions to each other without judgement under the guidance of an Action Learning coach was new to me. It is something that will stay with me forever and that I have now made my own. Especially in the areas of listening and questioning, I have made great progress.”

Action Learning: putting theory into practice

BSN’s emphasis on Action Learning was a game-changer for Alexander.

“By directly tackling real problems within Sweco, I not only got to know the organisation better, but also myself as a professional. It has greatly boosted my confidence and inspiration for further growth, both personally and professionally.”

Impactful changes

Alexander’s dissertation, which focused on increasing revenue through market-driven collaboration, not only provided valuable insights, but also led to real changes within Sweco.

“Through my research, the conversations were about the undercurrent in the organisation. What drives us, what motivates us and why we do things a certain way. It brought our management team closer together and introduced new terminology and concepts within our organisation.”

“This research is a starting point for further developments in market collaboration within the organisation.”

A new perspective on leadership and confidence

On a personal level, the MBA has significantly strengthened Alexander’s self-image and self-confidence.

“It has changed the way I approach problems; I am more confident in my role. I know I don’t have all the answers, but I have the tools to come up with reasonable solutions.”

Alexander’s journey is an inspiring example of how the BSN MBA not only enriches your theoretical knowledge, but also drives personal growth and creates tangible change in your organisation. With his MBA in hand, Alexander is now building bridges between the technical and business worlds, contributing to a more sustainable and efficient future for Sweco and its environment.

Business School Netherlands


Subscribe to our newsletter

Enter your details to receive our monthly newsletter with news, blog articles and publications.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.