Module | Boost Your career

Monday 15 March 2021, 19:00 - 21:30 hrs.
AHK Culture Club
Kattenburgerstraat 5
1018 JA Amsterdam

Are you a creative professional with a few years’ experience behind you? Are you ready to make your next career move? Perhaps you’ve been hopping from project to project for a few years, or you got a steady job and now you’re wondering whether that’s what you really want. Are you looking to specialise, perhaps? If so, how should you go about it? Have you got the motivation to reframe your long-term vision on your working practice? The Amsterdam Business School (University of Amsterdam) and the Amsterdam University of the Arts (AHK) have joined forces to guide you through this process. Join us, and boost your career.

The in-depth Boost Your Career module comprises five learning-and-working sessions, each lasting 2½ hours. The underlying principle for all five sessions is the Design Thinking Model, a working method used all over the world. It consists of five phases: ‘empathising’, ‘problem identification’, ‘ideation’ (idea creation), ‘prototyping’ and ‘testing’ Each working session is split into two parts: inspiration/knowledge sharing; and practice, reflection and peer feedback. Design thinking is a flexible and interactive working method. Participants need each other as part of ‘the team’. Everyone continually helps each other improve their own individual solution, building on the team’s input and empathy.

You’ll use this method to work towards a plan to reframe your ideal work practice. By the end of the course, each participant will have developed a detailed action plan they will be able to put into effect independently.

Class 1: Empathising
15 March 2021, 19:00-21:30. Alexander Alexiev and Simone van Bennekom
The main thing we tackle in this class is how we think, how we think things should be, and what we think others are thinking – in short: assumptions. In this first working session we put the spotlight on assumptions. Which ones are right? And which ones are wrong? We talk about our structures and how we go about our lives, and we work together. Each participant writes down how they work and live.

Class 2: Defining the problem
22 March 2021, 19:00-21:30. Karim Bennamar and Simone van Bennekom.
In the second session we get to work on the ‘work and life’ document each participant wrote in the previous session. Working in small groups, we’ll analyse the information and use peer feedback techniques to define the core issue.

Class 3: Ideating & 1,000 ideas
29 March 2021, 19:00-21:30. Alexander Alexiev and Simone van Bennekom.
In this third session we’ll use the brainstorm technique in small groups to focus on generating as many out-of-the-box solutions as possible to the core problem. Then, each participant will select the ideal action from all the available proposals.

Class 4: Prototyping
12 April 2021, 19:00-21:30. Alexander Alexiev and Simone van Bennekom.
In this working session, we take a closer look at the market for the creative sector. Working in small groups we’ll focus on devising a prototype for achieving the ‘solution’. The aim in this phase is to use experimentation to arrive at the best possible solution for each participant.

Class 5: Testing
19 April 2021, 19:00-21:30. Alexander Alexiev and Simone van Bennekom
In this the last session of the module, we’ll test out and reflect on everybody’s action plan for redefining their work practices. This is the final phase of the module, but it’s probably not the end of your design process – we discuss with each participant how they can continue to develop their action plan.

Module producers
This module is the result of a partnership between Amsterdam Business School (ABS) at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Amsterdam University of the Arts (AHK). Alexander Alexiev teaches Strategic Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the ABS. He gained his PhD at the Rotterdam School of Management (Erasmus University, Rotterdam). His research encompasses the fields of ‘strategic leadership’ and ‘strategic management and innovation’ in the broader domains of the cultural and creative sectors and innovation.

Simone van Bennekom heads the Entrepreneurship and Fair Practice projects at the AHK with a focus on developing supplementary entrepreneurship training for AHK students and alumni. She is a graduate of the Drama and Contemporary Music Theatre department at the AHK’s Academy of Theatre and Dance. Van Bennekom has also had her own theatre company and is an Economics graduate from Erasmus University Amsterdam. She has experience as an adviser to the business creative sectors, and is herself an entrepreneur who works on innovation and enterprise policy at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, where she focuses on international market expansion of the creative industry. Working in cooperation with the Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Van Bennekom researches and publishes on internationalisation as a growth strategy.

Who it’s for
You’re a motivated professional in the cultural sector and creative industries with at least three years’ work experience. You’re ready to take the next step in your career, and you’re looking for professional guidance. If you are a student or alumnus of the AHK and you have three or more years of work experience, you qualify for a voucher that entitles you to a 50% discount on the fees for this module.

For more information, please send an email to
Participants in this module leave with a detailed plan of action and a ‘certificate of participation’ signed on behalf of the AHK and ABS (UvA).

The fees for this module are 250 euros. Buy your ticket here. AHK students and alumni who have over 3 years of work experience, can receive a 50% discount. Mail and use the subject title 'Voucher BYC' for more information. If you have permission to receive the discount, buy your ticket here.  

Online via Zoom.