Avans University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands

L-R: Maurice Raats, Nicole Bekers, Maddy Hermkens, Samuel Brand


About the Team

Maurice Raats
Born and raised in the south of the Netherlands, Maurice is currently in his second year studying international business. His goal is to complete a double degree programme next year at ESB Reutlingen, in Germany. Maurice lives for challenges and getting out of his comfort zone; he was interested in sports, business, and intercultural exchange from a young age. His goal is to achieve the greatest results, not only for himself, but also for the people around him.

Nicole Bekers
Born and raised in Prinsenbeek, in the south of the Netherlands, Nicole is in her fourth year of international financial management at Avans. Early in her studies, she realized there was more to life than just numbers, so she decided to study leadership psychology in Canada. That was not Nicole’s first time abroad, however; after high school she spent a year in the United States to improve her English, and completed her first internship in Munich, Germany. Nicole is passionate about traveling the world, and very active in her community. In the coming year, she will work for the supply chain continuous improvement team at DSM, working toward a sustainable future for everyone.

Maddy Hermkens
Maddy is a second-year international business student specialising in cross-cultural management and languages. She discovered her passion for business after starting her own company at the age of 15, and her interest in culture after a trip to Senegal. She has a passion for sports, reading, and nature. She currently lives in Tenerife, Spain, where she is completing an internship with a digital marketing agency, and plans on moving to Reutlingen, Germany to pursue an English-German double degree at the ESB Business School.

Samuel Brand
Samuel is studying international business at Avans after stays in England and Russia. Currently in the second year of his program, he will soon be relocating to New York City to complete an internship with a major fashion brand. He is looking forward to participating in the NIBS competition.

Virgil van de Gevel (Coach, not pictured)
Virgil teaches a broad range of courses in marketing, strategic management, data science and marketing research. He holds a Master in Business Administration and a Master in Data Science Management, and has marketing management and research experience with Campina (dairy), Novartis, T-Mobile, Sara Lee and PepsiCo. Virgil is also a member of the Examination Board and an Examiner for the Dutch Marketing Institute, which provides qualifications at Master’s degree-level for experienced marketers.