The PREMIUM 2022-2023 Student Manual
Welcome and General Guidelines
Wrapping it up....
Welcome to PREMIUM
Dear PREMIUM student,
It is our pleasure to welcome you to PREMIUM!
You have been selected to participate in Maastricht University’s extracurricular excellence programme for motivated, high-performing master’s students. Over the next five months, the programme will offer you plenty of opportunities to challenge yourself, (further) develop useful professional skills, and gain a good amount of professional self-confidence and self-insight. PREMIUM was carefully designed to bridge the gap between study and career, aiming to adequately prepare you for the fast-approaching job market.
We are very proud to announce that this year, PREMIUM will be organized for the 12th consecutive year! For more than a decade now, approximately 1250 UM master’s students had the privilege to participate in PREMIUM.
Evaluated positively each year, the programme has proven itself to be an exclusive chance to supplement your master’s education with real, hands-on experience in the work field. Through working in an interdisciplinary team with a focus on project-based working and optimization of team performance, you get a realistic introduction into common everyday operations at many workplaces. Attending PREMIUM workshops enables you to actively take a closer look at various processes at play in the PREMIUM as well as real-world work environment.
On top of it all, executing a project for an external client allows you to contribute to innovation at your client’s organization, deepen your understanding of a specific topic and (learn to) network and develop relevant social connections. Alongside project-related activities, PREMIUM also offers an extensive coaching trajectory guided by your very own experienced competence coach, providing you with a very valuable opportunity to work on personal and/or professional development on a confidential one-to-one basis.
Overall, PREMIUM aims to help you:
- Learn (how) to work as part of an interdisciplinary team on a professional level;
- Learn how to manage your time and work according to a tight schedule;
- Learn how to manage a client’s expectations and how to commit to your responsibilities;
- Gain insight into your strengths and areas for development, and provide you with the appropriate (practical) skills to work on your development.
We hope you are as excited about the prospect of being a PREMIUM student as we are about facilitating the optimal learning environment for you to flourish in. In this student handbook, you will find everything you will need to make your PREMIUM experience a grand success.
We advise you to read it carefully and make sure you are familiar with the information at all times.
We wish you a fruitful and inspiring PREMIUM endeavor and look forward to seeing you and all that PREMIUM helped you accomplish at the PREMIUM Closing Event in May.
The PREMIUM Central Management Team
Guidelines to Being a PREMIUM Student
What is expected of you?
First things first. In order to help you get the most out of your PREMIUM experience, we wish to provide you with guidelines and an explanation of assets we believe will enable you to go from being a student to being a professional. At PREMIUM we believe that facilitating a learning environment closely resembling the professional work environment is the most effective way to get you ready for entering the job market and starting your professional career soon. However, this only works if PREMIUM students make use of this simulated environment adequately.
The PREMIUM student profile
While PREMIUM offers you a unique development opportunity, the level at which you benefit from participating in PREMIUM relies heavily on your own input and motivation.
Apart from having strong academic capabilities, the ideal PREMIUM student:
- is serious about his/her commitment and ready to go the extra mile;
- has impeccable time management skills or the drive to develop them;
- is able to adopt and internalize a highly professional attitude;
- is a flexible, exceptionally reliable, and people-oriented team player;
- is eager to learn, grow, and work on personal/professional development;
- sees complex problems as an exciting challenge;
- is result-oriented and able to form views, ideas, and concepts based on complex information and has the capability to construct conceptual frameworks or models;
- is able to present ideas and information concisely and convey them appropriately to the target group.
We realize this list may be somewhat daunting, but no worries! As you have been selected to participate in PREMIUM, Central Management believes you fulfil the requirements to become a PREMIUM student. To clarify, this means we either believe you possess the above-mentioned qualities or possess the drive to put effort into developing them. Perhaps the PREMIUM student profile may inspire your goals for your competence coaching trajectory.
Throughout PREMIUM, you will be meeting and working with external clients, UM employees, fellow master’s students, the PREMIUM Central Management Team, and other (external) professionals. All PREMIUM students are expected to behave in a polite and professional manner towards all parties involved with PREMIUM. Think of PREMIUM as your introduction to the professional work environment and use every available opportunity to hone your professional skills. You will soon find that maintaining a courteous and professional demeanour in both concord and conflict will go a long way and always enable you to achieve the desired results in the end.
Guidelines for professional behaviour:
- Communicate politely and respectfully with everyone at all times.
- Take your commitments seriously and be a reliable team player.
- Give and receive feedback in a strictly constructive manner.
- Always aim to resolve any sort of conflict in a fair, constructive and effective manner.
- Be honest and ethical.
Examples of unprofessional behaviour:
- Showing up late (or not at all) or unprepared at (team) meetings, or cancelling on the last minute.
- Letting conflicts escalate, get out of hand, or arguing in a disrespectful manner.
- Lying, making excuses, or talking about someone behind their back.
- Informal or rude communication.
While email has most likely not been the most essential means of communicating as a student, it is very likely it will soon become very important to your daily interchanging of important information. Most jobs come with an inbox that is prone to fill up every single day. Email often simply is the easiest and most reliable way to communicate in many cases. Likewise, email is also very important in PREMIUM. You will have contact with your teammates, mentor, coach, client, and the PREMIUM Central Management Team over email. Please take the guidelines for email etiquette into account when communicating through email.
- Check your inbox every single day. Preferably several times a day. Often, your immediate response is appreciated or even required. Manage your time wisely by blocking specific moments in your agenda for checking your email.
- Always address your recipient appropriately (Dear …). Sometimes it’s good to address your recipient according to the specific role you wish to address them in. For example, when we email you, we might address you with “Dear PREMIUM student”. That way you immediately know the following message pertains to you being a PREMIUM student.
- Be sure to finish your email with a polite and friendly sign off, such as kind regards, sincerely, etc.
- Always include a clearly defined subject. For example, don’t put “question” in the subject line, but shortly describe what your question is about or other important features of your message. Your recipient should immediately get an idea of what your email is about. If a response is requested, it sometimes helps the recipient respond faster if you mention it in the subject.
- Try not to forget to actually attach an attachment. The operative word being “try”, because it sometimes still happens to the best of us!
- If you are replying, write a reply. When replying to a message that was sent to you, reply to that email in an actual reply to that email instead of a new or old email to that person. That way, it is easier for both parties to remember what was discussed or asked before and how your reply relates to it.
- Use the CC and BCC functions, but use them appropriately. If a message to your project mentor might be interesting to your team members add them in the CC. That way, you are all (quite literally) on the same page. That being said, be selective and try not to bother anyone with information that isn’t necessarily important for them. Also, be aware not to expect or ask an answer from people you added in the CC. If you do, you should send the message to them directly to avoid confusion. The BCC email function is reserved for when you wish to include someone to your recipient list but you don’t want any other recipients to see the email was sent to your BCC recipient. For example, this comes in handy when emailing a large group of people.
- Create an email signature in outlook. In your signature, include your name, student ID, contact information, and other important information that might help the person you are emailing identify or contact you.
- Introduce yourself. Imagine that the person you are emailing has 100 emails coming in each day. It saves them a lot of work if you communicate clearly. Introducing yourself is not only important when contacting someone for the first time, but also in continued contact.
Generally, the most important piece of advice we can give you with regards to email etiquette (and other aspects of professional communication and cooperation) is to not only refrain from causing another more work, but to spare them work if you can, especially when requesting something. If you send somebody an email with a request, make absolutely sure they have all the information they need to fulfil your request. For example, if you email your mentor about a certain document your client provided you with, simply attach the document to the email once more so that your mentor can simply click to open it and answer your question instead of having to look up the document first. Even if the document was sent or exchanged with your mentor earlier as well, it is often considered very thoughtful to include it once more.
Another example is to suggest some date/time/place options when trying to plan a meeting with someone. That way, the other person simply has to check their availability for your suggestions. While it might not seem like a big deal to quickly look up some information in order to reply to your email, seconds spent looking things up add up quickly in the day. What’s also beneficial is that the easier your question is to answer, the faster you will likely receive a reply. Lastly, your recipient will appreciate you for being concise, clear, and thoughtful, and that’s always a good thing!
PREMIUM is a demanding extracurricular programme. This means that participating in PREMIUM will require you to invest time alongside the time you invest in your master’s programme. Dedication and commitment are required to succeed in PREMIUM. Over the course of the five months of PREMIUM, the total workload is approximately 250 hours. This is roughly broken down into:
- 150 hours for the project;
- 75 hours competence coaching and your Personal Development Plan;
- 15 hours for workshops and masterclasses;
- 10 hours for attending Central Events.
It is important to note that poor time management will most likely not only affect yourself, but your team members as well. Be sure to manage your time well and securely schedule your activities. If this is something you struggle with, be sure to discuss the topic with your coach, your mentor or Central Management.
Mandatory & Exceptions
Mandatory character of the programme
Participating in PREMIUM is not without obligation. Whereas you are entirely free to plan team meetings when they best suit you and your teammates, there are several programme components that require mandatory attendance. Some of these programme components are more flexible than others. For example, you are required to attend a number or workshops. The workshops are offered several times on different dates and times to ensure that every student is able to attend at least one of the options. However, your attendance is also mandatory at the PREMIUM Central Events. These events are organized on set dates. For specific information on mandatory programme elements, see the section on Assessment.
! In order to assess every student’s attendance, you are asked to sign an attendance sheet at all workshops. Please make sure to always sign the sheet, because your attendance cannot and will not be verified in another way.
Students are expected to always be able to schedule their meetings with the coach. If you make sure to contact your coach early on, there should be plenty of possibilities to plan your meetings.
In case a student is unable to 1) attend the required number of workshops, or 2) attend a Central Event due to a serious personal situation or highly important prior engagement, he/she may make up for missing a workshop by submitting a substitute assignment. In that case, the student’s attendance requirement is fulfilled if he/she attended 5 workshops and submitted 1 substitute assignment evaluated as satisfactory.
Students should email the PREMIUM Central Management Team in case exceptional circumstances apply. Upon evaluation of their request, they may receive a substitute assignment.
Timeliness: in any case, students are advised to contact the PREMIUM Central Management Team whenever private, personal circumstances (threaten to) get in the way of their participation in PREMIUM. We understand life can throw a roadblock at you and we are always willing to look for a solution together if a student informs us in a timely manner.
Assessment occurs on the basis of 1) your mentor’s evaluation of you and of your team (both procedural as in your performance as a team player and the quality of the end product), 2) your coach’s evaluation of the time and effort put into the coaching component of PREMIUM, and 3) formal requirements.
After fulfilling all mandatory programme components successfully, you will receive an official PREMIUM certificate. This certificate is the ultimate proof of your excellent capabilities at Maastricht University. The certificate will be awarded to you at the certificate ceremony at the Closing Event.
In order to successfully complete PREMIUM and receive your certificate, you must fulfil the following requirements.
The student or the student team:
- Student: attended the 3 mandatory workshops and at least 3 elective workshops.
- Student: attended all mandatory Central Events: the Mix & Match, Midterm Presentations, and Closing Event;
- Student: attended at least three separate coaching sessions, and has shown a genuine effort in (further) developing a competence;
- Student: completed a Personal Development Plan together with, and graded as satisfactory, by their coach;
- Student team: presented at the Midterm Presentations event and presented a poster during the Closing Event;
- Student team: documented their project progress by means of an Instagram page;
- Student team: submitted (a representation of) the final product/deliverable or end result to PREMIUM and the project mentor;
- Overall, the student received a positive evaluation from 1) the project mentor, 2) the competence coach, and 3) his/her team mates.
PREMIUM during Covid-19
Due to potential future measures surrounding Covid-19, PREMIUM might again look slightly different in the coming period.
At the time of writing this handbook, most components of the programme, such as workshops and central events are planned to take physically place at EDLAB’s Tapijn X building or at external venues, while others might be organized in an online setting, depending on the preferences of the participants (such as team meetings, client meetings and/or meetings with the Coach).
Please be aware, the Corona crisis can always throw us an unexpected curveball, which changes things again. Keep an eye on your UM email for any (last-minute) changes in the programme related to the Corona crisis, and the practical implications that might bring to your PREMIUM experience. Rest assured, we will do our utmost to guarantee an honours worthy experience.
The mighty PREMIUM Checklist
Below, we provide you with an overall checklist for every task you need to complete in order to successfully complete PREMIUM. To be specific, if you stick to this checklist, nothing can go wrong and you should stay on track to get your PREMIUM certificate. Please note that deadlines may be announced or adjusted at a later date. You will always be informed well ahead of time of any deadline or date changes.
Please note that we handed out this checklist as well during the Mix & Match event. You may find it in your PREMIUM document folder.
Ready? Set, Go!
1) Team charter: Before and during the first team meeting, complete the team charter (Deadline: Friday, February 10th)
- Schedule your first team meeting to complete the team charter.
- Complete the individual section of the team charter and bring it to the team meeting.
- Attend the team meeting.
- Complete the team section of the team charter together.
- Send the completed team charter to 1) your coach, and 2) firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Reflect on the team charter in your PDP.
2) The teambuilding assignment (Deadline: Friday, February 10th)
- Pick up the assignment at EDLAB (please inform us when you are planning to come) or request the materials for an online teambuilding assignment via email@example.com
- Complete the assignment.
- Hand in the assignment at EDLAB, and take a look at the solution, or request the solution via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Reflect on the assignment in your PDP.
3) Budget (Deadline: Friday, February 10th)
- Set up a preliminary budget describing the costs you expect to make throughout the project (see Appendix II).
- Send a copy of your preliminary budget to your project mentor (and client in case of travelling costs) for approval.
- Assign one team member to email the approved preliminary budget to email@example.com, with your mentor in the CC.
4) Set up the Instagram Page (Deadline: Friday, February 10th)
- Set up a private Instagram profile for your PREMIUM student team.
- Send the link to your page to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Follow the other PREMIUM teams as soon as you receive their profiles.
6) Online tests: gain insight into your competences to define a good starting point! The online tests can be found on www.edlab.nl/premium. (Deadline: Friday, February 17th)
Into the first stages of project execution…
7) First meeting with Competence Coach (Deadline: Friday, February 17th)
- Schedule your first meeting with your coach.
- Attend the meeting and bring all recently made entries to your PDP with you, including: 1) the results of your online tests, 2) your personal team charter and final team charter.
- Reflect on your first meeting in your PDP.
8) Attend mandatory workshops (Deadline: Friday, February 17th))
9) Midterm Presentations (Deadline: Friday, March 17th)
- Read the section on Midterm Presentations in the (online) student handbook.
- Send in your Powerpoint presentation before the deadline.
- Attend the Midterm Presentation session your team is assigned to (March 22nd or 23rd).
- Complete the Midterm Presentations evaluation form on www.edlab.nl/premium.
10) Reflective Practitioner Meeting with mentor preferably after Midterm Presentations (Deadline: Friday, March 31st)
11) Second meeting with Competence Coach (Deadline: Thursday, April 21st)
- Schedule your second meeting with your coach.
- Attend the meeting and bring all completed components of your PDP with you.
- Reflect on the meeting in your PDP.
12) Team Dynamics Meeting (Deadline: Thursday, April 21st)
- Together with your team mates and coach, schedule the meeting.
- Attend the meeting.
- Reflect on the meeting in your PDP.
13) Attend three more workshops of your choosing (Deadline: Tuesday, May 9th)
- Sign up for and attend three of the “additional” workshops.
- Complete the workshop evaluation forms on www.edlab.nl/premium.
14) Third meeting with Competence Coach (Deadline: Friday, May 17th)
- Schedule your third (and final) meeting with your coach.
- Attend the meeting and bring all completed components of your PDP with you.
- Reflect on the meeting in your PDP.
Wrap it up!
15) Closing session with the client and mentor
- Schedule and prepare a closing session with the client together with your project mentor.
- Fill out the reflective practitioner form concerning the second half of your project, and send it to your mentor, before the actual closing session with your mentor.
16) PREMIUM Closing Event (Deadline: Tuesday, May 30th, 16:00 hrs)
- Read the section on the Closing Event in the (online) student handbook.
- Email your final report, product, or other form of project outcomes to email@example.com and to your project mentor, before the date of the Closing Event.
- One member of the student team emails the digital file of the poster to firstname.lastname@example.org and to your project mentor.
- One member of the student team hands in the printed poster at EDLAB, room 0.003.
- Attend the Closing Event on May 31st and present your team’s poster.
- Complete the Closing Event evaluation form on www.edlab.nl/premium.
17) PREMIUM Evaluation (Deadline: Monday, June 12th)
18) Finalized budget as part of the reimbursement process (Deadline: Friday, June 30th)
- Together with your team, set up the finalized budget that describes expenses your team made throughout PREMIUM.
- Notify your mentor and client and ask them to approve the budget.
- Assign one team member to email the finalized budget to email@example.com.
- Hand in reimbursement forms and receipts to the PREMIUM Central Management Team.
The PREMIUM Project
The student team
“Teamwork makes the dream work.”
After the Mix & Match event, you will receive notification of which team you have been assigned to and who your teammates are. You will be embarking on the PREMIUM journey together, as a team.
The team is responsible for project planning and execution, under the guidance of the project mentor. Most likely, team roles will be defined amongst you naturally, or perhaps the division of tasks is more of a guided process.
Either way, it is good to be aware of the different team roles and what the varying responsibilities mean. This topic will be covered in the team dynamics meeting with your team and coach. Throughout the project, the team leader will work closely together with the mentor to steer the team in the desired direction.
In PREMIUM, you’ll spend the majority of your time working on your project on a team basis. Not only does teamwork allow for brainstorming creative solutions much better than working by yourself ever will, but working in a team (especially an interdisciplinary and multicultural one) also means that together you surely have enough time, resources, and mental capacity to get the job done right. As Aristotle famously claimed: “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. We sincerely hope you are all able to experience working in your PREMIUM team positively. We have seen PREMIUM teams grow very close and become good friends.
Even though teamwork generally is a very rewarding experience, it can also be challenging at times. Especially in a situation with limited time, added pressure of working with an external client and different disciplines/academic backgrounds. This is all part of the learning experience, which PREMIUM first and foremost is. The good news is that there is a solution for everything and since it is a learning experience, Central Management will try to support you in any way possible.
However, if you feel your team is not functioning optimally or you as a person cannot function optimally, make sure to speak up in a constructive way and do it as soon as possible! In case your team or you (potentially with help from your mentor or coach) cannot solve the issue, don’t be afraid to contract Central Management, and we’ll help you further and intervene where necessary.
Always try to prevent any issues from escalating. Give each other constructive feedback and respect each other’s (cultural) differences. This goes for team members, but also for example for your mentor or client. Most issues arise when there is no clear communication and a good conversation and clear agreements more often than not will help to clear the air.
When things (appear to) go south, don’t be afraid or hesitate to contact your mentor, coach, or the PREMIUM Central Management Team. The same goes for when the team is not functioning optimally in relation with their client, mentor or coach. As the Dutch like to put it: “Voorkomen is beter dan genezen!” (‘To prevent is better than to cure’)
Sometimes a proper feedback session is needed to get the team back on track, clear the air, or just to see where you all stand as a team. Making time for such a session shows reflective skills and professionalism in teamwork.
In order to facilitate such a session, EDLAB has provided a tool, the so-called Feedback³, developed by Design Museum CUBE together with former PREMIUM students.
Feedback³ is a set of 7 cubes that will help make your feedback session easier, more natural and fun! Each of the cubes addresses a topic that should be addressed when talking about the team process, ensuring that all of the important issues will be discussed. The cubes each have 6 statements written on them, which will provide a baseline for the discussion. This tool provides you with a new way of doing your feedback-sessions, but it is up to your team to decide how to use them. You can find more information via this video: https://youtu.be/9oIhQg7jQhs
The actual 7 cubes, and a booklet that provides you with the rules and guidelines for this session can be found on the PREMIUM website (current student section under “Documents”).
The project mentor
Throughout PREMIUM, the project mentor will support the team in planning, developing, communicating with the client, and completing the assignment. The project mentor is responsible for the content part of the project and the process, whilst the competence coach is responsible for the team dynamics and the (inter)personal skills of the students.
In order to guarantee a safe learning environment and (often) a first experience for students in tackling interdisciplinary project-based working for a professional client, the main concern of the PREMIUM project mentor should be the student’s learning experience, whereas the client’s main concern and interest lie with the project.
The team will decide on group leadership. Together with the group leader, the project mentor takes the role of steering and guiding the group to the agreed upon assignment. Please note that the Project Mentor should not take over the role of the project leader in the team, since the learning experience for the team would then be less effective.
The team is not only responsible for finishing the project on time and meeting the expectations of both the client and project mentor, but also for delivering the required results. The project mentor, however, helps the team draw up an action plan, set a timeline and define the final product. The project mentor can also potentially function as an intermediate between the client and students when the scope of the project requires re-definition and can provide support to the students in negotiation processes with the client.
Due to the variety of projects, no generic guidelines are given for the final product/result of the assignment. This will be done in close interaction between the mentor, the client, and the team itself. In an early stage of the project, you will have to define the criteria, scope and the type of the final product/result together.
At the end of PREMIUM your project mentor will grade and assess individual and team performance based on at least the following and more criteria:
- Participation (effort, time and energy put into project execution and teamwork);
- Courage to experiment with new ideas and behaviour;
- Reflective determination to improve the team process;
- Professional behaviour.
The role of the client is to provide the objective for your project. In a way, the student team acts as independent advisors to the client’s company or organization.
The client has a big impact on the success of the project, and he/she determines the relevance of the project and ensures that the project contributes to the goals of the organization.
Make sure you know exactly who your client is, and that this tole is taken on by one person only. You will need this person’s personal commitment throughout the project. The decision who the actual client (not an entity or organization, but a person) is, and what level of authority he/she has, must be known before the project can successfully start. The PREMIUM team does its best to ensure that every project has a single, and a sufficiently authorized client, but things might change within organizations between the time of agreeing on the project proposal and the actual execution of the project, and even the finalization of the project. Therefore, always make sure you know who your client is.
The actual role your client will take depends largely on his or her preference. Generally, a client either acts more as a formal client or as a co/creator.
A formal client provides an assignment and perceives the student team as consultants doing a job for them. The formal client provides guidance and supports the team with feedback, but is not actively involved in project execution.
A co-creator might join the team for brainstorm sessions, meetings, and preparatory sessions. The co-creator is more actively involved in and during the project execution.
Since the client is mainly interested in getting the best possible outcome of the project, it is vital that the project mentor functions as an intermediate between client and students at all times. Specifically when decisions need to be made, or negotiations need to be done, with regard to the project scope and project outcome.
Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
In order to safeguard the company information that you will receive from the PREMIUM clients, we will provide you and the clients with the option to make use of a non-disclosure agreement. This legal contract between the UM, the PREMIUM students and the company, outlines that the confidential material, knowledge, or specific information that is shared, will not be published in any of the reports or final products. This NDA will create a confidential relationship between the students and the client, and will make sure that everybody involved is aware of the restricted use of a specific part of the information provided by the companies. The document will be provided upon request by the PREMIUM Central Management Team.
The project itself
What the project you will execute for your client will entail exactly, depends on the client’s request and the team’s interpretation and plan for fulfilling that request. PREMIUM projects may either be more research or design oriented. With a research focus, a project will contain ample opportunities for research within and across disciplines, resulting in output that will bring new insights. The objective should be to “discover something new”. With a design focus, a project will require students to bring creativity and a fresh perspective to the table in order to deliver new, innovative, and unexpected output. The objective should be to “create something new”. The category your project most adequately belongs to was made clear at the time of project announcement in order to ensure students being able to best choose the project of their preference.
The final product and end results
Finishing the project should produce various types of outcomes. Your outcomes may include a final report, a final product, or a concrete plan for future further development. Due to the variety of projects in PREMIUM, no generic guidelines are given for the final product/result of the assignment. This will be done in close interaction between the mentor, the client, and the team itself. In an early stage of the project, you will have to define the criteria, scope and the type of the final product/result together.
Please do not underestimate the phase of formulation of the project scope and aimed outcome. Formulating a project result must provide clarity about what is part of the project result and what is not. A project works with limited resources; not everything is possible. It is important to agree upon the limits of the project. This might seem obvious at first, but in practice, clients and other stakeholders might want to add features to the project at a later stage, or only express vague expectations, that lead to unsatisfactory results and communication along the way.
At the end of the programme, students are required to present their project outcomes as part of their official closing of the programme with the client and mentor.
Additionally, the PREMIUM Central Management Team should receive a copy or report of your final outcome for assessment purposes, and we are looking forward to seeing a post on your team´s Instagram page about this final closing presentation. In any case, the final outcome of the project is the culmination of all your hard work and effort, and thus a great milestone in your PREMIUM experience.
Throughout the programme, you are required to regularly meet with your team, often including your mentor and/or client. The initiative of planning meetings with your fellow teammates and client lies with the PREMIUM students. Since it is an excellent way to practice organization and time management skills, it can be advisable to assign one member to be in charge of this specific task. The only team meetings that are initiated not by the students, but by the mentor or competence coach, are the Team Kick-Off Meeting, the Reflective Practitioner Meetings and Team Dynamics session.
Effective teamwork has never been more important than it is today. Teamwork remains a key tool to face these challenges head-on, since working in teams — especially those with different skillsets and backgrounds — sparks innovation, enables agility, and leads to better outcomes. However, when it comes to working in a team that is not able or allowed to come together physically, there are some things to take a bit extra care of to ensure efficient and effective team functioning.
- Different time zones: Some students are not (yet) able to come to Maastricht, which means that team members might be working from different parts of the world. Be aware of each other’s time differences, and plan your meetings on moments that accommodate different time zones.
- Communication tools: When it comes to tips for managing remote teams, nothing beats efficient communication. Virtual team communication can best be handled with the right communication tools, and it is vital that you discuss early on in your group work which tools to use.
- 🗨️ Chat tools: for asking quick questions and clarifying matters about your work.
- 💻 Skype or Zoom: for carrying out video meetings/brainstorm sessions with your team.
- 📧 Email: for the more official correspondence, like arranging the time for group reports and one-on-one meetings, or reporting to your mentor, coach and client or communication with PREMIUM Central Management Team.
- Management tools: There are plenty of free tools for managing your remote team work. Such tools will greatly facilitate your project/challenge, task, and team management – as well as ensure you save time by working in one document at the same time. Some free examples are Slack, Clockify and Trello.
- Virtual team culture: Virtual team culture is just as important as a standard team culture – the group of people within a virtual team will still have to form some kind of understanding, as well as build mutual trust.
- Try to establish (virtual) friendships – if you all live in the same country, you can organize get-together every couple of months. Organize a team dinner, grab a movie together, and get to know each other beyond your PREMIUM experience. If meeting in person is not possible, try to arrange a virtual team dinner, join a virtual Pubquiz or other teambuilding activities.
- Establish some ground rules for your virtual meetings. Basic things such as, turn your camera on so that genuine interaction with your team members is possible, take care to be appropriately dressed, do sufficient beforehand preparation of the meeting, be punctual, pay attention to others when speaking and make sure to look at your camera. If it is improper for a face-to-face meeting, then it does not work for video either. To avoid too many people talking over each other, it can be helpful to establish a host/chair for online meetings, and another team member to take notes.
The Team Kick-Off Meeting
The actual project starts with a kick-off meeting with the entire PREMIUM team (mentor, coach, and students) and the client. During this meeting, you do not only get to know your team, but you will also discuss issues such as:
- Expectations: what do you expect from your fellow students and mentor, what can they expect from you and what does the coach expect? What do you expect from the client and vice versa? What does everyone expect from this project?
- Establish and clarify roles: assign roles within the team, such as the team leader, the one responsible for scheduling and a member responsible for communication. You can also decide on rotating roles to practice with different tasks and responsibilities.
- Set agreements for communication, behavior and cooperation: this is a unique moment to discuss and agree on how you will work together during the PREMIUM project. This can vary from practical issues (use of email, phones, dates of meetings, etc.) to the way you will interact (how will you give each other feedback, how will you deal with conflicts, etc.)
This is also the perfect time to make arrangements concerning the other individual and team meetings you will have with your mentor and coach. After this kick-off meeting, you can plan a meeting with the client during which the project scope will be discussed.
Please note: If necessary, students can use EDLAB or other UM facilities for meetings/group work. For more information, please contact the PREMIUM Central Management Team.
A checklist was drawn up in order to facilitate this meeting and to use to support the project mentor and the team. You can find the checklist here.
Before the first team meeting (with just the student team) we would like you to think about your ideas with respect to the performance of your team, and fill in the individual part of the team charter. During the first team meeting, you will fill out the rest of the team charter together with your team.
Research on team performance shows that high-quality team charters, a.k.a. written plans for how the team will manage its activities, are positively related to team performance. Drafting a team charter increases team members’ knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses within the team, helps to create shared expectations, and facilitates the establishment of effective group practices for dealing with high and poor performance. You may find the team charter format here.
The teambuilding assignment
Secondly, PREMIUM includes a teambuilding assignment in the team start-up phase.
There are two ways to go about this assignment. You can either do the assignment during an offline team meeting (preferably), or during a virtual team meeting:
- Email PREMIUM Central Management to book a room at EDLAB, and make an appointment to come pick up the assignment. Once you have done so, you may work on completing the assignment together as a team. In total, the assignment should take approximately 1 hour. Upon completion, you hand the assignment back in to the PREMIUM Central Management team at EDLAB after which they will allow you to take a look at the problem’s solution. Lastly, you reflect on the teambuilding assignment in your Personal Development Plan.
- You may opt to do the team building assignment during a virtual team meeting with your new team. In case you wish to receive the materials for an online meeting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. After the completion of the assignment, you can also request the solution via the same email address. Lastly, you reflect on the teambuilding assignment in your Personal Development Plan.
Reflective Practitioner Meetings and 360⁰ feedback
PREMIUM prepares you to the future career path during your work on various aspects of the programme. By introducing the notion of ‘reflective practitioner’ as a part of your development, we ensure that you are involved in more practice-based professional learning that leads to the further connection between theory and practice. It will serve as a tool to a more profound and conscientious personal learning and your development as a real professional.
We aim to incorporate more depth into all aspects of PREMIUM, by not merely describing them on a procedural level, but analyzing and exploring the events that happen to you throughout the course of the programme by reflecting and assessing them.
Midway into your PREMIUM project, we would like you to consciously think and reflect upon your project and its progress, and fill out both the individual and team part of the ‘reflective practitioner form’ and an anonymous 360⁰ feedback form for peer-feedback.
During a specially scheduled meeting with your project mentor, this form based on Gibb’s reflective cycle, will serve as a basis for reflective practicing within the team. The 360⁰ feedback form will be given back to every individual student, by the project mentor, to use to your own advantage.
You can find the necessary forms and tools here.
At the end of your PREMIUM journey, your project mentor will ask you again to fill out the Gibbs model to reflect upon the second half of the project.
 Mathieu, J. E., & Rapp, T. L. (2009). Laying the foundation for successful team performance trajectories: The roles of team charters and performance strategies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(1), 90-103. doi:10.1037/a0013257
The Instagram page
During PREMIUM, we expect each team to document their project progress by means of an Instagram profile. During the PREMIUM Closing Event, we will reward a special prize as well to the team with the best online representation of their project, and engagement shown online.
The reasons we like you to document your project progress via an online platform as Instagram are:
- It will allow you to carefully reflect upon your project progress and process and how to communicate it to a non-expert audience, and engage this audience;
- It will allow for a network of peer-support since you will be able to learn from your fellow students by exchanging progress updates and are able to ask for input.
- It will also add to the community building aspect of PREMIUM, as we encourage you all to comment on each other´s posts and give useful feedback to your fellow PREMIUM students.
- You will be able to experiment with this medium in a professional manner, through uploading pictures, videos, polls, quizzes, reels – shorter videos – and stories, connecting back to your client and by using it not to document your personal life, but as your project’s professional online brand, although in a secure and safe manner by keeping your profile private and only available to the other PREMIUM teams.
Furthermore, Instagram is a platform more and more used by consultants and consultancy firms. Along with the Big Four, other reputed consulting firms like McKinsey & Company and Boston Consulting Group have a thriving Instagram page nowadays, and with PREMIUM students acting as consultants to their clients, this is a good way to start consciously thinking of networking via Instagram.
Once your team has set up the page you can start filling it together as a team. Instagram is originally used for posting and interacting, which means that there ought to be a consistent flow of contributions. We recommend you to make a plan during the first few weeks of PREMIUM, for how you will tackle this assignment. This will not only serve time management purposes, but also provides for a final Instagram page that includes your team’s entire PREMIUM journey, from the kick-off to the Midterm presentations, to the Closing Event. We also encourage you to make your project mentor and client aware of this page, so that they are automatically and regularly updated about your team´s progress.
How to use Instagram safely
As you may know already, Instagram is a social media platform. It was born with the intent to share photos and videos to a number of followers, which can be restricted and pre-approved. It now also allows sharing extensive sets of text related to visual materials.
We ask our PREMIUM teams to set up an Instagram private profile, because contrary to business profiles, this allows you to make the profile private, allowing only approved followers to access the information your team shares onto this profile.
The posts of the Instagram pages that your team follows – the other PREMIUM project teams – appear on your feed, but we advise you to look for the specific profiles of your fellow PREMIUM teams in the search section as well, to keep up with other teams’ developments. This way, you can very easily keep track of other teams, follow them, and interact through likes, shares and comments. The Instagram’s model, as any other social media platform, makes it easier to initiate and facilitate interactions.
We encourage you to comment on each other’s posts as much as possible, because it is a good source for new input and insights into your project, will add to the feeling of a PREMIUM community, and is part of the networking of PREMIUM. However, again, make sure your profiles are private. No one can share specific profile’s posts when these are private. This is how we ensure a safe environment on Instagram for the PREMIUM pages.
Instagram makes it very easy to share videos, photos, short quotes, but also more extensive text. It also allows the user to share “stories” which disappear from the application after 24 hours: the user can always trace the stories back in the profile’s “stories archive”. It is also possible to hide posts from the page, deleting them or archiving them. Once the post is archived, the user can still look at it and review it in the “posts archive” of their profile.
Instagram gives you great opportunities for self-expression and use of creative skills, which we highly value and encourage in our PREMIUM students.
Instagram has specific guidelines, that can be very helpful understanding how the social networking service works and how it can be used at best. Via this link https://about.instagram.com/safety, you can find more information about the different features of the platform and how to safely manage your account.
One or more people in your team can manage the Instagram profile. In case no one in your team feels comfortable with using this specific platform, for any reason whatsoever, please contact the PREMIUM Central Management Team at email@example.com.
- Your Instagram page:
- Set up a personal Instagram page for your PREMIUM team;
- Make sure to turn your Instagram page private and allow only the PREMIUM Central Management page and the other PREMIUM teams to follow you;
- Write an impactful bio about your PREMIUM project;
- You are allowed to use a variety of elements, like video, photo, polls, quizzes, reels: Feel free to be as creative as possible as long as the use of it is creative to an extent, effective and respectful of Instagram guidelines;
- Your public (the PREMIUM community) can understand the project without reading large text-boxes;
- Create a valid representation of your team process and assignment outcomes;
- Create an engaging storyline about your project throughout your profile;
- Your PREMIUM mentors and clients might also want to look at the page at a later stage – you can allow them to become part of the restricted group of followers, whenever it is needed. And make sure that the page looks as professional as possible;
- Assign one team member to send the link to your Instagram page to firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we can spread them among the other student teams, before the deadline Friday, February 10th.
- You may delete your page after PREMIUM is concluded.
- What to post? How to best present your experience?
- Impactful bio about the aim of your project;
- Introduce the team and each team member’s responsibility;
- Introduce your client and the purpose/relevancy of your project;
- Describe your project’s objective, processes and outcomes, based on Sinek’s Golden Circle (see section on Midterms);
- Elaborate on your experience of the PREMIUM central events: the Kick-off, Midterm Presentations, and the Closing event.
- Report what you have learned from workshops you have considered specifically insightful.
- Report on team building activities, reflecting on how these specific activities made you individually and as a team.
- Report shorter and longer steps, milestones, and goals: it is advisable to also create a timeframe of your project.
- Elaborate on the result, namely the deliverables of the project.
- Not to forget: mention the challenges! We believe every project might have its ups and downs and it is important to talk about both honestly and reflectively: it might also help you find potential solution without the PREMIUM community!
- !!Be careful not to use any of your client’s confidential information or have the client approve it before you post it online.
The PREMIUM Central Management Team also maintains an Instagram page for you to follow, and regularly posts about topics considered relevant to that stage of your project execution, such as project-based working, expectation management, teamwork, pitfalls to avoid together with information regarding the programme and its deadlines. A link to the profiles will be sent to all the teams.
Budget and spending
Project execution might require you and your team to spend some money throughout the programme. For example, you might have costs for printing a poster to do a client presentation. Additionally, your team might benefit from a teambuilding activity, or perhaps project execution requires you to purchase specific materials, or pay for a service.
All PREMIUM teams can be reimbursed up to a maximum of € 150 project-related costs after the programme (transportation costs not included). Should a client request you to travel, they are requested to take charge of these costs and reimburse you through PREMIUM. It is therefore important that your client agrees to your budget as well, where transportation costs are involved.
At the end of PREMIUM, your team needs to hand in the reimbursement forms to PREMIUM, together with the original receipts. (For train tickets, you will need to hand in the actual ticket or “vervoersbewijs” and a receipt. Probably you will specifically need to request these receipts at the desks or ticket machines.) PREMIUM will then send an invoice to the respective client for the transportation fees. Pin payment tickets are not receipts. A receipt needs to include the services you payed for, including VAT.
Note: the PREMIUM Central Management Team at all times reserves the right to reject your reimbursement if we determine your spending to be unjustified or overly extravagant. Please be mindful and honourable about your spending. If you are unsure whether something is appropriate to apply for reimbursement by PREMIUM for, contact the PREMIUM Central Management Team.
In order to be able to be reimbursed, your team is required to email the PREMIUM Central Management Team at email@example.com: 1) a budget signed and approved by your project mentor before the deadline and 2) the realized budget signed and approved by your project mentor (and client) before the deadline.
Please read the below-mentioned instructions very carefully. If you have any questions, contact the PREMIUM Central Management Team. Wrongly completed reimbursement forms will cause delays or no reimbursement at all.
- You have emailed a preliminary budget, approved by your project mentor (and client if need be) to the PREMIUM Central Management Team, before the deadline.
- You have collected all original receipts (no pin receipts) over the course of PREMIUM.
- Email the realized budget approved by your project mentor and client if transportation costs were made (include them in CC!) to the PREMIUM Central Management Team.
- Download the reimbursement forms from the website.
- Fill out the forms correctly.
- Submit the forms at EDLAB.
Note that there are two separate reimbursement forms, each for a different purpose.
- Claim form business trip expenses: this form is for reimbursement of travel costs. For example, did you have to take a train to visit your client at their office? Or fly to and stay the night at a hotel in Berlin to attend an important meeting with your client? Fill out this form to be reimbursed for any and all necessary expenses made to travel during project execution.
- Claim form other expenses: this form is for reimbursement of everything else. Did you go to dinner as a teambuilding effort? Or perhaps you had to grab a quick lunch on your way back home from meeting the client? Printing the poster, hiring a freelancer? Fill out this form to be reimbursed for any and all necessary expenses made to enable project execution.
How do I fill out the reimbursement forms?
The UM Finance department is very strict about reimbursement forms and there are a couple of rules you are required to follow when completing the forms.
- Use the correct forms and fill them out appropriately (travel expenses separated from everything else).
- Sign the forms with a blue pen.
- Always include original
- No original receipt = no reimbursement
All teams should assign one, single team member to file for reimbursement. The reimbursement will be paid out to this student after which you have to divide the money amongst the team members yourself. You may not send in more than one of each form per team. The team member, who will be responsible for handling the reimbursement, should fill out the reimbursement form as follows.
Fill out the form using a computer to avoid mistakes due to unclear handwriting. Most importantly, be sure to check your bank account number very carefully. Submitting a form with the wrong bank account number causes delays or no reimbursement at all.
Next, describe the costs. Refer to both what you paid for and the store/restaurant/company it was paid to. List the costs in chronological order. The included receipts may be numbered according to the order on the declaration form (for example, mark the receipt from your lunch at Brasserie Tapijn with a 1).
For travel expenses, make sure you enter the correct information in the designated area. Note that the reimbursement rate for kilometers is € 0,19 per km. This is the standard rate, maintained for everyone at the entire university. Again, be specific and refer to the context in which the costs were made. Add everything up correctly at the bottom of the form (be sure to check it over). You may group costs together in one line. For example, if you travelled by train to Heerlen with your whole team, write “6 x meeting client in Heerlen” and indicate the total amount.
Again, we advise you to fill out this part of the form on a computer to avoid mistakes due to unclear handwriting. The person who filled out the reimbursed forms (so whose name is stated at the top of the form) has to sign the forms in the area shown below. Make sure to use a blue pen!
Including your receipts
Now that you have completed the forms, include your original receipts. Please note that proof of payment (betaalbewijzen) from ATM machines is not admissible as receipts as they don’t indicate what you paid for and there is no way for us to know what the receipt is for.
Please make sure your receipts are attached securely. Staple the receipts to the forms or to a separate sheet of paper. Make a copy of your original receipts, just in case. Also, put your forms and receipts in an envelope to make sure everything is kept together.
One last check! Make sure your name is spelled correctly, you entered the correct bank account number, you added everything up correctly, you used a blue pen and you included all original receipts.
Submitting the forms
In order to hand in the forms, deliver them to EDLAB or ask your mentor to send them to us through internal mail. The PREMIUM Central Management Team will check your forms, sign them, and send them to the Finance department for processing.
If you do not hear from the PREMIUM Central Management Team or the UM’s Finance department regarding your reimbursement application, you may assume that everything is O.K. and that you will be receiving the reimbursement soon. Generally, you will not hear from us and the reimbursement will eventually show up in your account. Please note that the entire reimbursement process may take up to a month or two.
PREMIUM includes a substantial personal coaching component. During PREMIUM, each team will be assigned to a competence coach, with whom all students will have a) three one hour long individual sessions and b) one 2-hour long group session on team dynamics. Coaching will mainly focus on the development of a competence the student wishes to improve. This can be a competence related to PREMIUM, but doesn’t necessarily have to be.
During the coaching process, each student completes their own Personal Development Plan (PDP), in which he/she documents their personal development throughout the programme. The PDP may serve as a guideline for future development and may be used as a basis for the Quick Career Service offered to PREMIUM students at the end of the programme by UM Career Services.
The role of your competence coach
Each team is assigned to a competence coach with whom they will have individual and group meetings.
Accordingly, the competence coach is there to support students through the process of professional development throughout PREMIUM at an individual as well as at a group level.
Please note that all the information shared with your coach and put in your PDP is strictly confidential.
At the end of PREMIUM your competence coach will grade and assess your individual performance in the coaching process based on at least the following and more criteria:
- participation (effort, time and energy put into coaching);
- courage to experiment with new ideas and behaviour;
- reflective determination to grow and expand self-knowledge;
- the quality of your PDP;
- professional behaviour.
Over the course of PREMIUM you will meet with your coach on several occasions.
- Individual meetings: You will plan 3 individual meetings with your coach. These meetings are to take place spread out over the course of the programme and thus before set deadlines. In the 1-hour long individual sessions with your coach, you will analyze your performance and competence development goals. There are different prescribed topics for each meeting, but as coaching can be very dynamic the exact content of your meetings might slightly vary in practice.
- Meeting 1 (to take place before Friday February 17th): in this meeting you will discuss your working relationship with your coach, the competence you wish to address during coaching, and your goals with regards to the development of that competence. The basis of the meeting will be the components of the PDP you completed before the meeting.
- Meeting 2 (to take place before Friday April 21st): in this meeting you will discuss developments with regards to your chosen competence. The basis of the meeting will again be the PDP components you completed before the meeting.
- Meeting 3: (to take place before Wednesday May 17th): your last meeting will be used to reflect on your competence development during PREMIUM. After the last meeting, you will be able to complete your PDP.
- Team meetings: You will plan one team dynamics meeting with the whole team and the coach around the time of the Midterm Presentations (preferably after the Reflective Practitioner team meeting with your mentor). In this meeting, the coach will guide you and your teammates in a reflection on team performance, roles, communication, and if necessary, conflict resolution.
Coaching can be a very valuable and rewarding experience and we advise you to make clever use of this exclusive opportunity. The coaching component of PREMIUM is carefully designed to not only support project execution but mainly support your professional development. A good dose of self-insight and self-confidence can be very useful when entering the competitive job market and is highly appreciated by that same job market.
It is up to the students to schedule all meetings with their coach. Please note that all meetings described here are mandatory and have to take place before the set deadlines. PREMIUM coaches are UM employees with very busy schedules, so be sure to schedule your meeting early on in order to ensure you are able to meet the deadline.
The Personal Development Plan (PDP)
Over the course of the programme, you will complete a document chronicling and guiding your professional development under the guidance of your coach. The PDP will serve as a journal to your development during PREMIUM, as well as the basis for future development undertakings. More specifically, you may use your PDP as the basis for your Quick Career Service meeting at the UM Career Services.
A format for your PDP, including all different components, is available to you on the documents section of the website. Before you start, go to the website and download the format. Then, you simply need to complete the document before meetings with your coach. Please note that this format is a mere guideline, not every section may apply to you, although the first components are required to get you off to a good start of your coaching. Your PDP is a document for you and your competence coach’s eyes only!
Self-knowledge is essential for the development of generic skills. For this reason, the first weeks of PREMIUM will focus on gaining insight into your current stage of development. Accordingly, the emphasis of the first components of the PDP is on self-analysis and processes of team formation. These activities help you narrow down the areas you want to focus on within your coaching trajectory as well as get you and your team started on the road towards fruitful collaboration. Throughout the rest of the PREMIUM programme, you and your coach will focus on a few learning goals relating to the competences you wish to develop further.
PREMIUM offers you the opportunity to attend various, practical, educational workshops and masterclasses hosted by experienced, external professionals. All workshops will be conducted in English, take approx. 2 to 3 hours, and take place at EDLAB (visit www.edlab.nl/premium for address and directions). Masterclasses resemble lectures, while workshops have a more interactive character. Either way, students are expected to actively participate.
Mandatory and Additional Workshops
All PREMIUM students are required to attend the 3 mandatory workshops and 3 additional workshops of choice. Attendance is registered using signup sheets at the workshops. Please make sure to always sign the sheet, because your attendance cannot and will not be verified otherwise. Attending more workshops than the required amount is allowed, provided there are spots open.
The mandatory workshops are specially designed for the PREMIUM programme to provide you with the basics for project work and the coaching trajectory. These workshops are considered fundamental to the programme and are therefore schedule at particular stages of the programme. More specifically, the workshops ‘Discover You Competences’, ‘Teamwork & Functioning Optimally’, and ‘Introduction to Project-Based Working’ are scheduled within the first two months of the programme because they will be most valuable the earlier in the programme you attend them. We advise all students to sign up for these workshops as soon as possible.
- Discover Your Competences, by UM Career Services
- Introduction to Project-Based Working, by Rob Melessen (The Fire Within)
- Teamwork & Functioning Optimally, by Susanne Maris (Maris et al)
In order to supplement your development, project work, or future ambitions, PREMIUM offers you the chance to attend additional workshops. All students should choose 3 from the options below.
- Design Thinkin, by Rene Hartman (Innovatiewerkplaats)
- Public Speaking, by Key2Advance
- Contract Negotiation Skills, by Bibiane Linssen (YUFE)
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Michelle van Eijk (Franklin Covey Benelux)
- Masterclass Current Themes in Leadership, by Eric Koenen (Doorwerthgroep)
- Time Management, by Patrick Stastra (TijdWinst)
- Speed Reading, by Patrick Stastra (TijdWinst)
- Inclusive Leadership, by Juliette Sanchez Lambert
- Sustainable Career Development, by Adina Petre (Insights)
A more elaboration explanation of what each workshop entails, the learning goals and when they are scheduled, can be found on the website. Please note that some workshops require some preparation. You may find materials for preparation on the workshop section of the website.
How to sign up
To sign up for workshops, go to www.edlab.nl/premium and navigate to the ‘Current Students’ page. There you will find, amongst other useful information for your PREMIUM journey, the link to the workshop registration page. This page includes the workshops’ description, preparation material if applicable, and a link to the online signup sheet.
Please note that once you are signed up it is not possible to cancel your registration yourself. If you must cancel your registration please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request. Registration or cancellation of a registration is allowed up to 24 hours in advance of the workshop date and time.
Over the course of the programme, PREMIUM organizes several central activities for all PREMIUM students, mentors, coaches, and clients. All events contain educational and/or assessment elements and offer opportunities for students, UM employees, and clients to meet, connect and network. At all central events, attendance is mandatory for all students. If you cannot attend a central event, please refer to the section on ‘Exceptional Circumstances’.
Remember! Your attendance at these events is mandatory and a necessary requirement to fulfil if you want to successfully complete the PREMIUM programme. Mark your calendars!
Please refer to the event section on the PREMIUM website, your student email account, and Facebook for official invitations and definitive dates, places, and times.
The Mix & Match
The PREMIUM programme is officially opened with a festive kick off opening event for students, mentors, coaches, and clients: the Mix & Match.
After getting through the PREMIUM selection procedure we want to officially welcome you to PREMIUM and kick-off the programme together with a bang!
Additionally, the Mix & Match is a networking event aimed at guiding team formation. After we receive your and the client’s team preferences, the PREMIUM teams will be definitively composed. At the event, students also receive their PREMIUM welcome package and everyone will get an opportunity to first meet and get to know each other.
Each PREMIUM student project team will have to present their project and progress by means of 5-minute pitch during the PREMIUM Midterm Presentations event.
Pitch & Sinek’s Golden Circle
A pitch is a quick and well-designed speech designed to sell a product, idea or yourself, in a very short time frame. It is designed as an answer to one essential question: why is your team spending their time on this project? Or in your future career: why are you spending time to apply for this job and why should you be considered as a candidate?
Pitching is a tool organizations use more and more as part of their recruitment and selection procedures. Even your motivational letter can be perceived as a personal pitch. Even more reason we feel it is important to provide you with some practical pitching experience in PREMIUM.
During the PREMIUM Midterm Presentation, we therefore request that you give a 5-minute pitch about your project progress and outcome thus far/up to the moment of the Midterm Presentations. You will do so, structured and based on Sinek’s Golden Circle
One of the key things for a successful project is to establish a strong vision. By establishing the purpose of the project, the vision enables the team members of the projects to collaborate, it gives them a direction and it gives the team members a great opportunity to develop and grow. By having a purpose of a project, it becomes possible to answer why the project is being done in the first place.
Sinek’s Golden Circle is a visual representation of his thesis for how to get people to follow your idea, buy your product, or join your cause. People will follow you if they understand “Why you are doing what you are doing. This is the core, the center of the circle. It is the most important thing. It is where you should start. If you start at the outside of the circle and only explain “What” you are doing, they will not be as inspired. Why ties to peoples’ emotions. People act based on their emotions or “gut feeling”. So you will be more successful if you “Start with Why”.
Sinek applies these concepts to Big Things: why a company exists or why a political movement occurs, for example. However, they can apply to smaller things and projects too. They are basic concepts and therefore can be applied to any project, like your PREMIUM project. This is why we request your Midterm pitch to be structured on Sinek’s model:
Why — Your project’s PURPOSE: The “why” is the core motivation, vision, or “itch to scratch” for doing your project. It is the vision that motivates the entire project. It is the core upon which strategies are built.
How —Your project’s PROCESS: The “how” describes the things that you want to accomplish to achieve the “why”, any specific actions you have taken as a team during your project.
What — your project’s RESULT (so far): What do you do? The things you do to implement your strategy for your project: plan, goals, and tactics.
After you have pitched your project progress, other teams are requested to give you positive feedback, a possible point for improvement and ask in-depth questions concerning your project and the progress you will have made by that time. You will be invited to do the same for the other teams.
This way each team will not just practice the art of pitching, but will also practice giving and receiving constructive feedback. Providing a platform for students to recognize each other is a great way to encourage a positive atmosphere within the PREMIUM programme, all while fostering collaboration and teamwork. Furthermore, the content of the projects will be highlighted through the in-depth questions.
Programme of the evening
Each team has 5 minutes to pitch their project progress. After each pitch, time is scheduled for one team to give positive feedback, after which a second team will provide a point for improvement in a constructive manner. A third and final team will be invited to ask an in-depth question concerning the project.
The total time for each team comes out of approximately 15 minutes. Teams will present in rounds of 4-5 consecutive presentations, with a 30-minute break in between the rounds, in which drinks and snacks will be provided. At the end of the evening, we will have an informal get together to exchange experiences and socially interact.
Two Midterm Presentation evenings will be organized, as there are too many teams to plan all in one evening. A schedule will be drawn up for each team when to do their presentation, and to give feedback or ask questions to which other team. You are only required to attend the evening your team is scheduled to deliver their pitch, although you are more than welcome to join the other evening too.
Please keep an eye on the PREMIUM website and your student email account, for specific information on your team’s Midterm Presentations event.
Assessment criteria for the Midterm Presentations Pitch
- Your PowerPoint presentation is structured according to Sinek’s Golden Circle, and clearly indicates the WHY, WHAT and HOW of your project.
- One member of the student team emails their PowerPoint file to email@example.com, before the deadline Friday, March 17th.
- When submitted, the pitch has a duration of max. 5 minutes, no more, no less.
- You can use picture, images, entire posts or screen shots. Feel free to be as creative as you want to. As long as it helps getting your message across and is relevant to the story.
The PREMIUM Closing Event
The PREMIUM programme ends with a very festive Closing Event for all students, project mentors, competence coaches, and clients. This festive Closing Event aims to provide students with an opportunity to share their projects’ results with the community, and to festively close PREMIUM together with all the participating students, clients, mentors and coaches.
Finally, all students who have met the programme requirements receive their PREMIUM certificate and the day is concluded in a festive manner with drinks, food, and entertainment.
During the PREMIUM Closing Event, we are also handing out a special prize to the student team that has put most effort in their Instagram page. The PREMIUM Central Management will select 3 nominees, after which the entire community will be asked to vote during the Closing Event for the team YOU believe has the best Instagram page. When selecting the nominees, we take into consideration the following aspects: usage of creative skills, consistency, show of teamwork, ability to get the message across.
PREMIUM Poster Presentations
During the PREMIUM Closing Event, each student team needs to translate their project process and outcome into an A0 poster, and present it during a poster presentation session. Hereby aiming at teaching you how to present results to non-expert audiences and peers, but also providing you with the opportunity of seeing everyone’s results highlighted.
Two facilitate this; the PREMIUM community will be divided into two groups. The first 40 minutes, the first group will visit the other group at their respective posters, asking them questions about their projects. After 40 minutes, a second such session will commence where the second group will visit the first group at their respective posters.
A mystery jury will also be amongst the guests, visiting the posters, and a special prize will be awarded to the team with the best poster presentation.
Please note that we also expect our students to schedule a closing session with their client, mentor (and coach) to present the final deliverable to the client and discuss the process of the project.
Criteria for the poster and poster presentation:
- The format of the poster follows that of an oral presentation and includes like Sinek’s Golden Circle, the WHY, WHAT and HOW of your project. A poster, like an oral presentation, cannot (and should not) contain all information you have on the topic. Your poster should stimulate interest rather than provide a detailed presentation.
- Picture yourself with your poster. Someone says, “So, tell me about your project.” What do you say? What would you tell them about your project in 1 minute? What information can you convey that is complementary to the poster that is on display?
- One member of the student team emails the digital file of the poster to firstname.lastname@example.org and the Project Mentor, before the deadline
(Tuesday, May 30th, 16:00hrs)
- One member of the student team hands in the printed poster at EDLAB, Tapijn Building X, room 0.003, before the deadline (Tuesday, May 30th, 16:00hrs)
- A0 format (118,9 cm x 84,1 cm).
- Consistent and aesthetically pleasing layout;
- Effective use of images, colors, and fonts;
- Limited use of large text-boxes;
- Source citations in proper APA-style.
- Printing costs for the poster will be reimbursed by PREMIUM. In order to do so, keep the original receipts, and fill out the reimbursement form at the end of PREMIUM.
General guidelines and tips for your poster:
- Artistry does not substitute for content, although display of creativity is highly appreciated and will be rewarded. However, the relevance of the poster and your project should always be apparent to viewers.
- Place the title at the top.
- Use short sentences, simple words, and bullets to illustrate your points.
- Text should be broken up by including graphics or photos.
- Self-explanatory graphics/images should dominate the poster. The success of a poster directly relates to the clarity of your visuals.
- Avoid using jargon, acronyms, or unusual abbreviations.
The poster (text and graphics) should be easily readable from a distance of about 2 meters. As a thumb rule, the text should be readable if the poster is printed out on an A4 sheet (e.g. Arial >24 points).
Wrapping up PREMIUM
All good things come to an end. We hope you have thoroughly enjoyed participating in the programme and that you were able to learn and develop yourself. It is our aim to send you out onto the competitive job market with a good dose of self-insight, self-confidence, and the practical skills to succeed. We look forward to seeing you at the Closing Seminar, and send you off after one last festive PREMIUM event.
The last couple of things to take care of
Before we send you off into your bright futures, there are a couple last things to take care of:
- Together with your project mentor, schedule and prepare closing events with the client.
- Email your project outcomes to the PREMIUM Central Management Team (email@example.com).
- Apply for reimbursement of project costs (see the section on “Premium Project”).
- Evaluate the PREMIUM programme.
- Attend the PREMIUM Closing Event.
- Schedule a Quick Career Service meeting with UM Career Services.
Quick Career Service
The career counsellors from UM Career Services can provide you with in-depth guidance on how to further develop the competences you discussed with your competence coach.
They can also offer career advice if you:
- want to find out which career options fit you best, and would like to discuss your options with a professional;
- know exactly what you want, but need support in reaching your goal, for instance with the application process;
- want to gain more insight into your career values, learning style, motivation and drives to help you find your own way on the labour market.
You can make use of their services and facilities for up to 6 months after your graduation!
You can make an appointment for a free consultation with a career counsellor by phoning the Career Services call centre, on 043 388 5388. This programme element is voluntary but highly encouraged!
Can’t say goodbye? Join our team of PREMIUM ambassadors or stay in touch via our alumni events!
Are you a motivated and enthusiastic PREMIUM alumnus that wants to help us out with promoting PREMIUM throughout the faculties and are you available from September-January? Then maybe you are our next PREMIUM ambassador!
Or stay in touch via our vast alumni network, come to our alumni events and be a sounding board for new generations of PREMIUM students.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to apply! It’s fun, it provides you with a useful network, looks good on your cv and is payed.
Enjoyed PREMIUM? Spread the word!
We sincerely hope you experienced participating in PREMIUM positively and feel that the programme helped you gain knowledge and (further) develop useful skills for your future.
While you are most likely taking the next step in your professional development or heading out onto the job market, we are looking forward to a new round of PREMIUM for the next academic year. We are hoping to be able to offer PREMIUM to as many qualified, enthusiastic students as possible and would like to ask you for your help in making this possible.
What do we ask of you?
In order to promote PREMIUM among new master’s students we would like to offer them a chance to learn about PREMIUM directly from a true expert: you as a PREMIUM alum! We would therefore like to ask you to please send us your testimonial (email@example.com).
Please describe in ±75 to ±100 words how you experienced PREMIUM and why you think students should apply.
Perhaps you felt the personal coaching was most valuable, or was it the workshops, or your project? You may be as creative as you would like, as long as your testimonial effectively informs new students about the best PREMIUM has to offer in your opinion! If possible, it would also be great if you could include a large, high-quality picture of yourself that you would not mind us using for promotional purposes.
We look forward to receiving your testimonial and appreciate your help very much. Thank you in advance!
We wish you all the best and good luck in your future endeavours!