Expanding rapidly in the market

The Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA), internationally known as the University of Applied Science Amsterdam, is one of the top tier universities in the Netherlands. With more than 50,000 students across multiple programs, the organization invests a great deal of time and effort to ensure each student gets the absolute most out of their studies. Core to many of their course strategies is to provide real-world experience through internship programs in a variety of fields. This is made possible thanks to the rich network of companies partnered with the university.

As the HvA has grown though, connecting students to the right opportunities and managing assignments has become increasingly time-consuming due to their primarily manual processes.

Overcoming data mountain

For the educators, the existing system required lengthy correspondence with partnered companies via email for every single student in their course. In most cases, this could cost hundreds of hours that would otherwise be spent on refining their curriculum. Unfortunately, the time spent doesn’t end there, once active in an internship, teachers still need to receive assignments (via their website, email, or forms) and get regular updates on how students are performing from their mentors at the company.

With most activities and assignments happening remotely during internships, the HvA knew they needed a better solution than error-prone and time-consuming email chains. To optimize and even automate the whole process, the HvA reached out to Betty Blocks to build a mobile accessible Relationship Management application for them.

“We can now match supply and demand for practical assignments and internships much better. In addition, we have insight into the progress we can guide students much more efficiently.”

Centralizing and automating the grind

Paul Engel, Senior Software Developer at Betty Blocks, took the lead for HvA’s project. Through collaboration with the Piet Dekker of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), Paul was able to outline the exact requirements for a fully functional solution.

Data collection in the backend database for students, companies, teachers, and assignments would form the core of the application. Around that, each party needed to easily be able to upload information from anywhere that would automatically be stored in the application. Once there, it could be accessed instantly by more than 3,300 teachers far more efficiently.

The development and implementation of the system took only 7 weeks in total. Paul Engel was even able to realize a working prototype for AUAS for active user testing within 3 days.