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This program was offered in the past. This program might be offered again, but to be certain contact the organizing institution of this program. For current programs view all programs, or see the current offer by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Foundations of Strategy: How to Succeed as a Strategist

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

In the world of strategic management, inspiration can come in many forms: classical literature and cutting-edge research, role models, movies, unconventional excursions, even a martial arts workshop. In this course, these elements combine to give you a keen understanding of strategic issues and how to succeed as a strategist.

Students and professionals from any business background eager to explore strategic management from an exciting range of angles.

This journey into strategic management will take you from the ancient wisdom of Sun Tzu and Marcus Aurelius all the way through to the modern-day ideas of Michael Porter and of Richard D’Aveni’s concept of hypercompetition. By analysing business heroes such as Richard Branson and Warren Buffett from a strategic perspective, you will come to see them as practical role models who can enhance your own learning and career strategies.

As you learn to identify and assess a wide range of positions on strategic issues in business, you will not only hone your critical faculties but also develop your social skills through peer review and feedback sessions.

Challenges abound! Building on the dialectical approach used in international strategy, you will advance scholarly knowledge and research skills in the field. You will write an essay on a strategic theme, problem or innovation, solve a business case using the Harvard Business Case model and produce a research paper on a strategist role model.

Strategic thinking is essential to achieving your goals amid the global forces and technological advances that shape our increasingly complex and dynamic world. This course takes your insights and awareness to a whole new level using strategic theories, models, ideas and tools that enable you to analyse, grow and develop new approaches.

At the end of the course, you:

  • Can critically reflect on central approaches and underlying assumptions by reading and interpreting the work of leading authorities in strategic management.
  • Are able to recognize, understand, construct and critically assess types of strategic problems in business, along with practical tools and methods of strategy development.
  • Can strategically analyse a role model and develop your own position with reference to the literature and your personal development plan.


  • Visit to the Van Gogh Museum to learn how perspective, observation and insights from the museum business can inspire your personal and professional strategies.
  • Tai Chi workshop to learn how the practice, mindset and aims of ancient martial arts relate to strategic insight.
  • Visit to a McDonalds to explore popular culture, growth strategies and cultural localization. This is a follow-up to Ray, a movie screened as part of the course.
  • Visit to Artis Zoo to learn about animal strategies geared towards meeting nature’s challenges. 
Location Amsterdam, Netherlands
3 Aug 2019 - 17 Aug 2019
Levels Bachelor / Undergraduate
Master / Graduate
Credits 3.0 ECTS
Program fee 1,150 EUR
Accommodation fee 500 EUR
Extra information about the fee:
There are several accommodation options, ranging in price from €500 to €550. There are discounts:
€150 discount for early birds (register before 15 March, 23.59 CET).
€250 discount for all students from partner universities.
€200 discount when you apply for 2 courses, €300 when you apply for 3 courses.
€450 discount if you are currently a student at VU Amsterdam. Visit our website to see all housing options and for a list of partner universities.
Application deadline 1 May 2019
Entry requirements:
At least enrolled in 2nd year of Bachelor studies.
Contact information:
Skype: VU Amsterdam Summer School - by appointment, email first
Telephone: +31 20 59 86429