Duncan de Wit

Last year I completed my Master’s degree in Business Information Management at Erasmus University Rotterdam. I am currently studying Finance for six months at EDHEC Business School in Nice as part of my master’s exchange. I signed up for blackbear because I find blackbear challenging, flexible and instructive. 

At first I found it challenging to find out whether I can help companies with the knowledge I gained within my studies, internships and side activities. Previously, I assisted startups and non-profit organisations in a team context. I have learned a lot about how to structure a problem, investigate different solution directions and determine the storyline of a report. I was curious to know whether these skills are sufficient to be able to help companies on their own. 

I appreciate the flexibility as a freelancer at blackbear. I’m too busy for a regular job while studying for my master’s degree. Challenges at blackbear, can be planned whenever and wherever I have the time. This gives me an income even when I am studying on exchange in France!

Lastly, after my studies, I would like to start as a consultant. Therefore it seemed very instructive to me to further develop myself in this field as consultant at blackbear.

What are your interests?

The challenges I prefer are mainly related to innovation. In my spare time and while studying Business Information Management, I read a lot about digital innovation. This enables me to add the most value for the Companies in that area. In addition, I really enjoy tracking digital innovations as a hobby and get a lot of pleasure out of these challenges!

As a result of what I said before I chose these five words to describe blackbear:

  • Fun, because I enjoy helping people within companies;
  • Challenging, because it requires hard work to come to an implementable advice;
  • Educational, because with every assignment I learn something new about an innovation or industry;
  • Innovative, because blackbear is an original way for companies and students to develop themselves;
  • And pocket money, because it’s rewarding to earn something from your advice!

In other words, you could say that blackbear is an  extremely interesting, educational and challenging way for students to gain work experience and earn pocket money!

How do you tackle a challenge?

I use a specific order to solve a challenge. I start with an overview of the situation, a clear vision of the company’s activities, why they came to blackbear and which (main) problem needs to be solved. Then I send a list of questions I have to the contact person to see if I understand the problem, if there are any other problems and to receive additional information about their requirements. I then explain the problem with a decision tree. After that, I start an extensive investigation using the internet and sometimes by calling people. This takes by far the most time and is often not as effortless as you would like. Finally, I draw the storyline of my report and convert it into a PowerPoint presentation with a final recommendation!