"The outcome of the in-company project confirmed our beliefs, the students exceeded our expectations""

Strategy & Innovation

Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) recently entered into a partnership with a jewelry trade association and wanted to be fully prepared. They needed a market research done, quickly and efficiently. Niki and Eva, preparing for their master’s degree in Management at Antwerp Management School, did the market research for them. The outcome confirmed AWDC’s beliefs, while the students far exceeded AWDC’s expectations.

foto Margaux Donckier

Margaux Donckier (Head of PR & Communications at AWDC):
“We didn’t really know what to expect, but they surprised us from day one.”

Antwerp World Diamond Centre engaged in aAntwerp Management School (AMS) in-company project for the very first time. The experience certainly paid off; Margaux Donckier, Head of PR & Communications at AWDC, couldn’t be more enthusiastic: “We’ve worked with undergraduate students before, but this was our first project with master’s students from AMS. We didn’t really know what to expect, but they surprised us from day one. Within an hour of their arrival, they were already on the phone, planning interviews with jewelers from all over Belgium.” 

The AMS in-company project turned out to be the perfect solution for us. 

“We recently entered into a partnership with a Belgian jewelry trade association. They represent several subcategories of jewelers, ranging from watchmakers to goldsmiths. We already had some idea of their needs and expectations, but we needed a quick and efficient way to get confirmationso we could get our priorities straight and fine-tune our strategy. We didn’t have the manpower ourselves to conduct numerous interviews and there was no time to engage a market research agency for an extensive research. The AMS in-company project turned out to be the perfect solution for us.”  

“They really took ownership of the project.” 

On day one, wheld a short briefing with the master’s students and provided them with a draft questionnaire and a list with contact details of jewelers. They dove right into it and within an hour they were on the phone, planning their first interviews. You could tell this wasn’t just another assignment for them, they were really committed. We had a weekly meeting with the students to see how the project was going, if it needed adjusting or if they needed any help from us, etcetera. But they really took ownership of the project and didn’t need much counseling.”  

“We got maximum results in minimum time.” 

“They only had a short period of time, so they divided the work between them and went all over the country interviewing all types of jewelers. They processed the results and presented us with a thorough, clear-cut analysis in less than two months. The outcome confirmed our assumptions, which was reassuring; it meant that we could go ahead with our strategy. Thanks to the students’ commitment and their professionalism, we got maximum results in minimum time. So, we couldn’t be happier about this first-time experience with an AMS in-company project. 

“The students gained insights way beyond the outcome of the study.” 

“The students gained a lot from the experience as well. They weren’t exactly familiar with the jewelry trade and it opened up a world to them. They got first-hand feedback on the enormous impact of globalization and digitization on local retail, something young people don’t always think about when they order something online. When they were presenting to the jury, you could tell from their answers to our questions, that they gained insights way beyond the outcome of the study. 

“We certainly won’t hesitate to collaborate with AMS again.” 

“I would definitely recommend other companies to engage in an AMS in-company project. We were really happy with the results and it was a rewarding experience to work with young people and see their enthusiasm and professionalismYou have to make sure though, that the assignment is clear-cut and can be done in a short period of time. It’s no use presenting the students with a vague research question, you already need a clear view of the type of results you want to obtain. But if you have a well-defined research question, the students will go above and beyond to achieve results. If we have a similar project at AWDC in the future, we certainly won’t hesitate to collaborate with AMS again.” 

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