Winner of the SME Export Award learned German with the Nuns of Vught
Hoenderdaal Fasteners from Veenendaal won the SME Export Award in 2017 with their Scandinavian export plan. The plan was not only worked out well on paper, but also in practice. A year after the event, owner Bart Veldhuizen talked about their successful launch in the Scandinavian market. And now the company, which is one of the leading players in the field of fasteners, has new plans: to conquer the German-speaking market.
One of the prizes Bart Veldhuizen won for the SME Export Award—a language course at Language Institute Regina Coeli—will be put to good use supporting his export plans to Germany. Naturally, he opted for a German course. "I wanted to be able to speak German more easily and feel more self-assured about it. As a non-German producer, we’re already behind 1-0 in the German market. If my German isn’t up to par, we’ll soon be behind 2-0.”
The German market for fasteners is dominated by German companies. However, Hoenderdaal Fasteners has a product which is not yet ubiquitous in Germany: the coated screw, which is stronger and more resistant to rust. It’s sustainable character could be well accepted in Germany.
Giving training in German
Veldhuizen came to Vught with a clear goal in mind for his language training: he is going to give training to a new customer in Switzerland, and he wanted to be thoroughly prepared for it. "A few years ago, I gave a similar presentation in Germany. I remember that I was really tripping all over myself at the time. I found that presentation and brought it with me to Vught. The plan is to have an effective presentation by the end of the week.”
Veldhuizen's training programme consisted of several private lessons a day, during which he concentrated on grammar in the mornings and his presentation in the afternoons. "That’s about more than just having a correct PowerPoint, by the way. It’s also about being able to explain everything and answer questions. Otherwise, I could have just put my presentation together using Google Translate.”
Improvement by the hour
Veldhuizen crammed all day, every day, from Monday to Friday. "I think it's surprisingly fun. That’s because I see so much progress. Almost every hour there’s an improvement. The variety in the lessons is really nice, and the one-on-one training in particular is very valuable. If I make a mistake, I get immediate feedback. I’m not afraid of making mistakes and have no trouble speaking.”
Focus on learning German
According to Veldhuizen, one of the strengths of taking a course at Regina Coeli is the ability to focus completely on learning the language. The whole day is all about learning the language when you are on an intensive language course and do not have to do anything else at all. "I especially noticed it when I went home for an evening instead of staying overnight. At the institute, your mind stays on learning the language, and that’s incredibly effective!”
Interested in following language training at Regina Coeli?
The Regina Coeli method ensures that you learn to speak a foreign language quickly and effectively. Our highly qualified trainers teach you the skills, vocabulary and grammar that you need for your specific situation so you can immediately start communicating in the language.
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