Aijia Zhang, student Agribusiness and Business Administration

Aijia is a fourth year student of Agricultural Business and Business Administration at VHL. It’s her second year of studying in The Netherlands. She participates in the ‘2+2 programme’ in corporation with Yunnan Agricultural University in China. 'It is a good opportunity for me to study horticulture here.'


The main reason why she has chosen to study here is her particular interest in the horticulture industry. 'I think plants are lovely and the growing process of plants is amazing. In addition, I care about what I eat every day. Recording the process of plant growing and knowing more about this industry is quite interesting.'

Satisfied with VHL

She has learned a lot since she started her study. 'In the first year attending the programme at VHL, the biggest improvement for me was getting more work experience during my placement in Dutch companies. Another positive aspect is gaining and comprehending more professional and practical knowledge about horticulture. I like the study environment of VHL. I believe that it is a good learning process for students working in teams as well as getting personal coaching on projects. Career coaching is also effective and useful for me.'

Key aspects

Keeping an open mind: At VHL there are lots of international students from different nationalities and cultures. I like talking with people who are from different cultures. It is a valuable way in exchanging your ideas with each other and experiencing the differences of each culture. I like working with them because of their wonderful ideas and the easy way to get to know each other.

Career coaching from my teacher: I am quite happy that I can get lots of help from my teacher on projects and career coaching.


Aijia is conducting market analysis about horticultural products all around the world. 'I worked at HortiAlliance, a horticultural consultancy company in The Netherlands, for half a year. My main task was to gather market data about all kinds of horticultural products, valid white papers, reports and to conduct market trend analysis based on data. Our data will be processed and recorded in the computer system for company members, they want to look for more business opportunities in other countries, such as China, Brazil, India etc.'

Aijia is still doing some projects for her placement companies after she finished her placement. 'In addition, I started my own team for doing business projects with horticultural companies and spreading horticultural information in China. I will continue doing so for several years. After I finish my study in 2016, I will prefer to get more work experiences in The Netherlands. I would like to have the opportunity to work in Dutch companies, especially in horticultural marketing aspect. In the future, I would like to start my own company if it is possible.'

Aijia’s tips for new students

  • Keep motivated and take responsibility! I believe a high level of motivation to look for opportunities in the
        market is important. I keep trying to do this all the time. It is not difficult at all I think.
  • Build connections with companies. Building as much business connections with companies as possible, I
        believe, will be useful when you want to find placements and jobs.

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