International Week 2021: Sophia Gruner | SeAMK Blogs

International Week 2021: Sophia Gruner


What was the topic of your lecture? Why did you choose it?

I think the title of the lecture speaks for itself ”Unbore yourself- Say no to listener disengagement”.

The goal of the presentation was to show a technique which allows you to have presentations with more impact, engagement and an increased chance that people actually remember what you talked about.

I believe that everyone of us can relate to meetings, classes and any kind of presentations where we seriously ask ourselves ”why am I here”. Our thoughts wander off, we get tired, frustrated and simply disengage from the speaker.

In my lecture I used the quote ”Boredom is just the lack of an interesting perspective” by Brandon Trean. An interesting perspective can only be created if you know your audience. That can make all of a difference in your presentations, no matter if you want to persuade, inspire or inform.

In today’s times communication across cultures is a given. Therefore it is even more important to know your listeners and to realize that perspectives and examples can be interpreted differently.

Good presentations make you feel more confident, we achieve more impact and people will appreciate our efforts.

So why did I choose this topic: because in order to have good partnerships and business interactions across cultures we need to be able to communicate engaging.


What is best in international cooperation and teaching exchanges?

We often assume that the others see the world as we do. We often assume that we’re all the same and that is not true, to put it that boldly.  Intercultural work gives us the opportunity to explore the beautiful commonalities and differences in culture and it broadens our perspectives. There’s so much to learn and to share in cooperation. I think that international partnerships., teaching exchanges and also student mobility can create strong feeling of purpose.

In my experience everyone being involved in international mobility, particularly in higher education, is eager to share and willing to collaborate, often with the purpose of making the world a little bit better. That’s what I enjoy the most.


What would you like to say about the cooperation with SeAMK?

SeAMK for years has been an appreciated partner of Fontys University of Applied Sciences. We can say that the partnership with you not only results in frequent student mobility.

We also have a Double Degree program with our study programs International Business (Fontys Venlo) and SeAMK.

Furthermore SeAMK and Fontys International Business School are involved in the Erasmus-KA2 strategic partnership program “New Modes of Mobility”.

I personally got in touch with SeAMK through a visit of representatives of SeAMK’s School of Food and Agriculture, which was a pleasure. I hope that in future both universities can find a shared research in this field as well.


Thank you SeAMK for supporting international cooperation with this International Week. It’s very special in these times and it feels good to be “connected”.