The story of Steffi

Curious about what former international Saxion students are up to nowadays? Meet Steffi, former Tourism Management student who is currently working at a sustainable company in Deventer in the Netherlands.

Working for a sustainable company

In recent years, sustainability has become increasingly important for students. After graduation, they more often choose to work for a company that aims to create a more sustainable world. Just like former Tourism Management student Steffi Habicht did. Her love for sustainability is fuelled during a guest lesson by a local sustainable entrepreneur from Deventer. A few years later, the German Steffi ended up at the company of the same entrepreneur who had inspired her.

A ‘sustainable’ click

From the moment former Tourism Management student Steffi Habicht and sustainable entrepreneur Michel Brans met, there was a click. ‘’Michel's working method appealed to me and I noticed that we share the same vision about sustainability.’’

From mushroom to snack

Michel Brans has been running his own oyster mushroom farm in Deventer since 2018. The oyster mushrooms, which are grown thick on coffee, are then processed into croquettes and bitter balls. ‘’These mushrooms are full of protein and are therefore a good substitute for meat.’’ Michel says. Twice a week he collects coffee in bulk from farms in the neighbourhood of Deventer, which then serves as a breeding ground for the oyster mushrooms. The croquettes and bitterballs (a Dutch speciality) are then sold to restaurants throughout the Netherlands. But when the corona crisis came along and the hospitality industry completely collapsed, Michel was forced to think out of the box. And he did, quite literally: the entrepreneur introduced vegetarian meal and drink boxes, consisting of his products and other local delicacies. And this is where Steffi came into the picture.

A shared passion for sustainability

‘’I stumbled upon a vacancy at Michel's oyster mushroom farm'' says Steffi. During the previous guest lecture Michel gave during my studies, I was impressed by his work and his view on sustainability. When I discovered that he was looking for a new colleague, I didn't hesitate for a moment''. Michel is positively surprised that the former student applies and hires her. ‘’I remembered Steffi from my guest lecture at Saxion, and when I saw her application letter, I knew right away that I wanted to hire her.’’

Local meal boxes

Steffi supports the oyster mushroom farm in various areas. For example, Steffi is responsible for social media and devises recipes that people can make with the ingredients from the meal box. ‘’My work is very diverse and I really enjoy it. What I like most about this work, is that it enables me to spread the word about local sustainability. For the meal box, we work together with other local sustainable entrepreneurs. Many people do not tend to know whether the products they buy are sustainable. By creating more awareness about the local sustainable businesses in this region, we hope to inspire more people to eat sustainably''.