“After my bachelor in International Business I was done with studying for a while. I took a year off and worked for Spiriant, Lufthansa’s In-Flight Management, and GIZ, the German Society for International Cooperation, in Beijing. That last job was challenging because I had never been to Asia before and was not familiar with their approach to teamwork. However, my motto is: take on a challenge every day. You might not be successful, let alone be the best in everything you do; it is more important which experiences you take from these challenges, and that you are not too intimidated to try again.
After this great experience I felt a lot more motivated to get back to studying. I could have chosen a master in International Business and follow the track Supply Chain Management, but I decided to go to Venlo. Here you have time to write your thesis combined with an internship, and that appealed to me. I very much value learning theory and putting it into practice.
Before I came to Venlo, I had the worst prejudices about the place. I thought it would be this very small and grey town somewhere almost in Germany. It actually is almost in Germany, but it is a very pretty town, with a cosy campus, a nice course-coordinator. It was quite easy to find a room, cheaper than in Maastricht and the social life is quite nice actually. During the introduction group they mixed all the students, bachelor and masters, which really helped getting to know each other.
The coffee machines are a crucial feature of the building. There’s an expensive Nespresso machine which looks awesome, but it is quite hard to operate. The other one is simple and does not only provide you with caffeine whenever you spend all day in school, but also produces tomato soup, or at least something similar, that helps to get over your sugar overload from the sweet snacks vendor right next to it.
I took part in a lot of career events, where I met with global companies that look for excellent grades and extracurricular activities. I tried to figure out what really interests me and where I could work with supply chain management. In China I worked for the Global Initiative for Disaster Risk Management which looks at areas that are typically prone to natural disasters. Think of earthquakes, floods and fires. They try to foster international cooperation, in order to implement preventative strategies and build resistant infrastructure, as well as preparing what could be the supply chain once a disaster has happened. Disaster relief management, something like that would be great in the future.”