If you want something, just do it!
I am Alyssa, a second-year student of International Business from the Netherlands. When searching for a suitable study programme, International Business immediately stood out for me. There are always some criteria you keep in mind when making a choice, which was also the case when deciding about my studies. These criteria were, among others, courses, place of programme, diversity, and practice-oriented. The last one is something I added to my list later on in the searching process; what I mean by this criterium is, being able to develop within a certain business area by doing; interaction with teachers, companies, peer students, gaining knowledge by pushing yourself to the edge.
This study programme at Windesheim provides all those points, which is why I chose it. Furthermore, I have always loved different cultures, people, ways of working etc. In International Business you get the opportunity to go abroad for a traineeship and/or an internship, which is in my view the most amazing chance to develop on personal and professional level.
So far so good
My experiences with the study are pretty good; of course I have experienced some bumps in the road, but that is part of the journey; that is what makes it interesting. What made my experiences good ones, is the fact that you have close relations with the teachers, since the classes are small. You are more or less forced to build a connection with the people around you, which can feel uncomfortable in the beginning, but it really helps you to get the best out of your time and study. When looking back on the first year, I really liked the variety of courses. The first year consists of four key areas.
You are not a number
The most important thing I like about the programme is that you are recognized as your own person and not as a number; it may sound cliché, I know, but it is true. Again, the small classes are a factor in this success. Additionally, focusing on practical issues, so the combination of learning and working with companies is another thing I really like about the study. In today's business it is not all about the hard skill, therefore, working with a company to achieve something is the perfect way to figure out what skills are needed, because without possessing some soft skills, having a hard skill is going to be very difficult. International Business gives you the opportunity to discover what it is in you and what you need to improve. Plus, the freedom you get is an asset; at first this can be confusing, but after a while it is nice to have the space and time to find your own way of doing things.
The biggest challenge I faced during the first period of the programme was the workload, and the fact that we were thrown in at the deep end, without really knowing what to do. Eventually after getting used to the workload, which is doable if you show initiative and work toward your goals, the challenge for me was to not always put pressure on everything I do. Mistakes are valuable lessons if we let ourselves learn from them and then move on. What I learned from failure is, that it is not bad if you don't get something right in one go, and that it is okay to fail sometime. You can learn from your mistakes.
Get out of your comfort zone
An important thing I learned recently, before moving abroad for my internship, is that it is a good thing to get out of your comfort zone, and that the world is much wider than your comfort place. So, if you want something, just do it, don’t just dream or think about it. In addition, I learned to work with different cultures and people; everyone has their own opinion and ways of working, and sometimes it can be hard to work with these different points of views, but as long as you are willing to try and be open to others' opinions you will be able to reach common goals.
I appreciate the way the study is organized
I really like Windesheim, the building, the teachers, the classes, the way of teaching. We as International Business students are most of the time in the X building, which is in my opinion the nicest building. In my view the environment in which you work has a great impact on your results; the X building gives peace of mind and feels comfortable. X8.10 is the community class, where we spend a lot of time to work together with our peer students, to ask feedback, to get lectures etc. When starting the programme it can be a bit vague, as you have lecturers, office, workshops etc., and it may take some time to figure out which is what, but once I got used to it, I began to appreciate the way the studies are organized.
Zwolle: neither too big, nor too small
What can I say about Zwolle? Well it is a nice city, especially for people like me, who are used to the comfort of the countryside. It is neither too big, nor too small. You have everything, stores, restaurants, hotels etc. And last but not least, nice nightlife.
You get to learn a new country, new people and a new network
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Windesheim brought me diverse networks, life experience and soft skills
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If you want something, just do it!
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I learned to cope with cultural differences