IT & Operations

Participants blog: The Caravan Plan

July 22, 2014
Deelnemersblog-het-caravanp

How do you end up in a caravan as a TIAS participant? Hugo Ouwehand is living in a caravan when writing his thesis. He writes about it in his third blog. 

As promised in my earlier blog, I was going to tell you how ending up jobless in a caravan was all part of the plan. Here goes.

Strategy

As most business literature tells us, anything in business starts with a strategy. Apply that on a World-cup in Brasil and you’ll hear Van Gaal talking about fitness of the players, about the 5-3-2 system vs. the Dutch School of 4-3-3, about not leaving a single detail to chance.

When I applied strategy on my career, I realized there was only one way to enhance my opportunities on the labour market: Study. So I signed up for MOS-2

Plan

So we put Robben and Van Persie in front, a 5-man defense, but the outer two defenders will have to switch to the offensive in case of a counter, and the aim is not to give away opportunities to the opponent, and even create some of our own. That’s a game plan.

For the study, the plan was simple. Without the financial back-up of the company I worked for when starting the studies, I had to fund them myself. Easy. But not something I could have done without the support of my wife. Savings, Tax returns, holiday money, end-of year bonus; it was all going to be used to pay for the studies. And luckily TIAS provided a flexible payment schedule.

Focus

Or the act of concentrating interest or activity on something. As a football team, it can bring you as far as a respectable 3rd place in the World-cup, without having lost a single match. And what where the odds anyway, having to start in a “poule of death” with Spain, Chile and Australia?

Whenever the thesis came closer I felt I lost focus. Because I decided not to do my research with my employer, I had troubles finding an alternative. In short, I started to study to be able to make a career move, but staying on the job prevented me from starting my thesis. Focus, you fool! So I quit. Or rather, we decided mutually it was for the best if we would go our separate ways. That helped to get me on track and focused again.

Execution

It’s what we see in the field. Brilliant goals, nail-biting tension, genial substitutes, wonderful penalties in one game, not so well placed in the next. As the coach of the Brasil team said: “Bronze is the new Gold”.

In my case, it means I am conducting research in a company in Wijchen near Nijmegen, whilst living in The Hague. And driving for three hours a day will lose time and focus. So I borrowed my Dad’s caravan, arranged a lovely spot on a small camping nearby, and  here I am, jobless, in a caravan, but more focused now than ever. And I’m not planning on settling for 3rd place…

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