A year at TIAS: number one in the Netherlands.

October 25, 2018 | 5 min read

As I approach my anniversary of being a part of TIAS, the school and her programs have been enjoying a long run of successive high annual ranking and prestigious accolades. TIAS has frequented the Financial Times’ Top 25 Best European Business School for years. They climbed to the top of the renowned publication’s Best Schools for Customized Programs for six years in a row now. The Full-time Master of Science in Business Administration (FTMScBA), one of TIAS’ flagship programs, has been showered in applause as it soars through global ranking, attaining new ranking heights every year. The program has been ranked The Economics’ Best Master in Management in the Netherlands this year and Elsevier’s Best Master in Business Administration for three consecutive years.

That being said, there is always more to tell about a school than her ranking. This story reveals what makes TIAS, and the FTMScBA in particular, a Dutch powerhouse in providing master education; and furthermore, insight from a student on the potential that defines TIAS beyond being number one. You can call this an “insider job” :)

What if a fish can decide not to climb a tree?

For many education programs, the extent of choices a student has peaks as soon as the application package is sealed. TIAS is the best business school in Europe for customized programs for a reason. As the world’s transformation continues at an increasingly rapid pace, each person is constantly at a crossroad, trying to find themselves a pathway to making their mark on the picture of life. TIAS understands that a one-size-fit-all solution would only create a monotone version of that picture.

The FTMScBA is a representation of such philosophy due to its unique format. Incoming students have more options during admission such as the alternative for the GMAT requirement in the form of an in-house capacity test, or the less rigid requirement for bachelor degree relevance. However, how you express yourself during the admission interview matters. Business and society are two halves of the transformational force that drives the world we live in. TIAS embodies that by creating more opportunities for young people to get into business. People coming to TIAS are chosen for who they are, where they’ve been to and what they aim for, rather than just scores and papers.

When the program starts, students have three months to go through the key aspects of business during foundation phase. This gives students an idea of which aspect they may explore further in the latter phase of the program, as well as in their lives. The process is further enhanced by the integration of Personal Career Development Program (PCDP), which reinforces students’ belief in themselves and the path they choose. The second phase of the program divides students into different study tracks of their choice: Marketing Management, Finance, Investment, Business Analytics, and the innovative Change Management, where these aspects of business are explored in-depth. Last but not least, the study trips at the end of the program to Europe’s most beautiful destinations don’t only give students a fresh experience, but also serve as a reminder of how they can apply what they learn to benefit society.

Dynamism is the center of the learning experience at TIAS as every voice, especially the students’, is heard. Students themselves can suggest, initiate, and exercise changes that improve the study environment. This process takes place democratically through elected class representatives, who collect other students’ suggestions and take them to program management. The school also actively collect students’ feedback after every module. With back-to-back module schedule, this process is conducted almost weekly. As in any successful organization, this practice is TIAS’ transcending culture, school personnel and faculties frequently ask for students’ input on improving school operation and academic content, respectively. Additionally, the door of program management is always open for students to bring up personal matters or ideas. In general, students are given full control of their own path, with program management and the school’s support along the way.

What if education goes beyond the books?

The answer is obvious, yet how many business schools actually ask this question, and put the answer into action? Grades are important, but TIAS also aims to create employment-ready graduates. How? Employers often recognize the gap between fresh graduates and those who are effectively at work. TIAS bridges this gap by equipping students with professional skills, facilitating their growth, getting students’ eyes as close to the true picture as possible, beside fully integrating practicality into class modules. An example for this is the series of PCDP workshops, where students can learn from networking skills, preparing for interviews, to maintaining a recruiter-magnet LinkedIn profile. Every student has the full support of career service during these workshops and when going on job interviews. Another example is the integration of Corporate Social Responsibility throughout the program. As CSR has an increasingly indispensable role in achieving sustainability and innovation, TIAS students have the better chance to wrap their mind around this concept in all aspects of business. What about getting yourself out there, being fully equipped with all necessary skills? TIAS organizes a series of workshops throughout the program, inviting professionals from reputable companies to speak in front of the students on various topics. Occasionally, the professors also invite marketeers, financial analysts, change consultants and entrepreneurs to speak in class, giving the students an up-close view on how the theories they have just study work in reality. On top of that, the annual company day and its build-up events offer a fantastic chance for students to get connected with the likes of Tesla, Nike and KPMG. TIAS also gives strong support to the student-run associations, where students get hands-on experience in organizing events, business networking, and B2B consulting. And let’s not forget that TIAS pays a lot of attention in creating a multi-cultural environment. Having friends from over 20 nationalities, all continents of the world (except, of course, Antarctica) truly help students develop international mindset, which is extremely important as globalization is imminent. At the end of the day, TIAS graduates have high hopes of becoming professionals, teachers, leaders who are fully motivated to change the world.

The Netherlands: What if the best place to be is here?

Describing the TIAS experience would be incomplete without mentioning the Netherlands, one of the best places in the world to live and develop. I will leave the obvious reasons to the newspapers, the country rankings such as HDI, World Happiness Report, etc., and every song, movies ever made about the Netherlands. The Netherlands to me is the country that inspired Van Gogh, Erasmus, Anne Frank, De Ruyter, Johan Cruyff, and who in turn inspired the world. A country of equality, social justice, lingual efficiency, beautiful landscapes, and brilliant people. Above all, opportunities are there if you are willing to grab them. Many friends and families of mine have achieved success in the Netherlands with hard work and tenacity. Many of my TIAS classmates are approaching their first days at work as graduation draws near; many among those have already started their own business while studying. Truly, the sky is the limit. If someone told me back in September 2016 that after only 10 months in the Netherlands, my professional pursuit would lead me to meet the Dutch, Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, in his official residence, I would call that person crazy. Yet here I am.

This blog was written by Full-time MScBa student  Khoi Bui-Kinh (27) from Vietnam.


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