A year at TIAS: learning about the world

January 3, 2019 | 3 min read

“Welcome to TIAS! This is the building, this is your class, and this is your team for the coming period. We’re glad to have you here, good luck!”. Of course, it was not that brief, but the essence is the same. I remember to find myself full of excitement and curiosity with the type of people I would cooperate and share my day to day study activities with. And there they were, my fellow students, chilling on the dock and drinking a beer in the sun while closing the first introduction day with a barbecue.

For me the decision was gladly very clear after having big doubts. In the end it appeared that there were three key considerations applicable for my decision: the content, the quality of education, and time. The first was one that was easily answered as I knew already that I wanted to further develop myself in the field of business or economics. For the second one, I think the TIAS quality is really proven by the global rankings of various acknowledged business institutes. However the last one was probably the most critical one for me personally. My bachelor was not quite in the field of business, and thus to save myself from a two year transition program, TIAS was a very attractive option. As the combination of these elements were totally covered by TIAS, it did not take me long to make up my mind.

It is funny how I remember being insecure about the choice. You want to do it right of course. I can honestly share now that I’m sure to have made the right decision. Those people on the dock became my friends, among many more, and I am happy to see them each morning to share my day with. And sometimes even the evenings. One of my Italian friends, for example, makes these delicious pastas, and he’s certainly not afraid to show his cooking skills and shout ‘mama mia’ all the time. And furthermore, and let’s keep this a secret between you and me so the program directors don’t hear, TIAS is actually located in a neighborhood with lots of fun bars! So on Friday afternoon, you’ll find us there. And I have never actually thought this would happen, but often the international business content of class is actually discussed over a beer.

Next to the great pleasure of developing long-term friendships and possibly professional relations, the curriculum at TIAS is very interesting and has so much more to offer than you’d say on first sight.

In addition to the core courses, there are very useful extras that will help you - things I did not know I would attach so much value to. There is this personal career development program, a study coach focused on your individual developments, company days and visits, and various other courses among which personal branding, intercultural communication, and presentation skills. You can make it as crazy as you like. I am for example in the TIAS Student Consultancy board, a group of students with whom you’ll do real business projects for enterprises.

But let’s be honest. Although I know it depends on taste, a curriculum often does include less interesting study material or even courses. But at TIAS I have not really experienced such things to be honest, at least not until now. So, how is that possible? Either 1. the ‘less-interesting’ parts are minimized at TIAS; 2. the students have completely changed and now find it all stunning and great fun; or 3. the professors just know how to teach. I won’t leave you wondering: I’m sure it is the last one.

The professors at TIAS are able to level with the students and then subsequently bring them up to their own. For sure this has to do with the intrinsic motivation of the students, otherwise nothing is possible. However, it is key for that willingness to be fed. The professors at TIAS have this ability to smile and to supervise, to genuinely be excited to explain and discuss, and to trigger excitement and then answer to that excitement by for example providing real-life cases, making the content economically and socially relevant. The professors make it interesting, and I learned that this is so important when soaking up information.

Another interesting phenomena is the adaptive learning environment. No matter the cultural or academic background, everyone has their own view and thus their own questions. Especially because of the ‘need to understand’ due to that intrinsic motivation I just mentioned. What you really can see happening is the willingness of students to ask for or provide help to others. And I think that the way in which that unfolds is something very special.

So, to summarize. TIAS is and has been of more value than I had expected. Both from personal and academic aspects. There is so much to discover. And ever since I started the MSc program, the world really became smaller to me. In a sense of a better understanding, and due to an awareness of how the world works - we really are able to move mountains together!

This blog was written by Full-time MScBA student Adriaan van Bonzel (24) from the Netherlands. 

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