First hand tips and information from an MSM Master in Management alumnus
Making the decision to study abroad is a big life change!
Starting a new degree, moving country, meeting new people and adjusting to a new environment is all very exciting but comes with a lot of preparation.
To prepare you as much as possible for this life-changing step we compiled a list with frequently asked questions. And who better to answer them than our very own alumni! After all, they’ve been around the block.
Daily life and routine at MSM
How much time per week did you spend studying? How is the study life balance?
There are weeks with and weeks without classes. During weeks with classes, you can expect 4 days of 9 to 5 class time. Usually some group work is required before the last day if there is a presentation.
After a week of classes, you usually have a few weeks to write an academic paper on a topic for that class. This means you have class time every second or third week, and the time in between is pretty flexible.
I would estimate an average of 40 hours on a class week, and about 15 hours on an “off” week. Additionally there are many events and networking opportunities for you planned by MSM, so some weeks fill up quickly.
“I was working part-time in another city while I studied, so I was quite busy, but managing the work/life balance was no issue. For the international students who did not already live here, they had a lot more time for themselves, as their only commitment was to MSM.”
What do you wish you would have known on your first day of the program at MSM?
I wish I had put more time into my final thesis from the beginning and didn’t leave it to the final few months. It cost me my distinction.
What influenced your decision to attend MSM?
It’s a small school, meaning lots of networking and also the ability to dive deep into the subjects and ask lots of questions in the classes. Furthermore, the program is in English and it is a general program, which I wanted.
What advice do you have if I attend Maastricht School of Management?
Make the most of it. Ask questions, work hard, and it will set you up well for the future. Don’t expect to do as little as possible and then emerge with good grades and a job lined up. That’s the wrong attitude anywhere in life though…
Curriculum and Professors
Did the curriculum prepare you for your next job?
Yes and no. Any business degree is going to give you an overview of many different aspects of business. At MSM you will get four class days about Finance for example. If you have a background in finance, it will be nothing new. If you don’t, it’s a great way to get the basics fast. If you want to go work in finance though, you should find an internship or expect an entry-level position when you graduate. For someone like me, I wanted to learn a little bit about everything so that I would have a good idea about all different aspects of business. Unless you KNOW you want to go into HR for example, a general program is best. Otherwise, you should be looking at programs specific to HR only… in any case, any company that hires you afterwards will have their own specific training and culture and everything, so no matter what you do, you will always need to be open to learning more if you want to be successful.
How much personal attention did you receive from the faculty members?
As much or as little as you want. I asked many questions and got close to my professors. When I left, I wrote articles for publications with some, I taught as a guest lecturer with others, and I remain good friends with many staff members. There are others in my year who wanted as little to do with the experience as possible and this meant they did not pursue this personal attention. In return, they did not get it.
Which classes were the most difficult?
This of course depends entirely on you and your strengths. Some students coming from institutions that are less academic struggled with the academic writing. Many people assume that because it is business, they do not need to approach things academically. They forget that an MBA or Master in Management is an ACADEMIC degree and for accreditation, as well as the quality of the program, this is necessary. Also, in business, research and communication skills are extremely important. Thus, this is great practice for the rest of your career. The staff understand that English is a second language for many of the students, so they are less picky about that (as long as it is clear and understandable) and they look at the content and the presentation of it. Anyone who puts work into it and can Google their questions about APA formatting should have no issue.
“Using the grammar and spellcheck function in Word set to ENGLISH is also one of the biggest tips I can give anyone for increasing the quality of their written work.”
Career services and Job Opportunities
What kind of career services are available at MSM?
MSM has a fantastic career services department who are active from the very beginning of your time with MSM (pre-recruitment) to long afterwards as an alumnus. Some examples of their aid is their use of network, their organization of various company visits and events, their program throughout the year to develop various skills such as presentation skills and CV writing etc., and their creation of a CV book which they forward to all their partners in the business world.
Is there a placement report of the previous students, which contains information of where the alumni are currently working post the MBA program?
MSM has created special Facebook groups where Alumni as well as prospective students can exchange information, get in touch and ask questions. There are four Facebook groups, one for every program; the full-time MBA, Executive MBA, Online MBA and Master in Management. Click here to join a Facebook group
How important is it to know Dutch in terms of job prospects?
Many companies in the Netherlands are English speaking, though showing a desire to improve your Dutch is a great way to distinguish yourself and to increase your chances at finding work. My suggestion would be to enroll in some sort of beginner course, or even start with Duolingo. Perhaps make friends with some locals and try to speak as much with them as possible. Having a good basis is a good strategic move, if your goal is to stay in the Netherlands and work.
Have your questions not been answered yet by any of the above questions? Join our Facebook group and get in touch with MSMs current students and alumni.
With special thanks to Dixon Block, Master in Management Alumnus
About the Master in Management
The MSM Master of Arts in Management (MM) program is a one-year full-time master’s program for recent graduates and young professionals (< 3 years of working experience) with the ambition to manage people and processes with success in any organization, country or context.
Our MM provides you with a first necessary step to fast-forward your career to higher levels by providing you with a solid foundation in the practice and theory of management in a fast-changing global world. During this course you will be provided with the opportunity to understand how to steer your organization to high performance in a diverse and multicultural international business context. You will learn from experienced faculty, international companies and fellow participants from different cultural, business and study backgrounds.
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Studying in the Netherlands
Visas and permits
MSM Alumni in the media