International Business: Candice about her international experience

Why did you decide to study at HZ?
"My whole final year of high school was overshadowed by the big question mark that was: “what am I going to do once I’m done?”. Frankly, I had no idea what I wanted to study, I just knew I wanted to get away from the small town that was home. That’s why I went to a student fair with my dad – in the hopes of finding something - THE thing - that would give me a clearer idea of what the next few years were going to look like.

At that fair I saw the HZ stand, and decided to go have a look, out of curiosity more than anything. The HZ representative that was there gave me a full description of the HZ and a couple of study programmes that could be interesting for me. I straightaway liked what I was hearing, and every stand we visited after that was boring and uninteresting to me, as my mind was already set on HZ. I’m pretty sure I read the brochure over and over again on the way home, and went on the HZ website as soon as I got home."

Why did you choose this specific study programme?
"The reason I chose International Business is because you can combine two things I was interested in: business and languages. Back home you usually study one, or the other, but I wanted both. Basically you get a core of business modules with two languages, in my case Spanish & Dutch
The great thing with HZ is that it’s a university of applied sciences, which means that we get a lot of workshops and practical courses to allow us to apply the knowledge we’ve acquired. I personally loved this way of learning because I got the feeling that I was learning things for a reason rather than just to recite it back on the exam. We had to do marketing reports, export plans and business plans for various companies (existing or not), and in the second year we ran a Student Company which is the most hands-on approach I can think of."

How was it to study abroad?
"Studying abroad was the best thing for me. I came to HZ looking for a real international experience and that’s exactly what I got! There’s something magical in having a group of people from totally different countries sharing their experiences and working together on projects – each with their own accent and their own expressions yet coming together and helping one another as best they can.

I’ve built friendships during my HZ years that are stronger than anything else I’ve had in my life. My friends became my family. We were having coffee together every weekend, had dinner parties at least once a week and study sessions pretty much every day. We’re all in different parts of the world now, but is there any better reason to travel than to reunite with good friends?"

What did you think of studying in Zeeland, the Netherlands?
"I personally really enjoyed it. Even though I was looking for an international experience, I didn’t want to go in a city that was too big. I’m from a small town and have only lived in fairly small places so Vlissingen felt like the best option. It has a very comfortable and familiar vibe that I loved. And let’s be real, being by the beach is pretty cool."

What was the most valuable part of your studies?
"I think for me there were two that are equally valuable: the friendships, and the experiences abroad. The friends part I’ve described already, but the experiences abroad include internships and exchange semester."

Tell us about your internships and your minor?
"For my exchange semester I got the chance to study in a very prestigious university in Mexico for 5 months which was probably the highlight of my 4 years at HZ. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time in Vlissingen, but being able to visit another country, halfway around the world and to live there and study like a local student is pretty great. That and the traveling which was mind-blowing.

In terms of internships I did one in Rotterdam which was super insightful and great hands-on experience, and I did my graduation internship in Bristol, for a company called Wriggle for which I still work today."

What did you do after graduation?
"While doing my graduation internship I got offered a full-time position which I accepted. So I’ve been living in Bristol, UK ever since! I was hired as Content Manager – that is overlooking all of the content creation – and I upgraded to Marketing and Content Creation Manager in August 2020. 2020 has been a bit different with Covid hitting the company pretty hard, but we’ve been working and launching side projects throughout the year that have kept us busy and proved to be quite successful so far."

What would your advice be to a student applying to HZ?
"My advice would be: follow your intuition– it’s usually the best thing to do. And if the one thing that worries you is that you don’t know anyone in Vlissingen or that you fear that you won’t make any friends… Just don’t. I was told that when I visited the school and it is 100% true: even if you’re too shy to go talk to people, they will come and talk to you. Everyone is new in Vlissingen, so everyone is trying to make friends! And you’ll definitely be a part of that, there’s no doubt about it."

    Read more about the study programme International Business at HZ.

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