Why did you choose Industrial Engineering & Management at HZ?
“After I ended Mechanical Engineering in Germany, I started looking for an international course with a big focus on practical experience. My earlier study was too theoretical for me. I discovered I was more interested in learning about process improvement and management. It was quite difficult to find a broad international education that corresponded with my search. Then my eye fell on Industrial Engineering & Management at HZ. Because of the opportunity to work with real companies, it felt exactly as the programme I was looking for.”
Industrial Engineering & Management is seen as a broad programme. Is this an advantage for you?
“Yes. Industrial Engineering & Management matches well with my broad outlook. Much of what you learn about optimization and efficiency can be applied in all kinds of sectors. From healthcare to shipping or the food industry. I’m still discovering which working field I find the most interesting. At the moment I'm interested into energy and real estate development, but I guess I'll always be evolving in this. I'm still young, and I want to be able to change my path from time to time.”
How does HZ help you in your practical development?
“The nice thing about HZ is that it offers exactly the practical experience I was looking for. It is very much focused on solving problems with a team. With fellow students, but also a lot within real companies. In this programme you go through an internship every year. As a result, you graduate with a lot of practical experience. This gives me the chance to properly research what I want.”
How did you experience the internships so far?
“I have now completed five internships. All of them wonderful. For example, I've had internships at a big food processing company and a shipyard in Vlissingen. In all internships I've worked closely with a team, so I’ve learned a lot about communication, managing and planning. What struck me about all the internships so far: the colleagues really treat interns as an equal. They all were genuinely interested in my opinion and my advices. That makes it so much more fun and valuable.”
Could you make a real impact during the internships?
“Yes. During the internships, I was able to work on real issues of the company. The food processing company, for example, had problems with the seal of their freezer bags. Too many seals didn’t stick properly after production, which made a part of the bags unusable. It was a structural point of improvement in the technical process. It was my job to research solutions on how to optimize it.”
What does working with international students add for you?
“For myself, it is quite normal because I have always attended international schools. But I'm sure it adds a lot of value for every student. You get to know people from all over the world. And you learn to work with an international group in the best possible way. Besides that, you keep nice contacts. Middelburg is a pretty quiet town. The places to socialize aren’t on every corner, but in the center there are nice places to meet people, if you’re looking for it.”
Do you have any advice for future students?
“My most important advice: be proactive and take advantage of the opportunities you get. There really aren't many places where you can work so much within real companies. If you go through these kinds of internships just for a passing grade on your transcript, you won't get the most out of it. It is much more fun to go for the best. It makes collaboration more fun, and you keep great contacts. So make sure they don’t forget you after you left the company!”
How happy are you that you made the move to Middelburg?
“It has been, without exaggeration, one of the best decisions I have made so far. The course offers exactly the versatility I didn't find in my previous studies. It’s very broad, but if you want to focus on a specific theme, you can also do that. As a result, I really got to know myself better as a professional and as a person. I’m getting to know better and better what gives me energy and what I am good at. Very valuable!”