Why did I choose my programme (and CBS)?
After my Bachelor in Business Administration and Psychology at CBS, I knew that I didn't want to go the direct HRM route, but still wanted to be very focused on people in organisations. Throughout my bachelor programme, I tried to work the diversity angle into many of my papers, and so to me, Diversity and Change Management combines the best of business, organisation and people. I haven't been able to find a similar programme that was so specifically focused on diversity anywhere else.
What do I like the best?
My favourite part of this master’s programme is the academic content itself. While some of the readings are very long and complex, the subject matter itself is super interesting and full of nuances. Especially the field of diversity and the concept of D&I/DEI is relatively new, meaning that there are still so many things left to be discovered - I am constantly inspired and collecting possible topics for my final thesis.
How do I experience the difference in academic level between my bachelor and master programme?
I think there is a noticeable difference in the academic level. I was worried that there would be very specific expectations about prior knowledge, but because the students come from a wide range of academic backgrounds, some people are familiar with some concepts and others with other concepts. You are never alone in never having heard about some of the so-called ‘classics’. There is, however, a much higher expectation in terms of having critical reflections about the literature and how to apply theory to practice - lots and lots of case work!
What are the biggest challenges in my programme?
Learning to prioritise my time: Besides my studies, I also have a part time job and do volunteer work, so I need to be super organised with my time. I realised long ago that I won't be able to complete every reading, but it also bothers me because I genuinely think the literature is very interesting. I also don’t have as much time to socialise with my classmates as I was hoping I would, which is a challenge - particularly in terms of the language course, where I am more intimidated to speak with people I don’t know very well.
What would I have liked to have known before starting my programme?
That everyone is nervous about the language courses, but also that people approach the master’s programme very differently. I think it’s a combination of previous studies and age, but some people prioritise their jobs over their studies, while others treat it as an extension of the bachelor’s and focus a lot on the social aspect. I think it is important to recognise that both approaches exist and are very valid, and thankfully I think everyone has a lot of respect for group work even if they are usually mostly focused on their jobs.
What do I want to do after finishing my programme?
Going into this programme, I had dreams of working in the EU, and I will be spending my third semester on exchange in Brussels, where I hope to learn more about the EU while also continuing to broaden my horizon in other academic areas. However, I think this programme opens a lot of doors, and would also be interested in working with DEI or in an NGO. Either way, I think the most important thing for me is to work in an international setting and to use my knowledge about diversity and inequality.
If I could give myself a piece of advice, before starting it would be…
Don't be too scared of the language course and keep a note somewhere of possible thesis ideas! And if I had a chance to do it over again, I would probably also try to be more socially engaged, especially during the introduction week and during the first semester - it only gets harder to build a social foundation once everyone has settled into their own groups. Another thing I am currently trying to tell myself is to enjoy the programme as much as possible. Two years pass very quickly, and before I know it, I'll no longer be a student!