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Alumnus Carl Kuehl



"Tilburg University offers many ways to become active next to your studies. I chose to write for the magazine of our faculty association. It gave me the opportunity to continue writing, which I always really enjoyed and also to get to know people from my program."

What was the reason for you to start BSc International Business Administration?

I chose to study IBA because I wanted a program that would equip me with a broad array of skills that I could use later on in the workforce. There were so many paths that I wanted to take that I decided not to choose something too specific so that I could keep as many options open as possible.

Once I had made that choice, I looked at universities in the Netherlands. In my opinion, there is no better place to learn about business than the cradle of the first publicly owned company, the stock market and home to some of the world’s largest and most well-known corporations.

Can you tell us something about the program of International Business Administration?

IBA is set up to teach students in a broad way. Within the first two years, students are taught the fundamentals of Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing and Behavior & Psychology. The great thing about this program is that it opens doors to many different masters, where you can then specialize in the field of your interest.

Is there a specific course in the program that really stood out to you?

The course that I enjoyed the most was Project Management where you work in teams to help out a local business with a concrete problem. Over the course of that semester, you are then tasked to consult and help them figure out a solution. I found it very interesting to apply the knowledge learned in the classroom to the business world and help out a company in a real and meaningful way.

Have you been active in any student societies next to your studies?

Tilburg University offers many ways to become active next to your studies. I chose to write for the magazine of our faculty association. It gave me the opportunity to continue writing, which I always really enjoyed and also to get to know people from my program. If I were you, I would pay close attention to the different organizations during the welcome week and seek out the one that fits the best to you. Becoming active in some way is a very rewarding experience to your student life.

Did you go on an exchange during your studies? Or are you planning to?

I was fortunate enough to spend my last semester in Budapest, Hungary. The Paris of the east was a beautiful home for the last five months and I will forever cherish the memories that I had there. On exchange, you meet so many interesting students, are exposed to new cultures and get to travel. The time went by so quickly and I can only urge any incoming student to go on exchange, because it broadens your horizon and offers you a great opportunity to develop yourself. Looking back on it, I wish I could do it all over again.

Was it a big step for you to come to the Netherlands for your studies?

Originally, I had wanted to study in the Netherlands because it was far away enough from home to let me grow, become more independent and self-sufficient, while still ensuring enough proximity to what I knew. Although living in a different country certainly took me a while to get used to, the Dutch are very friendly and open, making this change as easy and seamless as it could possibly be. Tip: Try to learn Dutch as quickly as possible. Even though everyone speaks English here, going the extra mile is very much appreciated!

What are your plans for the future?

For my near future, I hope to study MSc Supply Chain Management and specialize in that field. If that is possible, I would love to work in the field of operations management and hopefully work on streamlining production processes and making them more efficient.

Is there anything you struggled with during your studies?

Throughout my high school career, I always had a difficult relationship with mathematics. Once I came to Tilburg, I knew that I would be challenged by the many math and statistics courses, but I worked hard and tried to overcome my distaste for that field. Interestingly enough, I learned that I was actually quite good in those courses and ended up getting good grades in them, because of studying well for them. Even though you might think you might struggle at something it is important to really embrace the challenge and try your true best. If you do that good things will happen to you.

Is there any advice you can give a student who is currently deciding where and what to study?

In my opinion, I would try to make a chart with your top three choices and actually invest the time to visit the university beforehand. Rankings and the statistics on your university of choice are a nice add-on, but it is very important for you to see yourself on the campus of a university. If you are interested in Tilburg and the IBA bachelor’s, I can highly recommend putting the time and effort into visiting the campus, peeking inside a classroom and getting a vibe for the city. Just come and see if it’s the right fit for you and who knows, maybe we will run into each other on the campus next year.

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