Alumna Aga Nizinska

Aga Nizinska
  • Name: Aga Nizinska
  • Nationality: Polish
  • Master's program: Master of Human Resource Studies
  • Position: HR Business Partner in a logistics company in Amsterdam

"As a HR Business Partner, I am working closely with the company’s business leaders and/or line managers in order to achieve mutual organizational objectives using personal resources."

Can you briefly introduce yourself?

My name is Aga Nizinska and I am originally from Poland. After graduating from high school, I moved to Scotland where I started my higher education at Edinburgh Napier University of Scotland. After receiving my Bachelor of Honors degree, I decided to move to the Netherlands to do my Master’s degree.

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Can you describe what your current position involves?

As a HR Business Partner, I am working closely with the company’s business leaders and/or line managers in order to achieve mutual organizational objectives using personal resources. Within this role, all HR operational matters are covered within the assigned client group: Business Development, Operational Lines, Air and Ocean, and Contract Logistics.

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How did you get in touch with your company?

At some point when my Master’s thesis was almost finished, I decided to look for an internship. I did not have classes any more and I had some extra time to do something more than just writing my thesis so I decided to send my CV to different companies in the Netherlands. After a while, I was invited for an interview by the company where I currently work. My six-month internship (during which I defended my thesis and got my Master’s degree) turned into a permanent job and I am now fully enjoying my working life in a place where I can use my knowledge gained at university and get more hands-on experience.

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How do you use the knowledge gained at Tilburg University in your job?

Doing my Master’s at Tilburg University most importantly prepared me for the fast-paced environment in which I am working right now. Having a busy schedule at University helped me improve my planning skills and also, most importantly, going through the process of writing an academic paper which sometimes I had to change a hundred times, taught me how to deal with stress and pressure.

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Does your current job/your career so far meet the expectations you had as a student?

It exceeds my expectations … I would never have imagined I would be in the position I am in right now

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Why did you choose Tilburg University?

A lot of people have asked me why I opted for the Netherlands. The answer is not as exciting as I would like it to be – it was just one of the most budget-friendly options when it comes to the tuition fees. Also it was one of the very few countries that offered this specific Master’s program in English. Therefore I ended up in Tilburg and I’m thankful that this is how it went. I did not know anything about Tilburg nor about this University. It was not until after I got my acceptance letter that I found out that Tilburg University is one of the best economics universities. And that Tilburg is just a small, lovely city in the south of the Netherlands where a lot of international students come to study. Perhaps students in Scotland and Poland should get more exposure to this university, so they know that somewhere in the Netherlands, in a small city called Tilburg, there is a great university that welcomes all international students!

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How did you experience the pre-Master’s program in Human Resource Studies?

At the beginning it was all about getting to know your schedule, your professors, and your course mates. I had to complete a pre-Master’s program before I could start with my Master’s degree. At first I thought this was silly, thinking that my Bachelor’s degree was sufficient proof I had all the necessary knowledge to just get it over with and write my Master’s thesis. I could not have been more wrong.

During my pre-Master, I went to all classes, which would in the end help me develop the skills needed to write a good scholarly paper. Also, before joining Tilburg University, my knowledge of statistics was very limited but, after this first year, I could definitely call myself a little statistics master (at least in my eyes), having spent lots of time trying to understand its logic. Here I must say that all my statistics teachers were a great support and they never left a classroom until my face had changed from confused-looking to at least neutral (thank you, Milosz and Luc!).

For one course, we had to hand in a research-like paper that was supposed to prepare us for the real deal next year – I must say it was a very useful experience!

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Can you describe your Master’s year?

In my Master year, I was fully prepared for all the hard work we were set up for. Right from the beginning, we all knew what was expected of us and what this most important year of our educational lives would look like. After choosing the topic area and meeting our supervisors, we were ready to roll. I must say that I personally got amazing support while writing the paper. The professors really dedicated all available time to guiding and helping us in the most stressful times. Even if you had some problems with your data or analysis, you could just go to your previous professors and ask for help. I do recall it was probably the most nerve-racking period for me, when I had to read my paper all over again and adjust it for the millionth time but I did have the support needed to get good results. My supervisor knew what buttons she had to push to get the best out of me. She was also very flexible with how we worked - Karianne, thank you for that!

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What is your ambition? What would you like to have achieved by 2020?

It might sound cliché but I would just like to continue to grow and work for a company that appreciates my efforts and invests in me. I think it is very important that whenever you wake up in the morning and travel to your office, you have a smile on your face. There is nothing worse than doing what you hate and to have this horrible feeling while going to work every single morning. That is my aim for the future years – to continue doing what I like and enjoy doing it five days a week.

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Looking back at it all, I must say I am very, very happy that somehow I ended up in Tilburg, doing my degree, meeting a lot of knowledgeable people, making new international friends, and finding a job that puts a smile on my face every morning. And I am not writing this just for the sake of a positive-sounding interview. I literally could not be happier that I chose to study at Tilburg University, and that so many amazing things happened to me here. I have been living in the Netherlands for over three years now and, so far, I have enjoyed every single day spent here. Hopefully this feeling will stay with me.

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