Interview met Emmy Wolterink

Emmy Wolterink - student MCD 2016-2017

Student Emmy Wolterink

"I am very glad with the choice I made last year to start this (pre)master. The program itself is already quite diverse; many of my class mates are from abroad. Due to this diversity we experience ourselves how cross-cultural diversity and collaboration works, which mostly is fun and positive (varied working styles and ideas), however sometimes it can also cause us some challenges (for example miscommunication or interpretation)."


What Bachelor's program did you finish before starting with Management of Cultural Diversity?

Before starting with this Master's program I studied Human Resource Management at the University of Applied Sciences (HBO). After that I started the premaster in order to gain access to the Master's program.

Why did you choose to study Management of Cultural Diversity?

When I finished my HBO studies, I was not sure what I would like to do. I started to think what I liked about my previous education and experiences. Two things that stood out were my Erasmus experience in Iceland and my internship at a huge multinational. I asked myself the questions what and why I liked (about) those experiences. The answer was the international area where different cultures met each other and collaborated together. By accident I found this Master's program, which was perfectly in line with my previous study and my interests.

Why did you choose Tilburg University and what was your first impression of Tilburg University?

Tilburg University was the first university who offered a program like this and has the most experience. This was one of the main reasons I chose this university. Tilburg as a city is practical and has many activities for students. To be honest, Tilburg is still not my favorite city, but it offers everything I need. The campus, however, is a place I very much like. Everything is nearby and in my experience most things are really well arranged.

How are your experiences with the Master's program so far?

I am very glad with the choice I made last year to start this (Pre)Master. The program itself is already quite diverse; many of my class mates are from abroad. We have students from China, Canada, Armenia, Turkey, Italy, Belgium, Poland and of course the Netherlands. Due to this diversity we experience ourselves how cross-cultural diversity and collaboration works, which mostly is fun and positive (varied working styles and ideas), however sometimes it can also cause us some challenges (for example miscommunication or interpretation).

The courses I like best are the management related courses that deal with the challenges and opportunities of diversity in organizational settings and how to handle them. Further, we learn about how individuals form their identity (due to cultural, personal, religious etc. issues), varied research methods, linguistic diversity (what are the influences of different languages and how are they formed), policies and their implications, migration and immigration, equality issues in business etcetera.

The Premaster was quite doable, since you are following Bachelor's courses. The Master, however, is much more challenging and does cost me, like a full time job, +/- 40 hours a week. Of course not every week is that busy, but in general I am quite busy studying.

What are your aspirations for the future?

My preference would be to work in an international area in a consultant role/HR related job regarding diversity. This could for example be the role of diversity manager in an international company who manages diversity issues and develops or implements diversity policies. I am very much aware that not every company has that much awareness for the opportunities and challenges regarding cultural diversity (yet!), however I guess with the continuous flows of globalization companies are sooner or later forced to in some way adjust to cultural diversity (within their own work force and to their clients) for the benefit of their companies. In my opinion, creating awareness for these issues is also one of the main things I would like to focus on in a job. Further, I would very much like to work abroad for several years (maybe as an expat, I’m not sure yet).

Do you have any tips for new students?

Culture is not a substitute for art and poetry (for some reason many persons seem to think that). Culture is so much more, and with the current globalization I strongly believe cultural diversity is very much contemporary and continues to increase, not only in organizations, but everywhere. Do not choose this (or any other) Master's program if you are not really passionate about it, since the work load is high (but still doable!). Despite the many study hours I really like my Master's program as most courses are in line with my interests and I have made many international connections.


Stel je vraag aan een student

Heb je interesse in Management of Cultural Diversity en heb je een vraag die je wilt voorleggen aan een student die het programma volgt? Dat kan!

Je kunt Emmy Wolterink mailen op e.e.wolterink@tilburguniversity.edu



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