Research Tilburg School of Economics and Management

Jeroen Aben

Student member of the TiSEM Management Team

"This position is a great opportunity for me to take a look around behind the scenes, and make a worthwhile contribution as well."

Please introduce yourself

My name is Jeroen Aben, I am 24 years old, and I am studying for a Master’s in Strategic Management. Before this Master’s program, I took the Bachelor’s program in International Business Administration. I am one of those students who take a long time to complete their studies. My Bachelor’s took me five-and-a-half years, and it will be another one-an-a-half years before I finish my Master’s. Why is that, you may wonder. Well, I was on the University Council for a year, went on exchange to Hong Kong, did a consultancy project at Unipartners, and founded a debating society at student rowing association T.S.R. Vidar, where I was active also on committees. And on top of all that, I am enjoying student life to the full! So now I am a student advisory member of the TiSEM MT.

Can you describe for us what it is you do there?

I attend all MT meetings and all other meetings that the MT is invited to. I make sure that in policy development the interests of students are looked after and taken into account. Also, I am the  linking pin for the student factions in the School Council and for Asset and MAK.

What made you choose this position?

After I finish my studies, I want to get into administration, most likely public administration. This position is a great opportunity for me to take a look around behind the scenes, and make a worthwhile contribution as well. It is a great learning experience.

Do you have any spearheads?

I think student representation and participation is very important. One of the things that I feel need improvement is the coordination between student factions in the School Council and the Education Committee. That is something I want to put in a major effort to improve.

Another spearhead is the integration of MAK and Asset. I feel strongly about that and I want it to be successful. 

I think it is a good idea that we are getting into using learning analytics. Learning analytics makes it possible to monitor students’ progress. By creating insight into where students are in in their learning process, Education Coordinators and Program Coordinators have a possible tool at their disposal to help students who are lagging behind. This also links up quite well with the PASS mentoring program. Initially, at the introduction of PASS, there was some resistance to it among students. They felt it was more appropriate for universities of applied sciences, not for research universities. I, however, am very much in favor of it. Students these day are under a lot of stress. To optimize their chances on the labor market, they have to finish their Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in time, go on exchange, do internships and volunteer work, and suspend their studies during an ‘administrative year’ in which they engage in student participation to familiarize themselves with administrative work. Proper coaching can help them get the stress level down. I feel there is nothing wrong with leading first-years by the hand a little. I might have incurred less study delays myself if this type of mentoring had been available at the time.

Do you have a role model?

I cannot say I have a role model. But I can be quite taken with the way certain people handle things. Somebody like Klaas Dijkhoff, for instance. He positions himself as a regular guy from the South, but at the same time performs his political role very well indeed. I am learning a lot from the people here at TiSEM and I admire certain talents that people have. Students standing up for their beliefs and opinions in front of people in high-ranking positions, an executive taking decisions that are backed by the rest of the organization. I also admire the Dean, who very patiently manages to connect parties whose interests differ. I really am learning a lot here.

Is there anything else you would like to say in conclusion?

I would like to invite everyone within TiSEM to contact me if they want to know more about the student perspective on certain issues.  Feel free to e-mail me: