Combining a part-time MSc with a day job and a family – a tough option?
This September Wittenborg University admitted a number of students who are also lecturers in their own right to its master programs. So, what is it like being both student and teacher? We spoke to one of them, Majorein Geut, about balancing the different responsibilities of work, study and family.
Good morning Marjorein. Where are you from?
I am from the north of Holland, near Groningen.
Which study program are you following at Wittenborg?
Master of Science in International Events Management.
Why did you choose Wittenborg to continue your studies?
I was searching for part-time education in events management and there are not a lot of places in the Netherlands which offer that. The closest one was in Apeldoorn and I really liked that the classes are conducted over three consecutive days. If it were not, it would cost a lot in traveling. Now I can just stay here for three days in a row and hopefully do better at my studies too.
But you also teach?
Yes, I am a lecturer at Stenden University in Leeuwarden.
What course do you teach at Stenden?
I work in the department of hospitality management so I coach students in hospitality management and I lecture events management as a minor for hospitality-, events- and media students.
Where did you do your bachelors?
I studied International Hospitality Management at Stenden and also did my internship there before they asked me to join. First I was an educational planner and then got my license to teach. I have been teaching for six years.
What is it like being a student again?
I really like it. I definitely think I am better at it now then when I was doing my bachelors. With my bachelor I was always aiming for grades 6 and higher, but 6 was okay because then I would still have time for other things. Now I am aiming much higher! Not so much regarding the grades, but more about the learning process. The learning process is much more important then only doing the stuff I have to do to get a 6.
What do you like about the master program at Wittenborg?
I like the Brighton lecturers, because of their knowledge and they have a lot of experience which is really, really nice. Also the academic part is directly linked to the field.
What do you think can be improved?
Maybe the communication part. The responding times to emails can be faster, but I have already alerted the people concerned about this.
You wear a lot of hats - being a mother, a student and lecturer. How do you balance it all?
I always tell my friends I can no longer afford not to plan things and follow through with those plans. I am quite well organized and my friends tell me I have a lot of energy! I have to say I also make sure I get enough sleep. At around 10pm I switch off and prepare for bed.
Would you recommend following a master degree to other students. Do you think realistically in this economy it improves your chances of securing employment?
I would recommend to other students to first try and get a job and work for a couple of years before commencing with their master studies. For me it holds a lot more value now that I have worked rather than starting immediately after my bachelors.
What do you do in your free time?
I did a lot of volunteer work at events, but it would be wise to quit those activities now. I also like to run, see my friends and of course spend time with my family and to organize events.
Interview by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press