Zoë Raaijmakers

Student Zoë vertelt haar ervaringen over de overgang van het hbo naar de universiteit
I spend a lot of time on my studies, but I can have a job of about 7 hours a week on the side.
Zoë Raaijmakers
Previous education
HBO Bachelor Communication Science

After the HBO Bachelor's in Communication Science, Zoë started the pre-Master's programme in Communication Science. She is now following the Master's specialisation in Commercial Communication.

Why did you decide to do a Master's after your HBO?

I started a Master's after my HBO education, because I didn't have much trouble with the level of my HBO education nd I was curious whether I could handle a university Master's. I felt like I wanted to learn even more, have a little more challenge. In addition, I thought: if I want to try whether I could handle university, now is the time. Ideal, in fact, that this is possible in two years, via a pre-Master's and then the Master's, instead of having to follow an entire university Bachelor's. I also hope that with a university Master's degree I could be given more strategic tasks later in the professional field, instead of more executive tasks after a Machelor's degree.

How do you feel about the transition from HBO to a research university?

I went to the university in 2020, during the first year of corona. As a result, I may have a slightly different picture than other university students. I knew many more people at HBO, but there were no online classes yet. I thought the advantage of HBO was that I really had a class there, while the work groups differ at a university. This does mean that you get to know more people, but perhaps a little more superficially. The number of contact hours at the university is a lot less for me than with HBO education, so you are much more dependent on yourself and self-study. I do think it is important that self-study suits you and that it is useful if you can put yourself to work. Furthermore, I had thought beforehand that the university would not very personal, but I find the lecturers much more accessible than I had thought in advance. With my Master's programme, many students call the teacher by their first name. The university also sounds very big, but I still find the atmosphere very pleasant. In my case, the atmosphere is quite comparable to HBO education. Furthermore, logically, at a university the emphasis is more on theory than practice. I am happy every time we can make a more practical example or report, because I think I can do this better with my HBO background. There is always theory involved in practice, for example, in order to be able to substantiate examples from practice with literature. In the beginning it takes some getting used to, but in the end you will also understand the practice better. To be honest, I didn't expect that there would also be many group projects at a university, but I certainly spend as much time on group projects during my education as I did at HBO education.

How do you experience the level of the pre-Master's?

I have to admit that I had to get used to the pre-Master's a bit in the beginning. I was already used to putting my study first, but now I had to put more time and energy into the study than at higher professional education. It took me longer to understand the principle of various theories. Once you understand the theory, I think the courses are easy to follow. I especially had to get used to the scientific articles. I didn't understand what everything meant at first because I didn't know some English terms. During the pre-Master's you get used to the articles and you understand much better what function the parts of an article have and what, for example, is and isn't important to read for an exam. During my studies, the group projects also cost a lot of time, so it was important to me to be flexible with appointments during the week. So I do spend a lot of time on my studies, but I can have a job of about 7 hours a week on the side. I also have enough time for sports and for my social life.

What appeals to you most about the university and why?

What I think is a really good addition is that I now look at the world and my environment from a much broader, social perspective. My HBO and university studies have the same direction, but my HBO study was much more commercial, while my university study also contains more of a socially and socially responsible aspect. Because I chose the Commercial Communication specialisation, I now look at various communication issues from a commercial, but also more socially responsible point of view.

Which Master's will you follow after the pre-Master's? And what do you want to do with that Master's degree?

I have completed the pre-Master's in Communication Science and have been following the Master's in Communication Science for six months. After this I do expect to go into the professional field, I would prefer to work in the marketing communication department of a sports organization. In addition to executive tasks, I would like to think along about how we can best carry out certain campaigns. In this way I can both use the new knowledge of WO to think in a more strategic area and use my HBO skills to be more creative.