Personal Experience - Tabitha van Krimpen
Tabitha van Krimpen, an undergraduate student in Business Administration, thoroughly enjoyed last year's Honours Programme II in Management Science. A lecturer in her regular programme suggested that the Honours programme might be something for her, after which she looked into it and applied. The Honours programme really appealed to Tabitha, because she was given the space to delve into a subject she found interesting, and the final product is something that suits her perfectly. Tabitha saw that many of her fellow students regularly suffer from stress symptoms and burnout and she wanted to understand this phenomenon better. Is this caused by a demanding study programme? Or do expectations of oneself and those of others also play a role? She applied her knowledge of both business administration and theology and came to the conclusion that we live in a ‘performance society’ in which many people allow their identity to be dictated by their performance. She enjoyed exploring the literature on this theme and the lecturer who supervised her always came up with interesting suggestions that inspired new ideas.
A subject like stress and burnout is a contemporary concern and the Honours Programme is well suited to link one’s scientific knowledge with current issues. Skill modules were also offered, and she followed the courses 'Presenting and Storytelling' and 'Science Journalism'. These courses are offered to all students in the Honours Programme and therefore Tabitha has also made several contacts with people from other faculties she is unlikely to have met under different circumstances. “We presented in pairs and the nice thing was that I had to let go of my previous ideas about presenting; a dry story with a PowerPoint, and learned to think outside the box. There are a lot of creative ways to grab your audience’s attention and keep a story engaging.” In science journalism, Tabitha learned that a good story doesn't necessarily have to be complicated and difficult to read. This also helped for her own Honours project and she was thus able to share her findings with others. For example, Tabitha wrote an opinion article in a newspaper, was allowed to give a lecture in the Nijmegen city library and later featured in the Into the Future festival, she contributed to Radboud Reflects, organised a meeting for students to address stress and was interviewed by the local newspaper. These are all excellent ways to apply the knowledge you gain during the Honours programme in order to contribute to the social debate and share your expertise with a wider audience. Not only do you gain skills in presenting and writing, and become a more discerning critic of your own work, but the multi-disciplinary input you receive from others is truly invaluable.
Tabitha views the freedom the Honours programme offers as tremendously beneficial. The lecturers involved really think with you and look at which supervisor best suits the ideas you wish to develop. You also have the option of gaining experience abroad and Tabitha was able to visit a scientific congress in Belgium. “Yes, the Honours programme takes time and energy, but I believe that if you are curious and actively pursue your interests, it generates at least as much energy. If you really go for it, you can create exciting opportunities for yourself and gain new skills that I think you will benefit from for the rest of your life!"