“I was inspired to see the possibilities within myself”

If there is anyone who almost immediately applied what he learned from our programme, it’s Daan Kroonen (35) from Bocholtz in the Netherlands. He started at the MaastrichtMBA in February 2015 and has changed jobs two times since, until he felt he was the most comfortable with the skill set he’d acquired and was made aware of. We sat down with him right before his graduation ceremony and looked back on an exhilarating period of his life, and career so far.

For Daan, the time to study belonged in the past, or so he thought. He’d already finished two HBO bachelor programmes and was focused on his job. If he was ever going to make time for studying again, it had to be an education he could infuse in his work as a project manager, while at work. “My father has an MBA degree and it challenged me to consider my own options of combining work and study. So I went looking and found the MaastrichtMBA programme which appealed to me at once. Its modular structure and diversity in topics, the leadership trajectory, it all felt good.”

All-round perspective for business acumen

He particularly liked the wide range of perspectives offered that would help professionals, as students, to develop their sense for understanding business in its every aspect and procedural setting.”Like how do the departments of sales, production and marketing relate and communicate with one another, within a company,” Daan explains, “and not consider the perspective of just your own tasks, but from a broader angle. Another huge benefit of the MaastrichtMBA programme is the ability to study with other professionals and to exchange our experience and knowledge, and for me to learn from the others.”

Most inspiring and challenging moments

Most inspiring moment for Daan in the programme was the Leadership trajectory at the Orshof location. “I often think about it, in my current work position, because a main thread during that week was to reach a certain flow with an entire team. I always work with other people, and hardly alone, so I can apply what I experienced and learned every day now.” A challenge was to find the time and focus to work on his thesis. “It’s an entirely different level of writing a thesis as a Bachelor student, so it took some effort to find the right angle and see it through, but I eventually succeeded.”

Inspiration to make change

Since he started the programme, Daan changed jobs twice. Being in the programme made him aware of his own options and capability, both as a professional and a human being. It gave him inspiration to go out there and find a job position more suitable for his own sense of emerging entrepreneurship and flow of ideas and initiative. You could say he grew out of his old job, and into new challenges and possibilities. “So much happens as soon as you start the MaastrichtMBA programme,” Daan reminisces, “it was very inspiring and made me contemplate everything in a positive way.”

Impact on personal life

Studying next to a full-time job and a personal life can be quite the challenge as well. For Daan and his partner Gitta (30), the past years were tough sometimes, especially in the beginning. “We were still dating then and not living together, so very often I wasn’t available in the weekends, because I had to study or work on my thesis. We didn’t get to spend a lot of time together, but we knew it was necessary for me to complete my MBA. We now live together, so it all worked out.”

Recommendation

“I can recommend anyone wanting to grow in their professional life to consider following the MaastrichtMBA programme. It has enriched me as a human being and as a professional, for example, I now know how to direct my energy better and to make it beneficial to the team spirit at work. My employer was very pleased with me when I implemented what I learned at work immediately after the module, so the enthusiasm for being in the programme is transferred to the workplace as well!”