Kim van der Heul

Our students are the core of the MaastrichtMBA programme. Students with a broad diversity on nationality, age and even professional background. The insights and thoughts of our MBA students describe the true experience of MaastrichtMBA. This time we talked with our Dutch student Kim van der Heul. She works as Senior Subsidy Advisor at TRIAS, a company working in the field of developing and implementing subsidised projects. Moreover, she is the owner of a company called Bright Horizon which has a focus on Innovation-, Project and Interim Management.

FAST FACTS

  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Start programme: January 2021
  • Entry age: 34 years
  • Track: Online MBA
  • Company: TRIAS / Bright Horizon
  • Job title: Senior Subsidy Manager / Owner

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE AN MBA?

Currently I work as a Senior Funding Consultant and very recently I have started part-time as a Freelance Innovation Manager and Management Consultant. For both positions I am in close contact with several start- and scale ups with international ambitions and disruptive ideas. Many of the entrepreneurs that founded these organisations come from either a scientific or corporate background. In their previous organisations they were supported by several departments, depending on the matter at hand. Now they find themselves in a situation where they have to make many strategic decisions themselves. I can relate to this position.

 

Before, I have been working as a member of a Management Team of a SME, and that meant making decisions on a daily basis and on all fronts: From HR, to marketing, to financial, to operational. While I truly enjoyed this versatility of tasks and responsibilities, I also felt that every answer and insight came with new questions. Questions, simply out of interest, but also questions related to a general feeling of wanting “to know more and do better!” Over the last few years, I felt this growing desire to further educate myself. I am convinced that this will benefit my personal development, my leadership ability and therefore, the impact I can have on organisations and society in general, for that matter.

WHICH SKILLS DO YOU WANT TO REFINE DURING THE ONLINE TRACK?

I want to gain a more strategic overview and theoretic framework of many interrelated business topics. This will help me to make more strategic choices and give me the tools to think in (more-than-one) solutions, not only focused on current opportunity but also considering the longer-term impact. Hopefully, this will not only benefit my own starting enterprise, but certainly also the clients I work with. Moreover, I want to deepen and challenge my (personal) leadership skills.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE FOR THE MAASTRICHTMBA PROGRAMME?

I have conducted quite an extensive comparative search before choosing this MBA. The blended educational format was one of the main reasons to choose for this programme, as it would allow me to combine this intensive study, with a demanding job and to balance it with having family time. Moreover, I really liked the content of the MBA, covering all major business themes as well as offering an intensive leadership trajectory. The international character of the MBA also enrichens the discussions. Add to this the triple accreditation, and I truly believe this Online MBA offered by Maastricht University is very good value for money.

HOW DO YOU THINK YOU WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS ONLINE EXECUTIVE MBA?

My goal is to challenge myself to be at my best, in a job where I can flourish personally and where my talents are beneficial to society. As I am a true believer of the claim that “Knowledge is Power”, I am quite confident that this programme can raise the bar for what it means for me to ‘be at my best’!

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST ENJOYABLE PART OF THE COURSE SO FAR?

I like the interaction with my fellow students when doing the group assignments together. In addition, the professors are very approachable, and it is really the combination of wealth of academic knowledge that the professors bring, together with the (all-together many years of) experience the fellow students bring that makes for interesting discussion. Moreover, the Leadership Development Trajectory has been very good for me, to challenge my own thoughts, believes and actions. The trajectory includes a buddy coach, peer group coaching as well as professional one-on-one coaching and all give new perspectives and allow for personal development.

 

So far, the most enjoyable part has been the Educational Week to Barcelona. A very immersive week on the fascinating topic of strategic leadership, combined with good company and Spanish weather, food and culture. What more can you wish for!

AND HOW DO YOU EXPERIENCE THE MAASTRICHTMBA PROGRAMME DURING THESE DIFFICULT TIMES CAUSED BY THE CURRENT CRISIS?

Due to the online character the programme has not been affected by the crisis. In fact, as I started during a lock-down the positive side of this was that it helped me to keep focus on the studies. In addition, I feel this crisis presents society not only with challenges, but also with new perspectives and with opportunities. Therefore, it might be just an excellent time to conduct an MBA as a tool to help seize these opportunities.

ANY TIPS FOR SOMEONE THINKING ABOUT APPLYING FOR MAASTRICHTMBA?

As stated above, no time like the present to ‘jump on this train’. Yes, it has quite an impact on your weekly schedule and so you must be fully committed; but if you enjoy to challenge and develop yourself, it will also be highly rewarding.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME KIM. WE WISH YOU ALL THE BEST WITH YOUR MBA LEARNING JOURNEY!

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