Coming to the Netherlands: challenges, opportunities and making friends
Gaining experience through a variety of assignments, that is what Margareta Citra Kusumadewi from Indonesia did after completing her Master’s degree in Communication Studies at the University of Twente. Margareta came to the Netherlands to start a programme at a university of applied sciences, then she worked for a while and after three years she decided to opt for the Master Communication Studies in Enschede. Coming to the Netherlands was an adventure. She made friends for life.
The decision to come to the Netherlands
Margareta grew up in Indonesia and when it was time to take the next step in life, she was contacted by Nuffic at a fair in Indonesia. They granted her with a scholarship to study in the Netherlands. After some research, she decided to study International Communication Management in Diemen at InHolland. After finalizing her bachelor’s, she found a job at an agency with General Motors as main client, in the email marketing department. “I found out that big companies/multinationals prefer employees with a master’s degree, so I decided to go for it and broaden my skills. When you have a diploma of a university of Applied Sciences, you need to complete a pre-master programme before you can enter the master’s programme. Because the University of Twente offers English taught pre-masters, I decided to opt for the UT. I already had some experience in the field of marketing, so I decided to expand my knowledge in communication. I was especially interested in the new media topics the pre-master Communication Studies contained. It was a good preparation year,” Margareta summarized.
Making new friends
Margareta: “My friends stayed in the western part of the Netherlands and studied more business-oriented programmes, while I headed East. For me it was hard work. Since I had worked full-time for three years, I kind of lost my rhythm in studying. But, fortunately, I regained it and with hard work, with under while having lots of fun and making new friends, I finished my MSc Communication Studies in 2013. During my study time I got involved in the Indonesian Student Society at the University of Twente – PPI Enschede. It was nice to meet other Indonesians, as well as other international and Dutch students, and party with them at Indonesian student evenings, sharing food, dance and cultural differences. Nowadays, I am still friends with some of them. Some of my ex-classmates are living in Germany. Mariana is from Bolivia and is working as a Research Assistant at the American University in Washington D.C and I also talk to Daian now and again. She is from Mexico but also stayed in the Netherlands. “It is really nice to stay connected with your study friends from all over the world,” Margareta mentioned.
Why did you opt for the Communication Studies programme?
Margareta: “I really like human observations and researching the social impact of technology, e.g. new media. How do people react to new media such as e-commerce? It is so relevant today with the new manner of buying products as in the future we will only shop online. As a marketeer, it is important to know what customers do, think and how they act when they visit your website. I also learned how to increase the user trust in a company, which I think is an important factor to make the consumers purchase or use your company service and return to the site .”
What impressed you most at the University of Twente?
“Wow, there is not just one single thing that I can mention. I can easily think of three! First of all, I was really impressed with the campus. Everything you want or need is close by, at walking distance. Of course, my programme was really impressing, especially the new media topics. Besides branding and marketing, I also really enjoyed topics on technology and learned about all matters related to information and communication technology. And third, but certainly not least, the teachers of my programme. They are really true researchers and that fascinated me. I learned how I can prove in a scientific way if a hypothesis is correct or wrong and in my current job I try to implement what I have learned at University of Twente”, Margareta smiles.
Margareta and Nike
Margareta worked at different departments at Nike. She started working at Nike e-commerce site (Nike.com) and mainly focused on creating campaigns for Nike.com, and promoting it at digital channels with focuses on Western Europe and Central Eastern Europe . “It was interesting to see the cultural difference between Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe markets and to understand ways to promote Nike through digital channels in the two GEOs.” according to Margareta. Within Nike, she got various opportunities to experience new assignments and that makes her an all-rounder. Today, she works in the brand categories: Basketball, Jordan and Young Athletes, promoting these categories within account partners, Zalando and KICKZ, digital channels. “I work cross-functionally to curate the best story for EMEA markets and to make it come to life. It is really exciting to work at Nike with diversity in culture and background, being able to play sports and inspire others with sport” Margareta concludes.