Experiences with Minors

Students speak about their minors

In the tabs you will find stories of students who did a minor at Tilburg University or at another university. These students speak about their experiences with different minors. Do you want to know more about what minors you can do in Tilburg or in another city? Go to our page: Other Minors/Masters.

Yvonne Withagen

Health Communication at the University of Groningen

What minor did you do? And where?
During my master, I followed a semester extra courses at the University of Groningen. When I started these courses, I already did all the courses for my master in Tilburg and I only had to start writing my thesis.

Why did you choose this?
I choose to follow courses in Groningen, because this university offers courses in CIS which Tilburg University doesn’t offer. I was looking for courses about the subject health communication and at Tilburg University only one subject is given about that, and in Groningen they have a whole specialization about it.

What courses did you do?
Persuasive Health Communication, Conversation Quality in Health Communication and Communication Advising. These courses were all 10 ects and lasted a full semester.

How did you like it?
The study and the city were very satisfying. I was lucky that in that semester there were very little registrations for the courses I wanted to do. Because of that, I was able to do all the courses I wanted to do and I wasn’t excluded for any course. For example, I did a subject had 50 registrations last year, but in my year only five students registered. I liked the small groups and because of that I got a lot of personal feedback from my teachers. The lectures were, because of that, very interactive. The courses turned out to be exactly what I expected and more. I learned a lot and I enjoyed it very much. There, I invested a lot more time in my study than I was used to, because I didn’t want to throw away half a year in Groningen, and besides that, I think the courses were very interesting. Partly due to this choice, in September, I was able to start my these in Tilburg about health communication, in which I specialized myself after this semester.

Did you live in a dorm?
Of course, I lived in a dorm to follow these courses. From door to door to my parents’ house it was 4.5 hours travelling.

Was it hard to switch?
For me it was hard to make the choice to go to Groningen, because it was so far away. I was scared that the study would disappoint me and that I would travel to Groningen for nothing. Luckily, the study advisor in Groningen was a very helpful woman, she helped me with all my doubts. Besides that, she helped me to find a similar study nearer to Tilburg, what was eventually easier for me. Only finding the way in the building was hard sometimes, but furthermore everything was nice.

Did you know someone else who did this minor? 
I knew absolutely nobody who did this minor. I only knew some people form the board of the study association, but they did completely other courses and I almost never saw them. It turned out that my new roommate had courses in the same building, so she could give directions. And furthermore, I came in contact fast with other students because the groups were so little. It turned out someone from Amsterdam was new too, who made the switch from the bachelor, so soon I was not alone anymore.

Fenne Schoot

Marketing Management at Tilburg University

What minor did you do? And where?
I did courses from Business Economics and some premaster courses, both from TiSEM.

Why did you choose this?
I did these courses because I wanted to do the master Marketing Management. This master is from TiSEM and doesn’t connect with CIS. Also, there is a standard list of courses that you have to do if you want to switch from CIS to Marketing Management.

What courses did you do?
The courses I did were Financial Accounting, Organization for Premaster, Services Marketing for Premasters, Marketing 1 and Marketing 2 (and some other courses, but I didn’t complete those).

How did you like it?
I liked these courses very much, but I wish I would have known better that some premaster courses are a lot more difficult than most of the CIS courses beforehand. For example, in order to switch to Marketing Management you have the choice to do the first semester of Finance for Premasters, or the second semester Finance 1. Finance 1 is a first year Business Economics course and it is a course which a lot of students fear for (like with Communication in Organizations). But Finance for Premasters is even more difficult, because this is Finance 1 and Finance 2 (the following up course) together in one course. This is for premasters who come from Higher Vocational Education and who have to do everything in one semester. If I knew this beforehand, I would have chosen Finance 1 instead of immediately trying to do twice as much work. I thought that I could do the six premaster courses in my minor (plus one extra course), but you have to take into account that some of these courses may cost more time than “normal” CIS courses (and you really have to plan the courses; if you can choose between a premaster course or a regular Business Economics course, the last option is probably easier). By the way, not all the courses are as difficult as Finance for Premasters. For example Financial Accounting (a first year Business Economics course), this course is mostly just practicing, and Organization for Premaster is a lot of learning, but not that difficult.

Was it hard to switch?
Switching wasn’t very hard, but I had to get used to it. Instead of just going to lectures and learning by heart, there were more calculating courses for which you had to practice every week.

Did you know someone else who did this minor?
I didn’t know anybody who did these courses too. So, in the lecture hall it was sometimes boring (but a lot easier to pay attention). For group assignments, there was no problem at all, because there were a lot more students who didn’t know other people, so we sent e-mails or posted messages on Blackboard to search for group members.

Patty Sondagh

Online Culture at Tilburg University

What minor did you do? And where?
I did a minor of Online Culture courses at Tilburg University.

Why did you choose this?
Because I liked the focus of our own study, communication, but I found out that I wanted to put this in a cultural context. Therefore, I looked for courses which I liked in the curriculum of Online Culture.

What courses did you do?
Digital Culture and Society
Language, Culture and Globalization
Media, Globalization and Popular Culture
Popular Culture and Celebrities
Philosophy of the Culture (but for my minor request I chose a first year course which was extra, because this course is only worth 5 ects)

How did you like it?
The courses were very interesting, also because we were free to write a paper about a self-chosen subject. Because of that, I could develop myself and specialize in communication in a cultural context (and also a little bit in the representation of women in media, in which I specialized during my master).

Was it hard to switch?
It sure was a total other way of following courses that I was used to; I was used to learn by heart for exams, but I liked this more, because we got so much freedom.

Did you know someone else who did this minor? 
I had three courses with people I knew, but in the other two I didn’t know anyone. It was nice to sit with people I already knew when we had to write a group essay. But on the other hand, I had to write a paper with a girl I didn’t knew and that went well too. For some courses I had to write papers on my own, so it was less important to know the other students. For the atmosphere in the lecture rooms, I noticed that it doesn’t matter if you know each other or not, we are all adults and you have to be able to work with everyone.

Sjors van der Heijden

Mathematics & Computer Science at the TU Eindhoven

What minor did you do? And where?
As a minor student, I followed some courses at the University of Technology in Eindhoven. Here, I did three courses at the “Department of Mathematics and Computer Science”.

Why did you choose this?
First, I chose Eindhoven because of the diverse courses in the track Computer Science. I wanted to do more courses in the field of HAIT, like we know it. I searched for universities that could offer this. By means of surfing at the websites of universities, I looked for courses that appealed to me. Eindhoven turned out to be a suitable choice, and besides that, it was easy to travel to.

What courses did you do?
I did the following courses:
* Business Modeling
* Design of Business Information Systems
* Introduction to Modeling

Here, I considered which courses were first year courses and which courses would be taught in other years. Because you have specific rules about the composition of your minor, it is clever to take this into account.

How did you like it?
Afterwards, I really liked it. The education at another university is really a totally different experience. The contact with the teachers is different in Eindhoven and all the courses were taught entirely in English. Of course, we have this at CIS too, but a big part is still in Dutch. Besides that, everything is being viewed from a technical perspective. This means a lot of mathematics too. You need to be good at that, but I could appreciate that perspective. This way, it was a nice complement and a different way of working in which you develop other qualities.

Did you live in a dorm?
I didn’t live in a dorm for these minor courses. Simply, because travelling to Eindhoven by train is very easy. Besides that, I also followed some courses in Tilburg. This way, it was easy to combine going to Eindhoven and Tilburg. It wasn’t necessary for me to live in Eindhoven. Besides that, it were just some extra courses that I wanted to do, outside our university.

Was it hard to switch?
It wasn’t really hard to switch. I have to admit that it is a different way of studying. There is a lot more group work. The study load of these group assignments is very high and it has often occurred that I was working whole days on assignments with my group. I had to get used to that, but in this way, you gain a lot of experience. This is a nice change and the practical approach in these courses was very informative too. Furthermore, the level isn’t per se very much higher or lower. If you put effort in it, it is doable to complete the courses. Of course, at the beginning you will have to get used to where you can find what information, and how everything works in Eindhoven. You have to find that out, but it won’t take long.

Did you know someone else who did this minor?
No, I didn’t know anybody else. I didn’t think that was difficult. You get to know a lot of other people. This happens with a lot of group assignments too, so that is certainly ideal. I met nice people there, who I still talk to very often.

Stephanie Kruythof

Management and Organizational Science at Utrecht University

What minor did you do? And where?
I did the minor Management and Organizational Science at Utrecht University. This minor is a premaster too, if you want to do the master.

Why did you choose this?
I chose this minor, because I liked the master Communication, Policy and Management, but after further research this turned out to be a master for which you needed to do a premaster. I could do this premaster as a minor. It was handy, because this program was exactly 30 ects.

What courses did you take?
– Introduction to Management and Organizational Science: an introductory course, about how The Netherlands is organized with management and what forms of government there are, but also about what types of organizations we distinguish.
– Management and Policy: a course about policy making and how organizations are managed, but for example about municipalities too.
– Management of Organizations: how are organizations managed? Leadership, self-governing organizations etc.
– Qualitative Research in Management and Organizational Science: here we had to do research about how policy works in practice. For example, we went to asylum seekers centers to interview employees about the integration policy.

How did you like it?
I liked this minor a lot. I think it was a big addition to do something else than CIS for half a year.

Did you live in a dorm?
I didn’t live in a dorm for this minor.

Was it hard to switch?
At the beginning, I had to get used to the way things were organized around there. The university in Utrecht works with four periods instead of semesters. That meant that I had multiple lectures of one course during a weak and less different courses in the same period. Furthermore, the courses were bigger and more intensive: 7.5 ects, which meant that one course costs more time in Utrecht than in Tilburg. But you get used to that. Besides that, all the lectures were mandatory (I think you could miss one or two) and a lot of lectures were given in smaller groups with a maximum of 25 people. That means that it was very intensive and interactive, but the level was doable. Some courses were from the first or second year of the bachelor, so the level wasn’t a big problem. I do have the feeling that I learned a lot. Utrecht, of course, is different than Tilburg, but I really enjoyed being there for half a year.

Did you know someone else who did this minor? 
I knew one other guy that was doing this minor too and later on we met another familiar person. Of course, that is nice in the beginning, but I got to know other people too. I saw that people from very different studies were doing this minor, so a lot of people were new and alone and when you are alone you make new contacts the fastest. On top of that, you do this for yourself and you should make something great of it! Don’t be scared to go to other people and look for new contacts, because everyone is in the same position.

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