There is a time for constance and time for change. I have found myself in a place where I needed change. The past few years I’ve been working on and off and finished my bachelor (after some extra time spent doing other things then school). After my bachelor I carried on into a master that I was convinced suited me perfectly. I was right… a little too right!
After 8 years in the Dutch higher educational system I’ve had enough! I needed a change from being caught in between study and work.
Although my effort to get a masters degree did not end very well… I would still like to put a positive recommendation for that specific master program. I followed the Media Technology program at the Leiden University The program states: “The Media Technology MSc programme is a place where students are encouraged to formulate their own scientific questions, and to translate personal inspirations and curiosities into their own research projects. To answer these questions, students create actual products, because we are convinced that by doing and creating, new scientific insights into the underlying question are encountered.” The program is filled with students of different nationalities and backgrounds (art, science and technology).
The general philosophy of the program is very interesting and actually was THE big point that was drawing me to that program. The program tries to give the students as much space as possible to fill in with their own projects and ideas. The diversity of the project is its strength, bringing different backgrounds and ideas together in an academic environment is unique! The courses in the program are just as diverse. They try to give the students a broad base to work from.
So, why didn’t it work for me?
Very simple actually… I’m far enough ahead with my knowledge to do the program without the courses. Almost all of the courses were fitting my personal knowledge profile. Due to my technical background the technical courses were not challenging enough. Technical projects were like chore to me as I’ve done stuff like it before and I was not really learning anything from it. The scientific courses were decent but shallow enough for me to have that picked up before I came to the program. I expected more artistic courses but the ones that were in the program were shallow enough that my high school education covered almost everything already. Simply said… The program’s courses did not challenge me enough to keep me interested.
This was actually a pity as the combination of students had a really interesting chemistry. My decision to leave the program was based on the course content and my personal knowledge. But at that point I understood why this program was interesting for all students… It gives them a venue to work on their ideas and possibly teaches them the way to make their ideas come to life. For me this was not the goal of my participation. My goal was to expand my knowledge to use that knowledge after my studies. The time to do the work in the program was not what I needed. I’ve always done experimental stuff next to school or work (also during work I got time to experiment). Is it a bad program for this? NO, it is actually a really good program… the students, program board and general experience made it worth while even with me quitting half way.
So, Why did I quit?
Simple, for me the program could not fill my needs. I grew tired of doing a lot for the program and achieving almost nothing for myself. I felt like doing something else… I was running away from school work and doing other stuff so I just would not need to do it…
So, What’s next? I took some time to find a job and I found one that suits my interest.
OGD in Delft is working on a new product and they would like to use my skills in front-end development. I will work on the front-end of the application but not exclusively. My work also extends to conceptual development, organizing the project, some back-end work and transferring my knowledge to others in the organization. This comes down to coding, designing, talking and teaching.
Next to this work I will keep looking for smaller projects that I can do on a freelance basis.