Joris from the Netherlands
- Name: Joris Zwijnenburg
- Country of origin: the Netherlands
- Current residence: Delft
- Like to go snowboarding, sailing and playing boardgames
My name is Joris Zwijnenburg. Before I started CoSEM I did the TPM bachelor ('Technische Bestuurskunde'). I really enjoyed the ‘typical’ TPM courses, where we always dealt with cases with not one clear answer. In projects with multiple actors and disciplines, finding a solution requires a little bit of knowledge about everything and everyone involved, and the bachelor provided just that. The CoSEM courses follow up on that knowledge perfectly, by getting into the implementation and design phase. Where the bachelor was about acquiring knowledge, the master provides you with tools to design a solution with that knowledge. The focus is on improving your problem solving and analytical skills, which I think will be useful for whatever job I will get after this. The second important reason for me to start CoSEM was the energy track. I really enjoyed the Energy & Industry track specialisation in the bachelor, and became very interested in the energy sector. While you will definitely improve your technological knowledge, the focus in the energy track is also about implementation in the real world.
My experience with CoSEM is very positive. Compared to the bachelor, the level is a lot higher, and there is more interaction with teachers due to the smaller classes. In addition, the focus is more on applying your knowledge next to acquiring new information. The projects are based on real world problems, and sometimes the actual problem owner is involved. It is great that the programme allows specialisation in the field that you find most interesting. During my second year, I studied in the United States for one semester. If you plan on studying abroad, I advise you to not only look at the country you’re visiting, but also see if you like the university and the classes they give. While studying abroad will be interesting for the culture alone, the content of the courses will determine what you will learn. I followed classes at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on the subject of environmental science.
I postponed writing my thesis half a year, to get some working experience and make sure I could do my graduation project at a company. This allowed me to experience working at two different companies. Together with visiting career events and the Curius study tour, this gave me a lot of insight on what I wanted to do after graduating. As I am almost done, I am now looking to apply at companies in both the consultancy and the energy sector. My advice is to always keep your eyes open for interesting opportunities, both academically and professionally during your studies. Doing a committee, a board, or working in addition to your studies will help you determine where your interests lie, as well as expose your strengths and weaknesses.