Anne from the Netherlands
- Name: Anne Boijmans
- Age: 23
- Country of origin: the Netherlands
- Current residence: The Hague
- Likes to sing, play guitar and travel
I completed my bachelor’s degree at the faculty of Technology, Policy & Management (TPM) and enjoyed the student life in Delft for three years. Then I decided to take a gap year during which I travelled around the world. Before leaving I already thought about the master degree Engineering & Policy Analysis (EPA) as an option for the next year. I like that this degree focuses on broad international problems and takes, most of the time, a modelling approach to address these grand issues. The modelling courses during the bachelor appealed to me the most and since I wanted to work on problems on a worldwide level, this degree seemed to suit me. When I came back from my gap year my opinion about the choice for EPA did not change and I decided to apply. For the TPM bachelor students it was quite easy to start with the program, but the international students and non-TPM bachelors had a harder time to get used to the way TPM students reason. However, it is really interesting to have a varying group of students including international and non-TPM bachelor students doing EPA, since it creates a group with a lot of different backgrounds and perspectives. I really enjoy to discuss, talk and hangout (also besides studying) with the people from my year. Currently, most people of my year finished all the courses and are writing their thesis. The same counts for me, after a semester abroad in Seoul, South Korea, it is now time to put all the skills we learned into practice.
Going into the design of the degree, the first year is filled with mostly mandatory courses (and two electives for the TPM bachelor students). In general, I really liked the modelling courses of EPA, since I learned how to use different kind of models to come to policy advice and I also use this in my graduation project now. The soft skill courses of EPA were not my favourite, but made the program multidisciplinary. The second year starts with a ‘specialisation and electives’ semester where many students go on exchange (like me), which suits perfectly in this semester. It gives you the time to experience a different kind of culture and life style before the end phase of the master degree starts.
As far as I remember my thoughts before starting the master, EPA offered me what I expected since the topics we discuss in the master are often cross border problems and we learn how to use all kind of modelling techniques to handle these issues. The projects we did for the Model-Based Decision-Making course and the elective ‘Agent-Based Modelling’ gave me the feeling we worked on a level that could be used in reality. Now, during my graduation project, I am doing research for the government using the modelling techniques and ways of handling complex problems I learned during the courses of EPA. I feel pretty confident about being able to give relevant policy advice at the end of the research. After graduation I am interested in doing a traineeship at the government or maybe work for a research institute focussing on the energy transition (which is also related to my thesis project now). I think EPA is a master’s degree that pushes and challenges you to scope complex problems and deal with many uncertainties using a modelling approach, which makes you an interesting person for many companies that do not know the ways of thinking and reasoning we learn at the TPM faculty. Overall, taking into account every master degree has some aspects and courses you are not a big fan of, I am still happy with the choice for EPA and would make the same choice again.