Thifane Albuquerque Lopes


International Business and Management Studies

“In the Netherlands I became a water expert”

I came to the Netherlands to study International Business and Management Studies (IBMS). In the beginning my plan was to attend the first year, but after a year I liked the programme a lot and decided to stay and  continue with the Fast-Track programme. Now I’m in my last year already!

My favorite class was ‘emerging markets’. In this class we focused on creative business, being innovative, entrepreneurship and  business in challenging environments. I really liked this class because it was a new subject. In general  it is a new focus in the world, so there is not that much literature or models to learn, it’s all about discussing and creating models yourself.  What I like about the  study programme is that you gain a lot of practical experience. Within my programme  I took part in a lot of interesting projects. My favorite one was a global management project that took a full year. Me and a classmate worked together in a partnership between the Dutch companies Vitens (water company) and Evides (NGO) . Basically they are the water experts in the Netherlands that help other countries  abroad with consultancies. The challenge they were facing was that they couldn’t apply their knowledge and work models straight away from the Netherlands into different countries.  Our task was  to make a clear overview of everybody involved in water management in Ethiopia and design a plan and strategy on how Evides could approach this market most successful. We spoke to a lot of different people and all in all this was a very interesting project. At the end of three terms I felt that I was a water expert and I was proud on what we had achieved!

HU is located in Utrecht. I really like this city. Now I’m used to it but when I first came here it felt like a fairy tale. So beautiful. I also enjoyed the relax atmosphere and the cafés. You have a lot of young people around so there are a lot of activities and there is always something to do. Utrecht feels like a small city, but there are so many students, and you always  run into someone you know. So even though it’s a big city in a way, it feels like a small place. I mean in a good way, it feels cozy and you feel at home easily!