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Humans of IBCoM: Ruaira Maitimu’s Journey as an IBCoM Student During a Pandemic

Humans of IBCoM: Ruaira Maitimu’s Journey as an IBCoM Student During a Pandemic

Although the new academic year has just begun, it has already brought a lot of changes for many different people. Starting off this year’s first HOI, Ruaira, a very talented and business savvy third-year IBCoM student, will tell you about her internship, exchange and future plans, which have all changed dramatically due to the current pandemic. 

Why did you choose to study IBCoM?

I never really knew what I wanted to do after high school, but I was interested in  communication sciences , so I went to the open day at Erasmus University Rotterdam to look into IBCoM. After the introduction lecture, I thought to myself: “this is it”. The content of various courses, the ambiance of the campus, the opportunity to go on exchange, and a very international classroom in an English-taught program were everything I wanted. 

Why did you choose your exchange destination, and how did you prepare your application?

I really wanted to go to the USA, as this has been a dream since I was 9 years old. Eventually, I ended up getting into George Mason University in Fairfax (Virginia) as the university has a good reputation and a broad array of performance arts classes. 

Preparing my application was quite a stressful process. IBCoM has very specific requirements for your exchange application and meeting all of those, not knowing if you did the right thing, was kind of stressful, especially the financial aspect of exchange. Exchange to the US comes with a price tag and you have to think out every single expense you will make while being there. I think this is one of the most important aspects of preparing your application, as many universities ask you to proof your financial capability on paper.  

Corona messed everything up – how did it affect your exchange?

The official cancelation of my exchange came very late, around June (two months before I was supposed to leave). Deadlines for a minor were already before that, so this was a very stressful and insecure time for me. I applied for a minor as a backup and when my exchange could not be postponed, as EUR was not able to guarantee me my original spot, I accepted my loss and focused on a minor instead.

However, a few weeks after, I received an email saying that EUR was actually able to guarantee my spot and they were asking if I was still interested in postponing my exchange. I was so surprised! Luckily, I will now go on exchange in Fall 2021. Hopefully the entire pandemic situation has gotten better by that time, but I do realize that there is a big chance that it will  get canceled again. Therefore, I am now doing extra courses to ensure that I could graduate at the end of this year, without a study delay.

How about your internship?

I did my internship with a clothing company named POM Amsterdam, and although fashion is something I never had a major interest in, the internship description matched me perfectly, as this was a marketing & PR-related internship. My internship was slightly delayed due to COVID-19, as the entire team was required to work from home. This was no problem for me, and I eventually stayed a month longer.

At the end of my internship the managing director had a job offer for me until the end of the year! I now still work for this company, besides my other job, and enjoy it very much. I am in charge of customer service, social media marketing and I offer a helping hand to other departments to guide the new interns where and when necessary. 

Do you have any plans after IBCoM? 

In case my exchange is canceled for a second time, I want to do a graphic design course in New York. However, if the entire situation surrounding COVID-19 is still an issue for traveling around that time, I will stay in the Netherlands and apply for a master program at EUR. Possibly related to marketing management or business. I guess I’ll just see..!


Author: Renée Mötter

Editor: Gwendolyne Cheung

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