Mandy Mulder, student Human Learning and Performance

During my sports career I got more and more interested in human behaviors, in team processes and in how people learn and perform.

Already 13 years ago I wanted to study at Erasmus University. At that time I was interested in the program Business Administration. However, a unique opportunity came by: I got selected for the Dutch National Sailing squat. This meant I got the chance to get the best training and focus fulltime on sailing. For me this was a dream come true and therefore I seized the opportunity with both hands. Together with eight other female sailors we trained three years for one goal: to win a medal at the Olympic Games (2008). The three best sailors were selected to represent The Netherlands at the Games and I was one of the lucky ones. We came home with a silver medal!

During these years I had no time for a fulltime study, but I did have time to study Psychology part-time. During my sports career I got more and more interested in human behaviors, in team processes and in how people learn and perform. I asked myself questions such as: why is one person able to excel at the right moment and the other person not? What does someone need to perform best and how does someone learn? For twelve years I have tried to find answers for these questions so I could improve myself and my team. After the Olympic Games of 2016, I was really eager to learn more about this topic.

The Master Human Learning and Performance at Erasmus University was the perfect program to find these answers. Especially since I did not want to focus on sports solely. The study is still very new and small.  Therefore, the Psychology students were combined with the Educational Sciences students. This created a nice mix of students with different knowledge and backgrounds. Many of the Educational Sciences Students had already worked or were still working as a teacher and therefore they could share many examples from practice. To make sure that everyone could apply the theory to contexts within their own interests, students could choose between different cases. The study consisted of a nice mix of theory and practical assignments so you were able to apply the new knowledge immediately. My favorite subject was assessment for learning. This subject was about testing. How can testing be used to personalize trainings, what are best ways to test, pitfalls when testing and test anxiety. I recommend anyone with an interest in learning and performance to choose this study.