Jacko van Dijke

Just make the most of it, try to never be bored, and even though an MA seems super official, life changing, and oftentimes scary, it's still play time!
Master Advertising and Design at Leeds University, United Kingdom
Class of 2012 (Graduated in 2015)

What was important in making up your mind?
For me it was important that I was 100% sure that I would enjoy my MA. I did not want to end up doing a Master degree just for the sake of doing one. Even though there were a bunch of MA's that were appealing to me in the Netherlands, I felt that the focus on research and academia is a bit too tough here. I basically wanted to do something with design (make stuff) yet still relevant to career opportunities within the field of communications and media. This is not really possible at Dutch Universities, since applied sciences are categorized as HBO subjects in the Netherlands. 

What made you decide to choose for this master?
The main reason for me was the interaction between the two schools during my master. The Advertising & Design MA at Leeds is structured around the University's School of Business and School of Design. For me, this was the best of both worlds. But I also think that it provides for a wider range of possibilities and career opportunities. Rather than going 'full creative' or 'full business' this programme teaches its students to position themselves at the interaction between these two worlds. I think it's a fairly unique position to have and it suits very much with my aspirations to be an art or creative director. 

How would you describe the connection between IBCoM and your master?
My MA was much more creative and applied in nature than the IBCoM programme. Because of this, the connection was not always apparent. However, I feel that IBCoM gave me a great base of knowledge that was often useful during my MA in Leeds. Even though I didn't feel I was building upon my academic knowledge of IBCoM, being comfortable in the realm of media systems, media landscapes and planning often proved helpful. 

How would you describe your master?
The dual nature of this specific MA made it quite challenging. Whereas the School of Design focused largely on stimulating creative processes and alternate ways of thinking, the School of Business was quite comparable to the Erasmus School of Management. Balancing these two was often difficult but they proved to reinforce each other simultaneously. Aside from that, I feel that unlike much other MA's, I was actually trained to start working. Nearly all of my work at the School of Design were live briefs or competition briefs, for which the final deliverables were portfolios. Hence, very similar to working styles in the creative industry. The master was thus very applicable in nature and often focused on future career aspirations and prepared me for working in the creative industry. 

In hindsight, what would you have liked to have known before, what you know now?
I would have liked to explore the possibilities of doing a double bachelor during IBCoM. Once you've completed a BA the price of doing another one increases insanely. With respect to my MA, there were mostly just admin things that took up some time. Moving country and what not. But on the whole, it's all just a great adventure and my advice is just to do it. There's nothing I regret from my choice to do this specific programme and to do it in Leeds. Just make the most of it, try to never be bored, and even though an MA seems super official, life changing, and oftentimes scary, it's still play time!

Any other points you would like to add?
Keep busy during your BA. Not merely by attending a 'jaarclub' or being chair of your sorrority, but try to develop yourself in other aspects that may not be taught academically in IBCoM. I've tried to do so in jobs I've had during my BA and self initiated projects. My portfolio that originated from that was maybe worth as much as my BA in getting into my MA. 

More information about the Master can be found here.