Kelly de Ruiter

I would say that you should choose a master that ‘feels right’ and that interests you.
Persuasive Communication University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Class of 2009 (Graduated in 2012)

What was important in making up your mind?
For me, two things were important: the atmosphere at the university itself and whether I liked the two core courses of the track itself. The core courses are the backbone of a track and you will spend most time (and ECTS) on this in the program and almost certain for your thesis as well. For me, it was thus important to find core courses that I would enjoy taking and delve into for several months. After visiting the Masters’ day at the UvA, I knew that ‘Persuasive Communication’ would be perfect for me.

What made you decide to choose for this master?
Both during IBCoM and during my time on exchange in Australia, I enjoyed (and therefore typically also chose) most classes that had to do with media in some way – particularly television and film. That was one reason for me to look into a master that would (somewhat) focus on this. In addition, I am really interested in media psychology which is something I wanted to learn more about after IBCoM. I did not pay attention to the ‘status’ of the university or faculty but instead the master itself and the courses they offered was more important to me. So after visiting the UvA Masters’ day, I read a lot of information about the courses and electives that I would have to follow and this all made me decide to go for the Communication Science – Persuasive Communication master.

How would you describe the connection between IBCoM and your master?
As I decided to do my masters at the UvA and not at the EUR/ESHCC, I expected some issues at first. However, ever since my first class at UvA, I knew there would be no issues at all: the system of assignments, exams, and credit points works the same across the globe and this is also the case at the UvA – really only the procedure for course registration differs. More importantly, I did not once feel that I lacked any knowledge about a certain topic. In fact at times (particularly with more internationally oriented items like e.g. advertisements), I knew a lot more about certain issues/topics than my classmates!

How would you describe your master?
I would describe my master as hard work, fun and very interesting. While I cannot compare the workload to another master, it has been a lot of work with readings, assignments, and exams. While sometimes annoying, this also means that you learn a lot of things which I liked very much. Contentwise, you learn about various psychological aspects/theories and of course persuasive elements/theories in both various types of media and messages.

In hindsight, what would you have liked to have known before, what you know now?
There is really only one thing I would probably have liked to know beforehand which is that the UvA is more research-oriented than IBCoM. UvA ‘Communication Science’ bachelor students have a course for every possible research method. In addition to that, all my courses were research-oriented as well: literature was analyzed quite thoroughly on its used methods and analyses – much more than in IBCoM. It is a Master of Science after all so more research can be expected as well. There are no other things I would have wanted to know before as I read up on a lot of information and so I had a pretty good idea what to expect before any of my classes started.

What kind of job would you be interested in after this master?
Given the international/English nature of my secondary education, bachelor and master programs – I would be very interested in a job that is internationally oriented. More related to the topic I am studying, anything media related (particularly television and film) has always appealed to me and so I am currently looking into opportunities for these branches as well. Moreover, both during my bachelor and master I have noticed that I enjoy finding out about new theories and research results and so a job that is somewhat research related would interest me very much as well. There are however so many kinds of jobs I could pursue with the combination of IBCoM and Persuasive Communication – I will see what the (very near) future will bring me.

Any other points you would like to add?
I would say that you should choose a master that ‘feels right’ and that interests you. Six months into my master, I have not once felt as if I made the wrong choice. While it might seem daunting at first as you can choose from so many interesting master programs (both within the Netherlands and abroad) I would say go over all IBCoM classes you have taken so far and decide what elements you do and do not like at all. That way you might be able to figure out what interest you most, and this has helped me to find this master.