An insight into the Master FREM-Thesis time!

"The year passes by super quickly, so it is important to set your mind to figuring out on time what topic you would like to dive into."

Hi! My name is Merel Nijsten and I am a student in the Master in Facility and Real Estate Management. I am 22 years old and I live in the Netherlands. Did you know that this master is very academic? Almost half of your credits go to Academic Skills and developing your thesis. I’d happily share my experiences with you. 

Merel Nijsten and her dog taking a selfie

Big things have small beginnings

Last Friday we had the last day of our Strategic Asset Management classes. This is good news, because I can now work on my thesis full-time. Quite early in the programme you are encouraged to think about possible topics for your thesis. Even though mine got approved early on in the programme, you could still change the subject. As a final assessment product of the course Academic Skills you need to submit your research proposal for your thesis. You’ll see that your topic becomes more concrete and thus final. The year passes by super quickly, so it's important to set your mind to figuring out on time what topic you would like to dive into.

Thesis group

Once you have an idea, you will then be clustered into groups of 4-5 students. This is done in October and on the basis of subject. For example, there is a group with the topic sustainability and a group with FREM as Value enabler. I am in the latter.  My thesis is about a FREM facilitator in integrated neighborhood reinforcement. During the year we had a number of meetings with the thesis group. There’s a really personal approach and it is helpful to spar and learn from each other along the way.  Meetings are about once every 1 or 2 months and it is important to come prepared. Every student needs to prepare a presentation and this allows for a good group discussion and feedback from both your fellow thesis group students and your supervisor. And if you need extra help, there’s always the study coach to help out as well.

A day without class

Of course, there are also a number of days in the week that you don’t have classes. It differs per student whether they have a part-time job on the side. It is quite easy to combine with the programme if you ask me. So, I work 1 day per week. Besides my part-time job and two days of classes, you do a lot of self-study as well, usually working on assignments or the preparation of the next class.  I have to hand in one or two assignments for each subject. One is more work than the other. Usually it’s also busier at the end of a course than at the beginning. As a result, the days are slightly longer. Therefore, it is important to take good breaks as well. I personally like to start on time around 8:30 a.m. Around 10 o'clock I take a nice coffee break to relax a little. And during my lunch break I like to go out and take my dog for a good walk. It also really helps to clear your head a bit. 

Merel Nijsten writing her to-do list sitting at her desk with a notebook and a pink marker

Last tip from me

I always like it when I can check things of my to-do-list. At the beginning of a day I make a little list of what I need to do. I find it very gratifying to finish it and cross it out on my to-do list. It is a great motivator to work them off one-by-one. Maybe it’s the same for you!

If you’re interested in learning more about our programme, feel free to check out our study page. And if you have any questions, you can always get in touch with the Master Office. All the best of luck with the orientation towards a master degree!  

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