About the Master Facility & Real Estate Management - from an insider -

“The FREM master might seem to require a specialised background in facility and/or real estate management, but that is definitely not the case – I can tell you that much."

My name is Ruben Smeets and I am a student of the Facility and Real Estate Master’s Programme. I’d like to share some inside information with you on what to expect from this programme. Perhaps you think that the FREM master requires a specialised background in facility and/or real estate management, but that is definitely not the case – I can tell you that much. 

Ruben Smeets FREM
Ruben Smeets

International at heart

Hotel Management School Maastricht tries to make their education as internationally diverse as possible. Both through its international classrooms as well as its curriculum and projects. This is done to add a layer of creativity concerning group projects, but also to develop students’ abilities to socialize and get familiar with different cultures. This is similarly the case at the FREM master’s programme. In my year, 32% of the students is not Dutch. This is very beneficial during discussions in which you’ll hear varied arguments, influenced by the different cultural and academic backgrounds. Additionally, because the group of students is relatively small, close social connections are made quite easily. This can form the base of an international network, helping you in your future career opportunities. 

A dynamic group

The large variety of backgrounds, both culturally and educationally, shows that having a facility and real estate management background is not a strict requirement.  The degree starts off teaching you a basic understanding of facility management and goes more and more in-depth throughout the different topics. So in case you did something completely different either career wise or educationally, don’t worry – this master’s degree can still be the best choice for you! Your input will be valuable for your fellow peers as it can help them to learn approaching topics from different angles. 

Differences with a bachelor's degree

I decided to start the master’s degree right after finishing my bachelor’s, so I really experienced the contrast between the two. The master is quite different compared to the straightforward bachelor’s-type education. 
During a bachelor’s degree, you are generally very guided concerning deadlines, lectures and assignments. However, this is not really the case in the master’s programme. Of course lecturers assist you when you have questions and they are more than willing to help you out in any way possible, but it is your own responsibility to come to class, pay attention and hand in assignments before the deadline. 

Focus on the why

A big difference I experienced was during an oral exam I had: the lecturer started the exam off by saying to me that he expected it to be an adult discussion, whereas a lecturer at a bachelor’s programme would have treated it much more like a question-and-answer exam. In short, the primary difference is that on a bachelor’s level it revolves around the what, whereas on a master’s level it revolves around the why.  

Three tips to ace this master

As mentioned before,  your educational or professional background does not have to be in real estate or facility management, but here are some things that can help you to ace this master’s programme. 

•    A proactive and curious mind set (to learn even more about the topics)
•    Time management (to succeed in juggling the simultaneous deadlines)
•    Be social towards the other students (this often helps in preparation of assignments)

To conclude, whether you have a different background either educationally or professionally – don’t be afraid, this master’s degree may still be a good fit for your future ambitions. 
If you have any more questions or would like some more detailed information about the master’s programme, don’t hesitate to join one of our useful info sessions

All the best with your application!

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