She spent two years travelling the world as personal assistant (PA) to European Commissioner Neelie Kroes. Living out of a suitcase, working 60-hour weeks – but despite everything she still found time for love. “Right in the busiest time of my life, I met the man of my dreams”, says Kirsten Guyaux, back in Maastricht – the city where she studied International Economics at UM – on the eve of her wedding.

“You do the alumni”

In Alumni
Thursday, 05 January 2012 15:45

Maastricht University (UM) alumni can be found all over the world. They go places: from Amsterdam to Istanbul, from the United Arab Emirates to China. But this thriving alumni community only took shape 10 years ago, thanks to an off-hand remark by former Executive Board president Karl Dittrich. Read on for the key to a good alumni policy. And other things, like the question: when did Ine Kuppen start working for UM?

Living the dream in the Middle East

In Alumni
Saturday, 07 January 2012 10:56

What to do when you always want to be right? For alumnus Renze Visser (41), the answer to this question was an easy one. After graduating from high school, he took to Maastricht to start his studies at the Faculty of Law. Yet he did not become a lawyer, nor a judge. “During my internship at a law firm, I discovered that I am interested in people and their motives rather than legal issues alone”, he says. This interest has recently led him to Dubai, where he is responsible for the Human Resources setup of Shell’s new businesses in Iraq.

"A subject-specific tutor? Never seen one! A lecture? Never had one!" This characterises the first glorious years of medical student Resi Maassen—now 53–who studied at the place that has now become Maastricht University. Now, more than 35 years later, she looks back on that period together with her daughter Carla (24), who is a student at the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance and an alumn of University College Maastricht (UCM). Resi Buil-Maassen and Carla Buil. Two generations of students from the same university. The youngest is about to finish her second master’s while the other belonged to the second group of students in the mid-seventies.

Dewi van de Weerd studied Law and Arts & Culture at Maastricht University, and it was here that she laid the foundations for a blossoming career in diplomacy.

Since 2007, Van de Weerd has worked in Paris for the Dutch delegation at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OESO). “It’s a wonderful job in a spectacular city. We live at the Jardin du Luxembourg. I pass the river Seine and the Eiffel Tower on my way to work. I never get used to it. I actually think I appreciate it more and more every day.” Unfortunately, there is some ‘bad’ news for the UM alum, who graduated in 1996: In 2011, she will be sent to a different city for a new challenge. “That’s how it works in diplomacy: you get relocated every four years. I might be sent to the US, where Obama is in charge now – that would be interesting. Or perhaps to Asia. We already spent four years in China and have good memories of our time there."

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