“I always look on the bright side”

Monday, 03 January 2011 12:48

Farewell interview with Jo Ritzen

At some point he chose to study both physics and economics, because he wanted to be the CEO at Philips. “I’ve always thought that I’d have to be the boss somewhere. That’s a real character flaw, I think. But I never wanted to be the boss purely for its own sake; that’s never interested me. I wanted to really give shape to something, give it direction, take action. This drive is something that I’ll hold on to until my very last breath; it’s just who I am.” Ultimately he opted not for Philips, but for Maastricht University, because: “well, if you have the choice between a light bulb factory or an education factory …” Here, Jo Ritzen looks back on his eight-year term as president of the Executive Board.

For four years on average, they share an intense relationship: the professor as ‘master’ and the PhD candidate as student. How does a relationship like this develop? Does the student come to surpass the master? Does the relationship carry on after the defence? And does the master learn from the student too? A double portrait of the ‘master’, Professor Hans Philipsen, and his former PhD candidate, Hannerieke van der Boom.

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."

He is a sociologist and assistant professor at the Maastricht University School of Business and Economics (SBE). He teaches students how people can best work together in organisations. However, Ad van Iterson feels like a writer first of all. His chosen field and Maastricht origins are often sources of inspiration and the cradle for stories with an historical character - like those he brings to us in ‘Neem me mee’(Take Me Along)*, a novel about his youth.

Holding on to a dream

In Body
Friday, 01 January 2010 00:00

Liliane Mpabanzi always wanted to make a difference

As an African woman living in the Netherlands, I am thrilled to be asked to profile another African woman, Liliane Mpabanzi. This medical PhD-student turns out to be a courageous and self-assured young woman who defies easy labels. She has just won a prestigious research grant - the Mosaic scholarship awarded by the Dutch research council (NWO) to improve the representation of ethnic minorities in academic research. One of only 20 recipients country-wide, Liliane Mpabanzi embarked on a four-year PhD course at the Maastricht University medical school in October 2009.

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