"Wittenborg Taught me What True Cultural Diversity Means" - MSc Graduate
There was a touching moment at this year’s Winter Graduation Ceremony when MSc graduate, Renan Roma, described how studying at Wittenborg gave him a new appreciation for what cultural diversity really means.
Exactly a month before graduating with a Master of Science degree in International Event Management Renan, who is from Brazil, found a job with one of the world’s leading crop protection companies, ADAMA Nederland, as a digital marketing assistant. Before that, he worked for about 7 months as a trainee at the company.
“For me, the Netherlands is a country which is very open to international people. The proof is in the number of English-taught programmes available here for both bachelor's and master's degree students. During my studies I learned to listen to various perspectives and that is a skill you can learn very easily if you are in touch with people from different cultures. I believe that is important. We all want to learn and improve ourselves and listening is a big part of that process. I knew that living in Europe would be quite different from Brazil. I believe it gave me the opportunity to learn about different perspectives.”
However, being an international student does not come without challenges. “The first one for me was the language barrier. My mother tongue is Portuguese and I have been studying English for a very long time. However, it is not always easy to express yourself in another language. So I had to learn and overcome this barrier. The second challenge was cultural. Dutch people and culture are very different from Brazil in terms of their profile, expressions and height, to name a few.”
He nonetheless recommends the Netherlands as a study destination and says prospective students “will not regret it”. “Research as much as you can about the country and the opportunities it offers. Make a full plan and come to the Netherlands because you will not regret it.”
Before coming here he did a Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Engineering at Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture.
According to Renan his current job requires a really good understanding of the company’s customers in the agricultural sector and translating what their needs mean in terms of the digital environment. “My bachelor's degree provided enough background in terms of the agricultural sector, while my master's degree supports me on the business side.”
What does he miss about Brazil? “My family and friends, for sure! Also the food.”
For now he would like to stay in the Netherlands in the coming years. “I believe it is a great place to start your career and I still have a lot to learn in my field. After that, who knows? Perhaps I will become a Dutch-Brazilian.”
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press