“This is my second master’s programme. After the bachelor European Law School, I completed the master’s in Globalisation and Law, specialisation Corporate and Commercial Law. A lot of my friends chose to do this second master and I think it will improve my chances on the job market. My first master was all about contracts and how companies are structured, how they function and interact with each other and with the outside world. Of course these companies also pay taxes, and that’s what I’m studying now, so in the end I hope to work at the legal department of a big company, as an expert on tax law and corporate law.
Tax law is much more challenging than the first master. It is more demanding, in a positive way. I think I put in twice as many hours, but when you pass an exam you are more fulfilled when you’ve worked hard. In Maastricht I learned to study better. In high school, the teachers gave us all the answers, but with Problem-Based Learning you have to prepare everything and ask questions. It helped me to become more independent in my work. I remember the first session, where everyone was talking and trying to impress the teacher, but then we learned it’s about the discussion, not about who speaks the loudest.
Together with two friends, I just prepared a course for the European Law School bachelor’s programme. The coordinator of the programme organised a contest for students to propose their own elective course. We thought of ‘Introduction to space law’. The students can now register for the course and I will give some of the lectures. Space law is so interesting and there’s no course at UM about it. I do it for fun, outside of my curriculum. It’s a new challenge and we get more of an insider look into the law faculty. Some of us want to do a PhD afterwards so it helps to see what it’s like to work at a university.
Last year the university provided free Dutch lessons for first-year students in bachelor’s and master’s programmes, so I learned a bit of Dutch. Now I can say things like: ‘I’m Atanas, I come from Bulgaria and I study law’ in Dutch.
I work for the UM promo team. When prospective students ask me why they should come to Maastricht, I say: ‘Because it’s the best!’ The polls amongst Dutch students ranked all of the Maastricht law bachelor’s programmes number one in the Netherlands, so I have the statistics on my side.”
Halfway through the programme, studying felt more like a hobby than an obligation