UM Alumni Day: ‘insiders’ give us the scoop

Visit the UM Alumni Day on Saturday, 7 September 2019 for a day full of fun, lectures, stories, networks, former classmates, professors, music, snacks, drinks ... and more! The official invitation will follow at the beginning of July; alumni Sarah-Maria and Gijs give you a peak behind the scenes.

 Sarah-Maria Hartmann, visitor to the 2018 UM Alumni Day:


“I’m an alumna of the UM master’s programme in European Studies (specialisation in Political and Administrative Studies, class of 2014). That was the perfect programme to help me better understand how the European Union works and its internal structure, and to discuss the Union with students from all over the EU. Since September 2014, I’ve been working as an assistant to a female MEP, Birgit Sippel, who has been a member of the European Parliament since 2009. She is the spokesperson for her political group (socialists and democrats) in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. Together with two colleagues, we prepare her daily work, attend meetings, write briefings, prepare speeches, guide visitors, etc.”

“For me, the UM Alumni Day was a great opportunity to walk through all those university buildings and to reminisce. I also enjoyed the discussions with very different alumni from different years and different programmes. For example, I enjoyed my conversation with a fellow alumna who had studied in Maastricht 10 years earlier than I had. Although I visited the UM Alumni Day fairly spontaneously and because of a lack of time I only participated in a small part of the programme, I thought the day was definitely worth it. If people want to go to the beautiful city of Maastricht again and see where UM alumni are now, this day is the perfect opportunity! On a nice side note, I took my mother to the Alumni Day. She also had the opportunity to see the main building from the inside and she got a small impression of ​​where I studied.”

Sarah-Maria Hartmann (1989), comes from Germany and has been living in Brussels for almost five years.

Gijs Beenker, speaker for the 2019 UM Alumni Day:


“I graduated from Maastricht University in 2012 (bachelor’s programme in Health Sciences with a specialisation in Human Movement Sciences and master’s programme in Sports and Physical Activity Interventions). I still remember my time in Maastricht with pleasure. That is why I like to give something back to ‘my’ university. On 7 September 2019, I will give a lecture during the UM Alumni Day. The topic is innovation - and in particular within my job. I started studying in Maastricht, probably just like any other student, to find my dream job later. And I found it! Currently, I have been working for STATS for almost four years. Every year, STATS collects data from more than 135,000 sports competitions worldwide (mainly football, but also other sports). We use this data for countless purposes, but the most interesting - and what I’m actively working on - is the use of the data for team performance.”

“Using the collected data for team performance means that individual players and teams are made even better. Two high-profile clients that I help using this data are the Dutch and German national teams. One is on the rise (the Netherlands), the other has to work hard to get back to its former level (Germany). I started at STATS as a consultant, which means that I personally support teams in making decisions based on data and statistics. In the meantime, all of that has gone a step further and we use, for example, artificial intelligence to understand, train and improve team performance. Ajax Amsterdam and Bayern Munich are two interesting examples of teams at the club level that I work with. I’m happy to talk more about my career and innovations during the UM Alumni Day. This day is a great opportunity to get to know each other and fellow UM alumni!”

Gijs Beenker (1986), lives in the Netherlands.