By Linda Reijnders
ORANJESTAD – The date of 24th of March is a special one for the University of Aruba. Not only is it their Open House Day, but last year on this exact day the NVAO (Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organization) gave their positive advice on the quality of the WO-bachelor program Organization, Governance and Management (OGM) at the Faculty of Arts & Sciences. 4th year student Thais Franken is a remarkable young lady with a dream: “I would love to work for the United Nations in the future. I am 22 years old and I am very much connected to human rights and passionate about relationships between people.”
Thais loves to talk and speaks passionately. “It was not always like this as I was born without the ability to speak. That is the reason I stutter and that kept me timid for a long time. Until I decided that I just love talking about my passion and my stuttering makes me stand out” She makes a determined impression, her motivation is easy to catch up and she is speaking.
Cultural and Creative Industries
Thais is in her last year, so almost graduating, and that is pretty stressful. “You have your theses to
prepare. The actual process to do the research takes longer than you have in your head and this is the
year that you are doing everything alone, it is up to you.” Her theses is about CCI’s, meaning Cultural and Creative Industries. Anything that has to do with arts, software, writing, museums, dance…it is not really encouraged on the island.
Thais is doing research how the government can implement this industry as an economic source in order not to depend only on tourism which counts for 80 % of the economy income now. “It’s very alarming as it gives us a vulnerable position. Smaller economies to develop can stabilize this. I have created a structure based on the United Nations model and within each hub I find a representative. Besides that I approach the government itself. The idea is that they need to invest in order for stake holders to be able to live on a business, often too many rules and obstacles avoid this.”
Create your Own Journey
OGM is a scientific studies within a four year program. Thais: “The first two years are more general: you focus on teamwork, a very broad spectrum is offered to learn on organizations like sociology, philosophy, science, law, finance and more. The third year you may go abroad, and I went to Gent, to the International Business School. It is very good to have this experience and UA also offers the possibility to do summer school which I did in Den Hague in The Netherlands.
It was an awesome experience!” When she graduated on high school she was only 16 years old, so her mom did not see her going abroad. “This is a very good university and with this study you can go many ways. You can be a manager, researcher, adviser, and consultant, there are a lot of options. The results with the students that graduated and are already working are great, most work in the private sector. This study is not focusing merely on government, that is a misunderstanding. You can work in any field. After the four years you know how to analyze and solve a problem. We also learn a lot of social skills and how to approach people which is essential within management functions. If you cannot reach people, nothing will change. You can create your own journey!”
Thais her journey will take her to Maastricht in the south of the Netherlands. She applied for her masters at the University of Maastricht, Public Policy & Human Development. It is a double degree masters of 1 year, a collaboration between University of Aruba and University of Maastricht. “I am so excited and look forward to my future. If you would like to know more about the OGM study, step by March 24 and I am here to answer your questions.”
For more information please check the website http://www.ua.aw/ or Facebook University of Aruba.