The last two years of high school I already knew that I wanted to pursue a degree in the area of the social sciences. My interests were mainly focused on political science, particularly in a more international context. However, I also knew that I wanted to pursue a career with a more practical, societal focus and not so much based on academic research, which most political science degrees lead to.
What initially really appealed to me about IBP was namely its real-world application. Although the interdisciplinary focus attracted me, I was still uncertain at first to what extent I wanted to specialize in an economic field. After some months of research and consideration I came to the conclusion that a deep understanding of business and economics is crucial for understanding politics and being able to pursue a broader range of careers in the future. I expected not to be too interested in these subjects and to find them quite challenging since I did not have any economics subjects in high school and not much math either.
However, I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting I found these subjects and how relatively intuitive and easy to assimilate they were after some work and dedication. All in all, I am very happy with my choice of study.
Something I love about IBP is that you will meet people with a huge variety of interests. Some people are members of youth parties and want to enter the political world, others to form their own companies or work for consultancies, and then there are some who do not know what they want but still enjoy the subjects and theories we are being acquainted with. So at social gatherings you can always have a stimulating conversation with an IBPer.
A huge part of learning at IBP is by engaging with your peers and having discussions on the material. This is something I have thoroughly enjoyed and that has benefitted my academic performance as well, particularly because back in high school I did not know anyone with similar interests as me. This is why IBP focuses on group work – learning with others is something you cannot go without, particularly in the very beginning when you are learning to write academic papers and no one has any clue of what they are doing.
Focus on the topics that interest you. Because IBP is so interdisciplinary there is not much time to focus on specific topics. The professor will give you a basic understanding of topics such as crises, NGOs or price discrimination, but you won’t become an expert in them after 1-2 lectures. So, if something piques your interest- dig deeper! Who knows where it will lead you.
Become part of CBS community. Although the IBP social life is amazing, there is more to CBS than IBP! Joining a student society can help you meet interesting people from other programmes and develop your interests, whether they be connected to your study or not. I personally joined the debating society and met some of my best friends there while also learning an extremely useful and fun skill.