Classes have ended for our Master’s students in Public Policy and Human Development and the question of many lips during the closing ceremony of the MPP Class of 2014-2015 was: “Where did the time go?” Daphne Baardman, who served as President of the programme’s student association DEMOS, looked back on an intensive but rewarding study year in Maastricht.
I maybe should not say this because it is almost too obvious, but really… where did this year go? Not long ago I was standing in front of you as well, only knowing a handful of people. I had – like many – no idea what to expect, what I would be learning, what I would like and what I would dislike. The first six weeks of the first semester gave us the basic knowledge on policy making and statistics. Even though we had to read and prepare a decent amount of work for our PBL sessions, the work load was do-able and there actually some time left to spend on parties and travels.
But not for long, merely two weeks into the second part of the first semester, most of us were slightly sleep-deprived, calling the library our first rather than second home and were highly frustrated with econometric formulas and PPA do-files similar to an unsolvable rebus. Safe to say that we more than deserved the six weeks off during the Christmas holidays. We started our specialisation in February; for some of us that meant a little more relaxation, for some of us a little more frustration.
We have come to the end of the school year and all that is left is our master thesis. We have those students that will write theirs over summer and graduate in July or August (Jealous!) and we have those that will gain new experiences and travel to new places during their internships (Catchy!). For those that graduate in Summer some are applying for jobs (bit scary, frustrating but very satisfactory once accomplished) and we have those that have no idea (no worry you will sort it out at some point…hopefully). Whatever your plans may be, as our interests are fairly alike, I am pretty sure we will end up running into each other in the upcoming years.
This year would not have been the same without the help of the MGSoG team. In the name of the entire cohort I would like to thank each and everyone for their hard work, enthusiasm and maybe most of all, patience. A special thanks goes out to Lutz, Janneke, Sueli and Danny; Danny for all the pre-master communication, Janneke for processing all administrative data and answering the associated enormous amount of questions, Sueli for her commitment to the programme, but most of all for your enthusiasm and positive attitude and Lutz… yes, well.. one might rather ask for what not? You are a walking MPP encyclopedia, always welcome to answer our questions and assist where necessary.
Personally, I would like to thank the rest of the DEMOS team for their contribution during the year. We all knew upfront what an intense and busy school year this would be, but nevertheless you guys decided to invest part of your free time in the organization of events. Melissa, Eji, James, Timothy and Felipe, it was a great pleasure to work with you! Additionally I want to give my gratitude to every MPP student and staff member that offered a helping hand in the organisation of events as well as for providing constructive feedback.
In the name of DEMOS, I can say that it was not always easy to address all wishes and lessons have been learned for next year’s board, but we hope that you enjoyed the international dinners, the winter ball, the Brussels trip, the port and policies and tonight’s farewell drinks. DEMOS also would like to thank once more the MPP students who taught the extra econometrics lessons since they helped so many to pass their exam.
I am almost at the end of my talk and what is left to say is that I would like to tell you that the Year Book committee has been working really hard to capture our memories on paper. I am happy to inform you that everyone receives one copy of the 2014/2015 MPP cohort year book, so please do not forget to collect it before you leave. Lastly we hope to see you all at tonight’s farewell drinks in the StayOkay from 20.00 onwards. Please note that we combined this with a fundraising event for the Syrian refugees and we are hoping to collect some funds for this great organisation!