Emma Hamilton is the program coordinator of the International Bachelor in Communication and Media (IBCoM). The first group of IBCoM students graduated recently, and EM asked Hamilton a few questions to reflect on the first three years of IBCoM.

What would you say makes IBCoM a successful and unique program?

“It is a great achievement that we have been able to establish a program that is so international in nature. The number of students and faculty with an international background has increased gradually over the past three years. For example, around 50 percent of the current first year IBCoM students are internationals. So IBCoM really offers an international perspective and enables students and faculty to relate to people from diverse cultures.”

What needs to be improved regarding the program?

“We always want to improve. I think one of the most important aspects to work on is the way things are organized. Many staff members still treat IBCoM like in its initiation year. But the program has grown ever since. We are at full capacity now, so to speak. The structure of the program needs to be adjusted accordingly to ensure that everyone knows how things work and whom to turn to when questions or the need for information arise.”  

Have you made any adjustments to the program? If so, what kind?

“We have made some changes in the structure of IBCoM. For instance, I used to assign students to workgroups, but they now have to subscribe themselves. We have also made some adjustments to the curriculum. We put great emphasis on the course evaluations to find out how the program can be improved. For instance, the course ‘Media Processes and Influences’ has been reduced from ten to five credits and a new course ‘International and Global Communication’ has been added to the curriculum.”

What do you think is the most important thing that IBCoM graduates have learned over the past few years?

“Teamwork is really something IBCoM students learn during the three years of their study. Especially since groups are usually made up of students from different countries, IBCoM students learn how to deal and work well with people from different cultures and to respect others.”

What are the recent IBCoM graduates doing now? And where?

“Most IBCoM graduates are pursuing a Master’s degree either in the Netherlands or abroad, including for instance the UK, Germany, and Australia. Many have decided to continue studying at the Erasmus University and are enrolled in programs such as Marketing Management, Media and Business, and Media, Culture and Society. Some have also decided to take a gap year or to enter the job market.”

What parting words would you like to say to the IBCoM graduates?

“First of all, congratulations and well done! I hope that you are enjoying your Master’s degree or gap year and that you will have a successful career. And I also hope that this is not a definitive goodbye, but that we all stay connected over the years.” NL