These are three random mechanical engineering students: Noëlle Choong, Sjoerd Anema and Robbert van der Boor. Their goals and experiences vary, but all three prefer to study and work at the same time. Why did they start the dual degree programme in Mechanical Engineering? Sjoerd has now graduated, Noëlle and Robbert are still in the middle of their programme.

Work experience and income

Noëlle is a technical draughts-person and junior specialist in mechanical installations and sustainability. She became interested in the dual Mechanical Engineering degree programme when she realised that she had outgrown student jobs like stocking shelves. Noëlle: "I wanted to work in my field while earning my degree." So it's not just about earning money, but also about gaining work experience that will help her grow within the profession.  

Logical continuation of senior secondary vocational education and training in mechanical engineering

Sjoerd first studied mechanical engineering at an MBO. He discovered installation technology during the dual degree programme in Mechanical Engineering and has remained loyal to the field ever since. Sjoerd: "At first I didn't know what direction to choose, but during energy studies and an elective (minor) I realised that this area suited me. During the degree programme, I learned work methods and communication techniques. As a result, I have grown in my profession and am now able to work independently as a mechanical engineering project leader." 

"I prefer to figure things out on my own - Robbert van der Boor

Robbert likes to give the best of himself and wants to leave the world a better place than he found it. Spending a lot of time in class is not really his thing. Robbert: "I prefer to figure things out on my own and think it's just as important to gain work experience." He works as a junior stress engineer and calculates constructions, equipment and piping before project proposals are sent to the customer. "We want to be sure that our ideas are safe and meet the legal requirements."  

Practice is especially important in class

The three students agree: the theory taught in classes really comes to life through practical examples provided by lecturers and fellow students. After all, everyone in the class is a working professional. So the connection between theory and practice is perfect. Also, because the practical part of the degree programme is conducted in a professional work environment, you want to deliver quality work. Noëlle: "It's not a lecturer reviewing the work, but a customer receiving a report or quote." 

Creating innovative ideas together

Robbert explains how he is constantly challenged in the degree programme to think creatively and achieve the best result with the least resources. "The classes force me to think and act like an engineer. Sjoerd adds: “That’s true. During this dual programme, you work closely with your classmates, who all have different jobs. That is very nice. You go through the same tough process, and come up with innovative ideas together during class and in challenging projects."

"I get paid while earning my degree and gain a lot of work experience on top of that - Noëlle Choong

The dual degree programme takes hard work, but it's worth it. Noëlle: "I get paid while earning my university of applied sciences’ degree and graduate with a ton of work experience." Sjoerd: "The Hague University of Applied Sciences has taught me a work structure that I can apply to all my activities as a project leader. Not only the degree programme knowledge, but also the four years of work experience you acquire during this time are very useful in the field."  

Nice side effect of studying and working

Robbert: "And because lecturers know what real life is like, they also understand how hard it is to combine study with work. Also, I'm now working on a biofuels plant that Shell is building in Pernis. The goal is that by 2024 this facility will recycle industrial and agricultural waste into biodiesel and aviation fuel. Without combining work and studying, I would never have been able to work on this."

Are you also someone who likes to combine studying with working? Read more about The dual degree programme in Mechanical Engineering at The Hague University of Applied Sciences