For the current second year students, choosing your minor is near. To give some more insight to the possibilities of the free track, I have interviewed four Econometrics students who have all done a different minor about which they will tell you their experiences and recommendations.
Abraham - Programming minor at the UvA
My name is Abraham and I’m a third year student studying Econometrics at the UvA so I’m close to being finished now.
Anyways, last fall (so 2022) I did a minor in programming, at the uva as well! Unfortunately it was not at Roeterseiland, so I had to trade places from the beautiful Roeterseiland to the godforsaken land called science park. It is what is though since it was one of the recommended minors for Econometrics and I didn’t want to go abroad or do electives. There were some other recommendations as well but they were pretty boring, so my choice was quickly made. One other aspect though was that programming is a skill you should be really proficient in in Econometrics. Thus in the end choosing this minor was kind of a no-brainer. The name itself is pretty explanatory to be honest; it’s just all about programming. Starting from scratch, even people who have never programmed before can do this! Gradually the difficulty level increases. By the end of it you should be really accustomed to programming in general, regardless of the programming language.
It was nice starting from scratch but you do have to put a lot of time in it. The days can be pretty long: from 11-17. On the other hand, you are free on the weekends which is nice.
Doing this course made me realize that I really don’t like programming. So I won't pursue something programming related I think (or I hope at least).
Even so, I do recommend everyone doing this course because it really helps you with improving your programming skills. Even nicer it would be if you are already used to programming. That way this minor should be pretty easy going for you most of the time, outside of the last month of the course. Pretty sure this was it and I probably see you guys at the borrel 😊
Shahzeb - Internship at Whoppah
My name is Shahzeb and I chose the free track and did an internship as a data science analyst at Whoppah (a luxury marketplace for pre owned furniture, art and design). I chose the minor of an internship since I believed that it would allow me to experience the practical side of my studies. Which it indeed did and I found that to be extremely rewarding. During my internship I used data the company already had with the goal to improve its operations. And also to get insights to make recommendations for the business to do better. For this internship I stepped even further into the field of Econometrics because it was a data analyst and scientist internship which is extremely similar if, not the same to Econometrics. Finding the internship was not that tough, since I found Whoppah through the startup event, hosted by the VSAE, and the network I had created. I attended the event and so did the company I interned at.
I had a fantastic experience overall and I just enjoyed the work I did. Partly this was because of the work environment offered at the company, which really resonated with what I want. That is also why I plan on working at the company after I graduate.
Doing an internship has to be combined with taking electives at the UvA. I found this to be a great combination. I took two Dutch courses as my electives which consequently really allowed me to develop myself for the Dutch job market. It also made my experience way better, since I worked at a completely Dutch company so learning the language provided a significant amount of value as a whole. I would definitely recommend doing an internship. I noticed a huge difference between the practical side, which I was able to apply at the internship, and the theoretical side, which I learned at university. I believe both are extremely important and they go hand in hand. So if there’s someone who wants to work right away after their bachelor's, then the internship is a great opportunity to get hands-on “real life” work. Plus, it teaches you an immense amount which also includes learning to work independently.
Ira - Strategy and Marketing minor at the UvA
I’m Ira and I chose to do the minor Managing Strategy and Marketing at the University of Amsterdam. I followed the minor in 2021. In this minor you learn what kind of parties you are dealing with within an organization. You get a better understanding of the roles that every party has and you get to solve fictional consulting cases about them. Besides that you will get more insight on what marketing is and how you can apply it in the real world.
This minor seemed a good fit for me because I wanted to know more about marketing. Moreover, I had to retake some other courses and knew that the workload of this minor is quite low, especially compared to our study. On top of that, this minor has divided the courses in such a way that you don’t have any courses in the last period of semester 1. Which for me worked perfectly with my retakes and interest in marketing.
I felt like this minor was completely unrelated to Econometrics in the way that it did not overlap content with our study or the way that we learn things. However, I liked that you learned more about the other side of the business world with this.
For me it was a really nice shift after 2 years of Econometrics to do something where the pace wasn’t that high. On top of that, you had fun group projects that didn’t take up too much time either. In the end I think it is also worth knowing some of the things we have learned in this minor that will be useful later on. Therefore I would really recommend this minor to people who have an interest in marketing or consulting. And to people who would like a minor where the pace is just a bit lower than usual.
Chiel - Electives
Hey I’m Chiel and I am a third year student of Econometrics. In the period September 2022 – February 2023, I chose 3 mandatory courses (18 EC) and 2 Free-Choice Electives (12 EC) at the UvA in the minor space. I was hesitating between doing the education minor and an internship (+ 3 mandatory courses), only the internship was canceled last minute. The only possibility left were electives at the UvA. The 3 mandatory courses I took were Mathematical and Empirical Finance, Dynamical Systems and Optimization. I especially liked the Dynamical Systems course, it was a combination between Mathematics 3 and Mathematics 4 where a lot of use is made of eigenvectors and eigenvalues. I would recommend this course to everyone.
Furthermore, Mathematical and Empirical finance and Optimization were excellent courses that fitted in well with the bachelor. In addition, I had chosen two free electives: Real Estate and International trade and Investment. In the end, these two courses were both disappointing, so I would not recommend taking them.
Looking back on the scope of the minor, I would have preferred to have taken the education minor. During this minor you have 1 day of lessons at the UvA and 3 internship days a week at a secondary school. After completing the minor, you have a second-degree teaching qualification, provided you complete the bachelor.