For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
You are using a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Please upgrade your browser. The site may not present itself correctly if you continue browsing.
Portrait Mayla Kersten

Name: Mayla Kersten
Age: 28
Programme: Language and Communication (UvA)
Minor: Programming (UvA)

At first I thought that Programming would be too nerdy for me

'I am currently taking the Master's in Information Studies, which teaches you how technology influences people's lives and the work of organisations, but my academic career has been quite unusual. I’m what you might call an eternal student: despite not having a full diploma, I was accepted into a higher professional education programme in Media, Information and Communication through a colloquium doctum entrance exam. That programme was too focused on marketing for me, though. But with the first year in my pocket, I was able to switch to a university programme. I chose Language and Communication, but already knew in the beginning that I wanted to combine my Bachelor’s with programming.

In the end, I actually plucked up the courage to choose the minor in Programming, but I had doubts about it for a long time. I was afraid it would be too nerdy for me, too complicated. Thankfully I didn’t let that put me off, because I just found it so interesting. The workload is certainly quite demanding, but you gain an extensive grasp of the basics of programming. Languages such as Python and C come into play, and topics such as cryptography, databases and artificial intelligence are also covered. In the end, during that semester, I developed an app that helps people take better care of their houseplants.  

The minor also landed me a nice part-time job, because I’m now a student assistant at Programming tutorials. Now I can help other people who think 'this is far too difficult for me'. I can already reassure them at the beginning by telling them that they don't need any prior knowledge of programming and will be given intensive guidance. It’s actually really good to step out of your comfort zone when choosing your minor. It allows you to broaden your knowledge and come up with new insights and ideas. I’m still amazed at how much my minor benefits me during my Master's in Information Studies.'