During her first master Business Administration at the VU, the time came when Tax & Legal working student Jackie Koster needed to think about her next step. The structured Jackie created a step-by-step plan. Her first step was to arrange an internship at Deloitte. A logical second step would be to start at Deloitte as an analyst after graduation. Her focus had been on business for years, but after a burnout at the beginning of her master’s, she thought it wise to explore other options as well.
“While I was studying, I soon heard about the Big 4. A working studentship at Deloitte sounded like the perfect picture. A good friend of mine worked at Gi3, a subdivision of Tax & Legal at Deloitte. Tax & Legal may not seem the most logical choice with a Business Administration background, but that friend also did not have a fiscal background. He told me about the many sustainable projects that he worked on. Thanks to him, I finally applied and started as a working student for three days a week.
The social responsibility aspect from my study and the focus on sustainability at Deloitte appeal to me. And I like to help others. That’s how I began to consider other options than Deloitte. ‘What about a teacher in Business Economics (Bedrijfseconomie in the Netherlands)?’, I heard from those closest to me. It sounded like a good plan, so after I obtained my first master’s degree, I started with my second, to obtain a first-degree teaching qualification.
In the meantime, I had specialized in strategic issues with a focus on Corporate Social Responsibility at the VU. After half a year at Deloitte, I got the question: ‘What are your plans when you’re done?’ I was really enjoying myself and wanted to stay, but would also start the teaching master’s soon. As an exception, I was allowed to continue working for one day a week.
Since my previous degrees were in English, I decided to also follow the extracurricular programme ‘World Teachers Programme’. As a result, I do not teach the Dutch course ‘Bedrijfseconomie’, but Business Management and BTEC – a career and business-oriented course – at The International School of The Hague.
With a burnout past, it is particularly important to keep the balance between work and studying.
Monday: attend lectures in Leiden, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday teaching in The Hague, and on Wednesday working at Deloitte in Amsterdam. With a burnout past, it is particularly important to keep the balance between work and studying. It was not always easy, but so far I have been doing pretty well.
I keep everything separate. In principle, I can always be reached on my phone, but I only read emails on the designated working days. To make this feasible for myself, unlike most around me, I only have my personal email on my phone. This certainly was not easy at first, because what if someone really needs me? Fortunately, everyone around me knows that I am better accessible on some days than on others and everyone understands that. The so-called ‘problem’ exists only in my head. Although, it remains difficult that there is no place where you are included in everything.
Due to the consequences of Covid-19, I not only had to work from home for Deloitte, but all lessons had to be taught online as well. Additionally, my planned international internship had to be canceled. Suddenly, my tightly planned schedule had disappeared. Keeping everything separate appears to be the right solution, even now. Around me, I hear that there is a great temptation to mix everyday life with work; doing the laundry in between calls, or checking some emails during the weekend. By making that distinction during these times, I ensure that none of them become too much.
Despite the lack of seeing each other in real life, there are also some nice aspects to online teaching, such as the possibility to use online functions in the classroom. This allows me to further develop myself as a teacher. The biggest question of most teachers at the moment is: ‘how do I know that my students are actually learning?’ That focus can, in my opinion, be even more highlighted in business. For example in a team; does everyone have enough work or rather too much? How doe we keep track of who does what and when? Not because we don’t trust our team, but so that the work doesn’t get too much and we don’t forget about each other.
Now that the end of this master’s is also approaching, it is time to choose: Deloitte, teacher, or maybe even both?”
Jackie is werkstudent bij Gi3, een onderdeel van Tax & Legal bij Deloitte. Daarnaast volgt zij een lerarenmaster en is zij part-time docent Economie.