"As a Dutch expat child I was raised in an international environment. I lived in Shanghai for seven years were I went to the British International School and completed the International Baccalaureate programme. I chose Sport Studies-track International Sports, Management and Business because I love football and sports in general and a close friend of mine already studied here and recommended me the programme.

The international experiences that I could gain stood out for me the most; it’s a vital aspect you need to build your CV and network.

graduate - Sport Studies - track ISMB

Diverse study programme

Sport Studies – track ISMB has a very diverse study programme. In the first two years you have theory classes as well as practical sports lessons. The sports classes open up your mind and make you understand sports you are less familiar with. They also take you out of your comfort zone, for example when we trained and participated in a triathlon.

In the first two years the division between practical subjects and theory classes is about fifty fifty. A theory class that really appealed to me was Intercultural Communications, where you learn how to communicate effectively in multicultural environments. By living in Shanghai I experienced a lot of this and it is really helpful to get a better understanding.

Internship in Moscow

In the second year I did my first internship at the Anglo-American School in Moscow. I organised a basketball tournament and I helped improving the facilities of the school. I also set up a system for their extra curricular activities. It was an amazing experience, and very much out of my comfort zone. I even got the chance to go dog sledding with huskies!

Small community in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a very international city, something that I needed after living abroad for so many years. There is always an event going on, or something else to do. The Sport Studies - track ISMB culture fits well into this. It is a tight community; everyone knows each other and hangs out together inside and outside of campus. There are many internationals around, who understand what it is like to live abroad. Within the faculty there are also many things to do such as joining the Sport Studies basketball team or socialising at the student bar. You never get bored!

Internship Osaka Hockey

For my strategic internship in my third year I chose Osaka Hockey; a rapid growing field-hockey brand mainly selling sticks, bags, and other field-hockey accessories. I worked in Belgium in their Antwerp office and was part of the sponsoring and events department. My main responsibilities were to set up a beach-hockey festival on the Dutch island Ameland and to improve the sponsorship programme for professional athletes. I also set up an Osaka promotional team for the Netherlands and created plans for the 2018 European Championships. I had meetings with companies such as Red Bull and sponsorship meetings with professional players.

Setting up our own company

After my internship at Osaka Hockey, I started with the Entrepreneurship semester for which I set up my own company together with some of my classmates. My group (KBK Sports Innovations), created a business plan for an extendable field-hockey stick which was 3D printed. We are still seeking to develop this idea further, however we will need to do a lot more research and testing.

Minor at Temple University in Philadelphia, USA

In my fourth year I followed the minor Sports Management and Business Administration at Temple University in Philadelphia. I chose Temple University as Americans have a different perspective on Sports Management than Europeans. American people are very fond of sports in general, and often take it to another level regarding fans, promotions and events. Furthermore, I wanted to keep my options open for a potential masters at Temple University after graduation.

My time at Temple was incredible! We got to see sport management from a different perspective, and with a different practical element than in Amsterdam. In the classes, we worked with the NBA team the ’76-ers' and visited many stadiums including the Lincoln Financial Field where the NFL team ‘The Eagles’ play. We also went to many live sport games, and tailgated beforehand. A proper American experience.

Sponsorship Esports team

I did my final internship at the headquarters of software company SAP in Germany where more than 12.000 people work. I interned at the sport and entertainment department. SAP is currently sponsoring an Esports team; nevertheless it wants to seek more possibilities within this industry. My main task was researching how SAP could further integrate into the eSports community. I was lucky to work in great team at SAP and I learned a lot about Esports and how big corporations are run.

“You can notice the difference between students from a pure research institute and those who have more practical experience, like Sofieke. Her international experience and hands-on capabilities were really helpful. Those qualities are the essence that we are looking for in interns that join our team.”

VP Head of Strategy – Media, Sports and Entertainment at SAP

Future plans

My ambition in the short run is to obtain a master’s degree, whether it’s in sales, consultancy, marketing or sport management. In the long run I aim to continue working in an International environment, hopefully in sport marketing, sponsoring or sales.