My name is Izaak van der Star and I am 25 years old. I am born in Zaandam, a city of about 60.000 people on the sidelines of Amsterdam. When I was 17 I moved to Amsterdam, where I nowadays still live. Amsterdam has the idea of being a big city, but for international sense, it has more the body of a village. This makes that you will never get lost or feel lonely in the city, and yet it never gets boring. When I moved to Barcelona I learned what it meant to be living in a bigger city, but the social wealth which lives in the city makes it equally comfortable to live there. Before I moved to Barcelona to get my MA, I got a Bachelor of Social and Cultural Science in Amsterdam. During the Master I had a great time in Barcelona, because of the rich culture of the city. Especially the football culture was something I loved about Barcelona. The best thing about the Master is that you will study with 10 to 20 different nationalities, what makes it a cultural fortune to study in the UIC.
Izaak, tell us a little bit about your previous work experience.
Sure: I used to work in Amsterdam in the the Jazz Venue Bimhuis and in the Jazzfestival I Jazz before.
When did you begin your current job?
It was October 2012, right after I finished the Master's Degree. Time flies!!!
How did you find this job?
It was through somebody in my network - networking really works!
What is the name of the company and what are your duties?
I am working in the Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei. I deal with production and communication for festivals, and development of a social game and many other!
Tell us: how do you combine the knowledge acquired in the Master's Degree with your daily work?
I am using what I learnt of finance in the cultural sector, of business operations in cultural organisations, and knowledge of art and culture in general.
In your opinion, what are the main challenges for a cultural manager in the year ahead?
After the crisis and the upfollowing cuts in budgets of cultural organisations, now everything gets evaluated. Therefore other cuts can come, or grants can go to other organisations
Memories from the Master's Degree: a teacher, a story and your favourite subject.
Jorge Bernárdez did a good case summit about Sónar, a festival which has my personal interest. Also Jorge reminds me of a trip to Poble Espanyol where he explained some things about how the organisation functions. These trips are the best to learn, I would recommend the UIC to do this as much as possible. Besides Alba Colombo, and our Egyptian professor (excuse me for forgetting his name*) were very nice too! Oh and not to forget Christopher Pasour, very inspiring too!
Any piece of advice for those who are considering taking this MA?
The most valuable for a study abroad is meeting people from other countries, and have the possibility to get to know how things are working in other countries. The best reflection on your own culture you can get through people from other cultures.
*Izaak is talking about Mohammed Elrazzaz. I am sure Mohammed already forgave you for not remembering his name!