Mark Janssen - “The people who take the Honours programme don’t do it because they are exceptionally clever, but because they are especially motivated for their studies.”
Industrial Design Engineering
I actually had several reasons to take the Honours programme. Firstly, even though the Industrial Design Engineering programme is great, I found it rather easy. So I wanted to do something extra for my own education. It doesn’t bother me at all to spend more time on my studies and it’s a big plus to be able to work together with a large group of highly motivated students. Secondly, the ‘stervakken’ within the programme help to give me extra insights. Finally, the inter-faculty subjects appeal to me a great deal, because of their multi-disciplinary character. You learn what your own unique IDE input can be within such a group. You can choose your subjects yourself, which gives you a lot of flexibility, but at the same time everything is very well organised.
Best Honours subject or project?
The D-Exto project for the development of a sustainable (festival) pavilion. We started by building an enormous swing with a large group of people. The energy it generated was used to drive a propeller that cooled the lounge corner. It was fun, because we thought up the idea ourselves, we worked it out together and built it as well. You don’t always get to bring an idea to fruition during the regular programme.
The Capita Selecta & Consultancy Track was another subject that was great fun to do. It included a networking workshop given by Maria Berkenveld which was very enlightening, and since then I’ve become actively involved on LinkedIn.
How do you combine your studies and the Honours programme?
That just seems to go of its own accord. I do a lot of other things alongside honours, such as being a member of a committee and a student society. Sometimes I spend an entire weekend in the University Library, although that doesn’t happen very often. It’s easy to combine everything because I enjoy it so much. The people who take the Honours programme don’t do it because they are exceptionally clever, but because they are especially motivated for their studies. I must say that I’m pretty chaotic and a bad planner, which became very evident during the Honours programme, as I forgot certain things. You have to learn how to plan, but fortunately you actually often have more time than you think you have! However, you must be prepared to make some sacrifices.
What would you change in the Honours programme?
Being able to earn more points during the inter-faculty part, as the inter-faculty subjects teach you different things. You have to finish the programme within 3 years, with no chance of an extension or opportunities to do work experience, so the inter-faculty part offers you a better chance to learn other things than the standard programme does.
It bothers me sometimes when I have to say “I’ve got to go, I’ve got Honours.” It’s not nice for other people. You don’t want to feel that taking the Honours Programme is a special treatment with extra privileges when we’re all working so very hard.
What is your personal Honours highlight?
Madness on Ameland with D-Exto. When there were finally kids sitting on the swing that we’d designed. It was fantastic to get to know people who follow other programmes and to even be able to work together with them! Anyone at IDE can do what I do, but you have your own unique input in such a broad team.
What will you be doing in 5 years’ time?
I will have completed my Master’s in Design for Interaction and will be working as a designer at IKEA. I definitely want a job where I can continue doing lots of IDE.
What is your weirdest or most useless talent?
I’m good at putting things off and I know lots of the names of IKEA furniture by heart.