Marie was offered a traineeship at the company she wrote her master thesis for

  • Student stories
MSc in Business Studies alumna Marie Bruns-Strenge walking towards camera in A-wing Van OlstBorg

Alumna Marie Bruns-Strenge graduated from the Master Interdisciplinary Business Professional in July 2021 and now works as a trainee circular economy at the Noordelijk Innovatielab Circulaire Economie (NICE) in Meppel. In September, she will start working as a project officer at NICE.

‘After finishing my bachelor’s in international business, I decided to apply for the Master Interdisciplinary Business Professional (MIBP) at Hanze because I have always been interested in sustainability and I was looking for a programme where I could combine this with IT and marketing. For the innovation assignment, a major component of the master’s programme, I started working on a marketing research project for NICE. In my previous study, I had never even heard about circular economy. After this assignment, I wanted to dive deeper into the topic of circular economy and asked NICE if they would be interested in further collaboration. Luckily, the company director agreed so I wrote my master thesis about the value proposition of circular materials. After I handed in my thesis, I was asked to do my traineeship at NICE and now I am putting my recommendations into action.

Valuable skills

The skills I have developed during the master’s programme, such as creating workshops, being open-minded and building bridges between subjects, are very valuable and applicable in my job. What I have learned is to not be afraid to ask questions; you cannot be outstanding in every subject. Learn how to ask the right questions to people from different backgrounds and work together as a team.

Innovation hub

At the moment, I am busy developing an innovation hub for a demolition company in the Northern Netherlands. This is a place where demolished materials are stored in a logistical hub. In the future, the demolition company plans to further support the transition towards a circular economy in the demolishing and construction industry. Therefore, they are looking for companies who are willing to refurbish their demolished materials and I am helping them in this process, together with my NICE team.


What I like the most about my job is that every day is a new challenge and I get a lot of responsibility. Circular economy is a relatively new concept and there is not much research available. No one really knows how to do it the right way, but I know that I am working with the right parties who have the right mindset to overcome this wicked problem and NICE gives me the room to grow and develop. This gives me energy, motivation and I can always say that I am proud of what I am doing.

Tips for prospective students

My tip for prospective students of the MIBP: focus on the interdisciplinarity of the programme and use the Community of Learners (CoL) sessions to benefit from each other so you can solve problems together. It is precisely this interdisciplinarity that enabled me to combine the subjects of circular economy, marketing and even psychology. In other studies, I might have been forced to look into one area only, otherwise it would get too complex. However, circular economy is complex, as is change, and life in general, and this master prepares you to be able to tackle the complexity of your future professional and personal career.’