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Meet Yvonne Sarah Schittenhelm!


Why did you decide to do the IDA Master?

I wanted a program that allows for challenging psychological findings rather than studying them as facts, and one where I am seen as a capable individual rather than a number in the system.

What has been your favourite course and why?

Dynamics of individual differences, since it offered a fully different perspective on psychology, showing that those inter-individual differences we highlight may be a fraction of one’s inter-individual change over time or contexts.

Do you experience stress in your studies/pressure? How do you deal with it?

I agree that a research master requires more effort, especially in terms of individual preparation for sessions. Personally, the active in-class discussions are stimulating me and make me curious and motivated to learn more.

How can your knowledge from the IDA master be useful for the real world?

Individual differences are present in all contexts of life, and will help explain complex phenomena. I also think that our interdisciplinary background with a large methodological foundation is something rare that makes us very employable.

Why do you think it is important to study what you study?

Only by realising that different individuals have different motivations, capabilities, personalities, and backgrounds, we are able to either help people better with a personalised solution, or we may come together and use each person’s strengths. I hence see the understanding of individual differences as a large potential for improving society.

What is the most fascinating you have learned?

I think that the most fascinating parts of the program are when you realise that the knowledge about ‘humans’ benefits you through better understanding of yourself (own personality, talents,..) and others around you.

What motivates you to keep studying?

Especially in the first year, when we could come to campus, the mutual support was super helpful to me.

How are you experiencing the relationship to your teachers?

I think that as soon as you enter the program from being a traditional bachelor student, you will immediately begin to feel that you are much more appreciated by your teachers. It’s mutual respect, with teachers acknowledging the fact that they get to transmit their knowledge to highly motivated and intelligent students.

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