Esther Paulus Maalsté is the Store Manager of Bijenkorf Eindhoven and holds the title of ‘Topvrouw Limburg 2021’; two notable achievements that portray her ambitious mentality – Esther loves learning new things. In her constant pursuit of personal and professional development, she started UMIO’s part-time Business Administration Course in 2023. The course in Business Administration perfectly matched Esther’s experience, allowed her to combine it with her job and offered the level of education she was looking for without having to study full time for years.
Before Esther started working as Bijenkorf Eindhoven’s Store Manager, she spent six years in the position of Store Manager at Bijenkorf Maastricht. When she switched to Eindhoven in February 2023, she simultaneously started her Business Administration course. A challenging but valuable combination, Esther thinks: “I had already started the position in Eindhoven, so I didn’t need extra education to make that switch. Still, I wanted a bit more of a theoretical background in addition to my practical experience and college education. When you’re slightly older, staying relevant in the labour market is important. I keep myself relevant by, among other things, acquiring more recent knowledge. Developing yourself and your skills alongside your job enriches you, not only as a professional but also as a human being.”
A focus on immediate practical applicability
Esther can often use the knowledge she gains from the Business Administration course (she hopes to graduate in April 2024) immediately. “The programme focuses on direct practical applicability and learning from practical experience, supported by scientific theory”, Esther describes. “Your fellow students are very important to enable this kind of learning. Students usually all have very different backgrounds. For example, I was the only one with a background in retail. Retail employees often are very practically oriented. They don’t have long to solve problems because the customer is always right there. You have to devise a solution immediately, but that is our strength. We tend to approach problems differently. It’s these differences in student backgrounds and problem approaches that elevate the course’s level. You learn so much from your fellow students and how they deal with similar problems in their respective industries.”
Easier, faster, more efficient, and better
Since taking the Business Administration course, Esther has taken a different approach to challenges at work. “If I do something, I never do it half-heartedly”, Esther says, “So I always study the theory covered in the course thoroughly. I can now apply that theory to problems I encounter in my work. Before, I used to tackle challenges almost purely based on my experience. Fortunately, I have a lot of experience, so I was often right. However, my new theoretical knowledge helps me approach things easier, faster, more efficiently and better than before. I think that’s a great advantage of the programme, and it motivates me to want to learn even more!”