‘I have found it very satisfying to study at UvA, and this has much to do with the international scope of the programme.’ Read what Magnus Muhlbradt has to say about Comparative Organisation and Labour Studies.
My name is Magnus Muhlbradt and I come from Canada. I started with the Master’s programme Comparative Organisation and Labour Studies after completing my Bachelor of Sociology (Honours) in Toronto, Canada. My main interest lies within the field of industrial relations and labour markets. The programme description of Comparative Organisation and Labour Studies corresponded with these interests. I have found it very satisfying to study at UvA, and this has much to do with the international scope of the programme. I do not plan to work in Holland, hence the comparative international perspective of both the programme and the professors was very welcome.
If your previous educational experience comes from a North American university, you might find that there is a very different classroom culture. Most professors are not afraid to confront and counter the arguments you present, and they might be very blunt about their own positions about the subject. But there is no reason to feel intimidated by this. One might say, it is “the way of the Dutch”.
During my studies, I have connected with both Dutch and international students within the classroom and the student community. This has given a positive balance between local and international viewpoints.
My Master’s thesis concerned the power relationship in Norwegian trade unions between members and leadership. In the course material, trade unions are not commonly addressed by themselves, but they are often talked about in the context of labour market institutions. To structure and plan out my thesis, I've relied heavily on the guidance of my thesis supervisors and my peers. The UvA's Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies has benefited me greatly, as there is plenty of useful information that can be derived from that institute.
My future goals is to work with research related to the labour movement and industrial relations. As a prospective student, you might ask: do you feel that this programme has given you the skills and knowledge sufficient for this pursuit? My answer to this question would be: yes, this course has given me the general insight into how institutions work in a comparative international perspective, which I will be able to use when I work in my local context. The limitation of the research time for the thesis course can be a limitation in terms of depth of research, but the research courses have generally been able to grant me the research skills I find necessary to have.
Overall, I was happy with this programme, and would recommend it to those who are interested in the study of European welfare states and labour market institutions.