Freija obtained an MSc Music Studies from the UvA in 2018. She is the founder and business leader of the OverMalbruggen Foundation.
After completing my Bachelor's in Cultural Anthropology and Developmental Sociology, I was looking for a Master's in which I could combine my interest in different cultures with my passion for the arts. During my Bachelor's, I had already had the opportunity to do research among visual artists in Ghana but I was thrilled to be able to explore the world of Ethnomusicology as well during my Master's in Music Studies.
I enjoyed learning about the meaning of music within different cultural contexts and being able to broaden my knowledge with regard to subjects such as the history of music or experiencing emotions through music. This is why I specifically chose to do this Master's programme at the UvA. They offer a broad package in which you can choose the direction you want to explore. I found this Master’s programme very interesting.
By doing a Master's, I got a better understanding of the job market and what I want to do. Doing an internship and writing my Master's thesis helped me a lot. By doing these two things, you can immerse yourself in what interests you. You can also discover whether you would like to pursue these interests in your work.
Both, especially during my Master's internship. I broadened my view of the work field by working in the areas of theatre and music, refugees and different cultures. I also got to know many people in the field. However, it also gave me specific directions as to what I want to do in this field. I discovered that I like project development, event planning and fundraising. Thus, it did give me a specific direction with regard to what I wanted to do after my Master's.
After my Master's degree, I had a big problem. I could not find a job in the field I wanted to work in. I applied for a lot of jobs, but often had too little experience or could only start as a volunteer.
This is why I finally decided to set up a socio-cultural foundation myself, called OverMalbruggen. Through this foundation, people in the very diverse neighbourhood I live in (Malburgen, Arnhem) get to know each other and each other's stories through theatre, dance and music. Although I didn't need a Master's degree to do this, the experiences I had during my Master's, especially while writing my thesis and doing my internship (with the Catching Cultures Orchestra), made me decide to start my own business.
During this internship, I also gained experience in project development and event planning. This certainly helped me in setting up my own business. Following a training programme by Starters4Communities also helped.