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The Flying Dutchman: Matthijs Hakkert

By DeAnna Britton, Staff Writer

For Matthijs Hakkert, the University is a learning adventure.

Hakkert, a Management and Strategy major with a minor in Marketing, is from Castricum, Netherlands. He is a part of the exchange program with the University of Amsterdam. In Amsterdam, he has already started his graduate studies. He came to the University [Hofstra] to "broaden and deepen my knowledge about business related topics and how these topics are viewed in the United States," Hakkert said.

Hakkert was fascinated by the United States because it was so different from the Netherlands. As he watched the news from his country, he got the feeling that a lot of things happen in the U.S. or a lot of things happen in the world because of U.S. influence. A key factor for Hakkert to study in New York was because the University of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Business School has an exchange program with the University. "What attracted me most were the campus and the location nearby Manhattan. Two friends of mine also went to Hofstra for a semester and they were really enthusiastic about it," Hakkert said.

Since Hakkert has studied abroad, he has taken advantage of traveling. Before he came to the University for the semester, he went on a road trip around the east coast and Canada. After he's done with college, he wants to travel the world. So far on his travels, he's learned that, "most people I've met are really nice and find the same things important in life, but that there are also a lot of differences in beliefs and ideas, which makes it all the more interesting to get to know people from other cultures," he said.

Hakkert plays for the University's Club Soccer team. Although he sprained his ankle in the first game, it hasn't crippled his passion for the game. "I really like the game and I'm glad there's a soccer club here…In the Netherlands I heard that soccer was not really a popular sport in the U.S compared to baseball, American football and basketball, but seeing so many people playing soccer at Hofstra and following soccer clubs…I don't know if that's really true," Hakkert said.

Although traveling will play a big role in Hakkert's future, he also realizes that he needs to work in order to fund his dreams. He hopes to work in the management field. "I did a lot for my faculty association at the University of Amsterdam and overseeing and managing projects is a real challenge, but also a lot of fun when the project starts to bear fruit and materializes into something tangible," he said.

You may not catch Hakkert in the same place for long, for the simple reason that he is inspired by the fact that the world is becoming more integrated and within reach for everyone. "I could catch a plane tonight and end up at Mount Everest tomorrow. On the one hand, this makes me feel small, but it also gives you the feeling that there are a lot of things that need exploring," Hakkert said.

(Photo courtesy of Matthijs Hakkert)

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