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Master in controlling - Controller at Vattenfall

During his bachelor at Tio University of Applied Sciences, former student Ruben van Bavel discovered that the world of finance is a good fit for him. After graduating from Tio, he therefore chose a master in controlling at Nyenrode Business University and a position as controller at Vattenfall. Coming year, Ruben hopes to add the title of master of science in controlling to his name.

Ruben: “I have a natural talent with numbers. I like helping others with business from a finance perspective. Therefore, an advisory role suits me. I have decided to take a master course in controlling, because I want to grow towards the position of business unit controller and perhaps even that of chartered accountant.”

Cultural differences

Vattenfall is a Swedish energy company that has taken over several large Dutch companies, such as Nuon. Ruben: “The various departments all have an open culture, things are not particularly formal here. The cultural differences that exist within the organisation are gradually melting together into a unified Vattenfall culture: an informal culture within a quite bureaucratic organisation.”

From a university of applied sciences to a research university

Ruben: “At a university of applied sciences, you learn theories, familiarise yourself with material and work in a practical manner. At a research university, you mainly attend lectures and write a ton of papers in which you apply your knowledge. Reading papers instead of books makes for a significantly different learning method. The difference in knowledge level is not that significant – it mostly comes down to a different teaching method.”

Working and studying

Ruben occasionally struggles to work fulltime and still focus on his studies. He hopes to complete his master’s degree by next year. “It is my ambition to grow into the position of business unit controller. As such, you report to the CEO while still working together with the rest of your unit. I like to keep in touch with whatever I am controlling.”