IFMC gives its students the tools to excel in the international financial market. You will learn a bit about management and marketing, but the main focus will be on financial accounting and cost accounting. But it will also be on your ability to use economic statistics to better a company’s market position. In the first year you will develop an understanding of organisational costs and business administration, and you will learn how to set up an investment plan for an international company. Each of the four modules in the first few years will confront you, as an IFMC student, with existing business dilemmas which you will then have to solve during group projects. Additionally, in year three you will go on an internship at an international organisation and conclude the IFMC programme with a minor and thesis. The latter will launch your career as a financial and business controller.
hours per week
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in year one
The first year is the foundation (propaedeutic) year.
The basis of year one is equipping you with enough skills to steer an organisation in the right direction, based on its financial situation. For starters, you will learn how to register financial data to create annual reports for large companies. But what about preparing an investment plan, or setting up business procedures within an organisation? To a prospective IFMC student this will sound like music in your ears. But bear in mind that year one will entail a lot more than numbers and legislation. We also have a course called the Business Game. Much as the name suggests, this course will train you to run a fictitious business. What models could you use to create revenue when circumstances are dire? How do you manage a so-called lean start-up with minimum expense and maximum revenue? On top of all this, year one also has a specialised Excel master class so you can practice what you will preach to so many international companies.
|Financial Accounting (1)|
|Finance and investments|
|Marketing and Business Environment|
|IS-tools Excel (1)|
|Business Plan project|
|Financial Accounting (2)|
|IS-tools Excel (2)|
|Financial Accounting Project/Financial Accounting tools|
|Financial Accounting (3)|
|Business Processes and Information Systems (SAP)|
|Business Information Systems (BIS)|
|Organisation and Management (O&M)|
|Research Project O&M/BIS|
|Business Processes and Information Systems|
|Report Writing Skills|
|Financial Accounting (4)|
|Cost Accounting (1)|
|IS-tools Access (3)|
In year two, textbooks make way for more practical aspects and articles that discuss recent business cases. Once every quarter, IFMC students get to meet important executives that work at companies like Ernst and Young, Nestlé and BP to learn about economic trends. The financial remnants of a near-collapsed banking system in the US and the new, shared economy with pioneers like AirBnB, are but two of the cases students will cover during year two courses. You will focus on real business cases that make the news, but from a financial controller’s perspective. Last year, for instance, SHELL’s head of PR explained to our students how business ethics form the foundation for any financial controller. He or she has to make crucial investment decisions on a daily basis.
In year three it will be time for you to see what financial controllers actually do during an (international) internship, to better relate to the courses you followed during the previous years. Many students obtain this experience at insurance companies like Delta Lloyd. But it could also be a high-end department store like Harrods in the UK. Students’ tasks differ during this internship. You could be responsible for implementing a new financial system, supporting the treasury, or efficiently managing a company’s inventory. The second term of year three deals with an increasingly important aspect of financial control: Risk Management. During this phase you will master Business Information Systems that help to smoothen the decision-making process. Also you will follow an Advanced Finance course. Additionally, you will be offered a range of electives, one of which is a crowd-funding project where students have to create a feasible business plan and secure investment for their ideas in a limited time span.
Internship and graduation
Chances are, the word “thesis” will have your stomach churning. For many students it’s a dreaded but obligatory task. After completing it most students print off a few copies for mum and dad and never look at it again. But what if we were to tell you that here at IFMC the subject of your thesis in year four can save an international company thousands of euros and generate real cash flow. And what if, as we have seen with so many students, your thesis can land you a job after graduation. At IFMC, students often write their thesis in combination with the internship of year four. One IFMC student, for instance, proposed a new online inventory system for Mediamarkt - a Dutch electronics store - that put the responsibility of replenishing Mediamarkt’s stock on the suppliers’ side. His just-in-time inventory system minimised overstocking and thus reduced the financial exposure faced by Mediamarkt. He now works for Mediamarkt as a financial advisor.
A lot of IFMC students enter the workforce with some form of specialisation. We have two special minors called Risk Management and Controlling at IFMC but you could decide to do a different minor at another THUAS faculty. More internationally inclined? No problem, we have a list of over 350 partner universities to choose from when selecting a minor, such as the University of Lyon, France, the University of Dusseldorf, Germany, and even the University of Seoul in Korea.
Each term we invite CFO and CEO executives from the business world to be guest lecturers at IFMC. Last year, Anton Philips, the grandson of the great Philips founder himself, gave students an inspiring lecture on how to successfully manage costs. In their feedback on IFMC’s curriculum these guest lecturers always remark how pleased they are that there is: “finally, a school that produces students who are not afraid of rolling up their sleeves when dealing with financial matters”. The new economy needs doers not philosophers. And that is exactly what distinguishes IFMC’s teaching methods from those of an academic university. To give you an example: year one will equip you with an Advanced Microsoft Office diploma, which will make you a wizard with Excel. Practical skills like these will give you a head start when you graduate. And, in all likelihood, these skills will land you a higher starting salary than other financial management programme students.
We assume your time at IFMC will run smoothly. But, if you are experiencing any study problems, we offer personal assistance. A coach can help you keep track of your study progress and further guide your career development. He or she can help you improve your time-management skills for example, or find the right people within the programme to answer more complicated questions. He or she will also support you if you have any personal problems that can adversely affect your schoolwork.
In the first year, you are expected to earn at least 50 of the 60 credits available. In some cases, as part of the 50 credits, you will need have passed a certain subject.
If you fulfil all requirements, the Examination Board will issue a positive study advice and you can continue with your degree programme. If you fail to meet these requirements, you will be issued a negative binding study advice and will be required to leave the degree programme.
The Examination Board may take personal circumstances into consideration, such as illness or participation in professional sports. This will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The study advice may be deferred, possibly with certain conditions attached that must be fulfilled during the following academic year.
You are personally responsible for your academic progress, so make sure to contact your academic career coach early on if things are not going well.