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Data, Pizza, and Late-Night Eureka Moments: Interview with JADS alumnus Niels van Gorsel

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Why did you choose a master data science at JADS?

I earned my bachelor’s degree in Informatiekunde from the University of Amsterdam, where I also completed a minor in Entrepreneurship. After graduating, I found myself torn between two career paths that I was equally passionate about. The first option was to deepen my programming skills. The second option was to pursue a master’s degree in entrepreneurship. My dilemma was resolved one evening when I discovered the JADS website. Their Master’s Program Data Science in Business and Entrepreneurship” perfectly aligned with both of my interests. The decision to follow a master data science at JADS was an easy one; I couldn’t find any other programs in the Netherlands that specifically focused on these two areas.

What is your best memory of JADS?

One of the things I appreciate most about my master’s program is the close-knit community of students. I believe this is facilitated by the relatively small campus. You end up recognizing most people by face, which is quite different from my bachelor’s program. There I was part of a larger, more impersonal group of students. One of my fondest memories occurred when a group of us stayed at JADS until 10:00 PM, trying to figure out what Dr. Indika expected as a result for a course assignment he had given. To fuel our late-night work, we ordered pizza from the local Jumbo supermarket, and Laura generously shared some leftover Bossche bollen from a professional event hosted earlier that afternoon. We kept sending our assignment results to Dr. Indika. Finally he confirmed we’d gotten it right. I suspect he probably wanted to go home just as much as we did!

What is the most important thing you learned at JADS?

Without a doubt, the most valuable part of my educational experience came from the courses “Data Entrepreneurship in Action 2” and “Data Entrepreneurship in Action 3.” While classroom instruction is important, it’s only when you collaborate with real companies to solve actual problems that everything truly comes together. The hands-on experience gained from these courses helped me understand how to provide real value to businesses, integrating theory with practical application.

What are you doing now?

During my first year at JADS, another student and I launched our own data science consultancy. We have a long-term vision of creating a scalable software solution. This evolved into Ecocharting, a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform designed to help companies.

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