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Inspire the Students: Crossing Borders

On September 28th, LUC alumni and students gathered at the second annual edition of Inspire the Students. The event’s theme, ‘Crossing Borders’, consisted of a lecture from keynote speakers, a warm networking reception and break-out sessions. The discussion on life after LUC proved to be fruitful and insightful for alumni and students alike as it addressed the challenges faced by alumni when transitioning from academics to action.

Breakout Session One: Careers

In the careers break-out session, four panelists, Rosanne van der Straten, Dennis Meyer, Johan Lammers and Ilene van Brouwershaven, discussed the different paths they pursued upon graduating LUC and how they began to build their careers.

For some structuring their career plan was their technique of choice, while others elected to pursue a path of trial and error when it came to career options, before realizing their ambition lay in a specific sector. Among all of the panelists however, it was clear that being “stuck” in a singular career path after LUC was almost impossible. Their trial of different jobs ranged from positions at the EU Commission, German consultancy firms, Dutch ministries and international NGO’s. Their advice to students based on their personal experiences included: encouraging students to use their network, refraining from completing a master’s directly after LUC (as none of them did), considering undertaking a masters programme that is not directly focused on the career direction you will pursue afterwards in order to differentiate yourself, and above all to keep actively searching and expanding on your field of interests.

Inspire the Students

Breakout Session Two: Internships

The second break-out session focused on how students can use internships in their orientation within the professional sphere. Panel members Hoba Gull, Pieter Goethart and Ilyaas Sherally, discussed their internship experiences with students and recent graduates.

Their experience ranged from internships with the political party D66, The Netherlands Representative Office in Palestine and at the Montesquieu Institute. They discussed how an internship can prove to be a vital step in pursuing a specialised career. An internship also proved to be a integral step in expanding your network and. he panelists advised current students: if you work hard, prove yourself, and make yourself indispensable, it can open doors towards a more permanent position. They also stressed that internships are a place to learn and that students should keep in mind that although an internship can be a great step in building your career, it does not determine your future profession.

Breakout Session Three: Further Studies

Panel members Lennart Zandbergen, Sophie Auton, Daniek Zomer and Felipe van de Kerkhof addressed the theme of “getting unstuck from LUC”.

The panel addressed the societal pressure to enroll in a master’s programme immediately following their bachelor’s recognizing the short-comings this approach has. Their discussion highlighted that unearthing your passion before immersing yourself into a graduate programme. During the discussion, panel members also pointed out that a master’s degree does not define career choice – they underlined the example of LUC’s Lieke Schreel, who is a medievalist yet found her place working in education. The session concluded that you do not have to be certain about what you want to do after LUC, but pursuing your interests and being unafraid to make mistakes along the way before finding the programme you want to commit to is integral in achieving success.

Inspire the students proved to be an invaluable and insightful experience for those who attended. Don’t miss ‘Inspire the Students’ run by LUC’s next year!

LUC would like to extend a warm thank you to the Inspire the Students Student Team 2019: Rana Kuseyri, Sterre Vester, Veerle van Dijk, Jasper Nooren, Tzu-Ruei Wu.

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