Leiden University logo.

nl en

South Asia and Southeast Asia

Read the stories of our alumni specialised in the area of South Asia and Southeast Asia here.

Sonja Plüss

Alumni dreams #219

An exchange year in India in 2016, and a reverse culture shock back in Switzerland stirred the wish in Sonja Plüss to be in an international environment and explore the SSEA region in my studies.

During the bachelor, she became a part of Conscious Kitchen – an organization founded by BASIS students. Conscious Kitchen organizes community dinners cooked from food saved from the Haagse Markt. Here she gained valuable experience in running a foundation and made life-long friends.

She vividly remembers how the graduation speech of her cohort focused on empathy as a strength that International Studies students inevitably possess. ''The BA helped me to refrain from judging in the first instance and to bring in the multidimensional lens.''

After graduating, she started a master in Development Studies focusing on Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the Geneva Graduate Institute. Last June (2022), she began working as an intern in sustainable public procurement for Pusch – a Swiss environmental organization. After the six months internship she stayed on and is now starting a new position in the climate and energy program for municipalities.

"After interdisciplinary studies there are few straightforward professional paths to take – but all the more interesting ones if you stay open and courageous.''

Great to read about your passion for sustainability Sonja, keep up the brilliant work!

Nicole Kadlec

Alumni dreams #220

Nicole Kadlec was drawn to International Studies due to its interdisciplinarity. “It is not often that Culture, Politics, Economics and History are taught together, and I was excited to see the world from different disciplines.”

During the bachelor Nicole was president of the 7th BASIS board. This allowed her to develop her leadership skills, which were instrumental in landing her first job after my studies. “Having also founded the BASIS Care Committee, I am very proud that I helped co-organize many events on social issues relevant to our studies.” In 2019, her student association won the Sustainability award – which really was a highlight of Nicole’s studies.  

After the bachelor she worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Vienna, which helped her to build up a wide network of academic and business contacts. Following this position, she started working as a Project Assistant at a political party in Austria, where she became a full-time Political Consultant for the Health, Family and Equality department. In combination to this role she also started a MA in Gender Studies at the University of Vienna, in order to become an expert on the topic of (gender) equality within her party. 

She finds it great to see the real-life impact of her work up close through writing speeches of MP’s in parliament and having the opportunity to become a part of formal parliamentary procedures.

"One thing for sure is that time truly flies, I hope that current International Studies students try to not stress as much and really enjoy the great diversity in their academic journey.''

Looking forward to following your career path further, Nicole! 

This website uses cookies.  More information.