Universiteit Leiden

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‘Everyone who wanted to work in Brussels has got a job in Brussels’

On the day that Leiden University celebrated its 444th birthday, we organised drinks for our alumni who live and work in the Brussels area.

Earlier that day, twenty students and alumni from our faculty went on a working visit to NATO, led by Leiden alumna Beaudine Verhoek (MA in International Relations), who is now Officer for Political Affairs and Security Policy at NATO. We were treated to an informative programme at the organisation’s brand-new headquarters in Brussels. At the drinks afterwards, the Leiden alumni were happy to catch up with former classmates and with Dr. Maxine David and Dr. Matthew Broad of the MA in International Relations.

Share our experiences on how we got from Leiden to Brussels

Jacob Cloo (MA International Relations), Public Affairs Consultant at Harwood Levitt Consulting: “It was great to talk about 'old times' with professors and alumni! The professors were very interested in what we as alumni are doing, and we were equally eager to hear how 'good old' Leiden is doing. It was also really nice to catch-up with former classmates that are working in Brussels and to share our experiences on how we got from Leiden to Brussels! I hope the university is coming back to Brussels next year!”

Better support each other in our personal and professional endeavours

Dan Stanciu (MA European Union Studies), Startup Job Fair Coordinator at Startup Factory: "It was great to meet former Humanities graduates in Brussels, people I wouldn’t probably have met if it wasn’t for the proactive Leiden University Alumni staff who organised this meetup. We are already planning our next meetups and we plan to better support each other in our personal and professional endeavours. I also had the opportunity to meet Mr. Matthew Broad - the new professor at my former programme and it’s great to see Leiden University is a magnet for world class professors like Matthew. Keep up the great job!”

Our graduates have carved out good opportunities for themselves

Dr. Maxine David, lecturer at Leiden University’s MA International Relations: “Any student who has sat in a classroom with me will tell you that a familiar refrain is "what evidence do you have for that?". It's therefore the case that one of the few downsides to life as an academic is that you have the idea that your graduates go on to do interesting and meaningful things with their lives but you have little evidence of that actually being the case. So it was wonderful to have the opportunity last week to spend the evening with alumni who had specialised in European Union Studies on our MA International Relations degree programme and to have that hypothesis confirmed. Whether working in the EU institutions, small public consultancy firms or NATO, our graduates have carved out good opportunities for themselves and, to judge by their enthusiasm when talking about their work, love what they do. One recent graduate told me that everyone in her cohort who wanted to work in Brussels has got a job in Brussels. This says much more about them than Leiden University, of course, but how good to think that we are a part of their story.”

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