Second edition BA International Studies Alumni reunion big success!
For most, it had been a while since they had seen each other: about thirty BA International Studies alumni who met up at Cafe Luden for a reunion on July 6. And, now that the BA programme has existed for seven years, there were some people who had never even met each other. 'What year did you start, by the way?'
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Despite the fact that for a reunion, a simple get together with some snacks and drinks would suffice, there was a considerable programme in place for attendees. Alderman Robert van Asten – replacing alderman Saskia Bruines, who due to circumstances had to cancel - told a wonderful story about The Hague as international city of education, and the role of Leiden University in The Hague.
Sarita Koendjbiharie – well-known among alumni – talked about labour market perspectives of International Studies students and careers of current alumni. She also touched on a worrying 'millennial disorder’: burn-outs. She herself almost a member of the critical group of 25 to 35-year-olds, she discussed the most important pitfalls. Her personal advice? Think of your career as a unique journey, in which you progress step by step. Stop comparing yourself to others. And, focus on being good at a limited number of things in life - energy and time are limited.
And so the day went on, with interesting speakers, discussions and International Studies quizzes. In between the programme elements and at the end there was time for snacks, drinks and good conversations. During these drinks, you could hear many alumni reflect on their time at International Studies. About what they learned from their BA, about their adventures in The Hague, but also about the road to their current job.
‘I think that many International Studies alumni find their job search to be difficult, because you often see that certain specific skills are required that are less relevant at International Studie', Eva Cseh said, 'but at the same time I see how easy it is for alumni to learn new skills. To keep an open mind. To improvise and adapt. That is extremely important. International Studies alumni have to think about what they are looking for in a career, and just go for it. Then they'll get there.’