Universiteit Leiden

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Special career preparation programme for MPA master’s students

How long does it take our master’s students to find a job after they have graduated? How far ahead should you start sending out applications? Where do most Public Administration students end up after graduation? How do most students go about finding work? That was the start of the kick-off meeting Career Preparation for the master’s students of Public Administration. A Kahoot! (multiple choice quiz) with questions about their future on the labour market.

The students played a quiz on their future on the labour market

The programme was created to prepare master’s students for their future careers, explains Study Advisor Charlotte Rosalie. ‘This is the first time we’re running this programme to help our master’s students prepare for the labour market and help them find a job that suits them. The idea came about after we received the results of a poll among our alumni. The results showed that our students didn’t feel they were prepared for the labour market, even though we see things differently. Especially since 60% will have found a job within three months after graduating and this percentage rises to 70, 80% after six months.’

Importance of labour market preparation

As part of the extracurricular programme students reflect on their personality traits and profile. They are also able to follow online modules in Brightspace, working independently and at their own pace. They also receive training in job interviews. During the kick-off students were given a ‘taster’ of the modules and Programme Coordinator Rik de Ruiter and Dianne Kardijk from Career Services were present to explain the importance of labour market preparation and the available career support within the study programme.

Networking pays off

Three alumni talked about their job-hunting experiences after the master and shared tips and tricks. Piotr Rygielski (Economics and Governance) talked about the importance of networking: ‘Networking is your friend, so don’t be afraid of it’. Babette Kolen (International and European Governance) talked about her decision to apply for a traineeship in Brussels and a research internship at the Clingendael Institute. ‘You really learn a lot this way. About yourself, about working life, and if something is the right fit for you. You also gain a lot of experience.’

Don’t take it personally

Adrienne Huisman (Public Management and Leadership) talked about her job interview experiences. During a procedure for a job at a consultancy firm she made it through six rounds only to be rejected. ‘Obviously, I was disappointed, it was a difficult track. What I’ve learned is not to take it personally, even though that’s your initial reaction. It will work out in the end,’ smiles Huisman who is currently working as a senior consultant at PWC and is really happy to be working there.

In the audience, master’s student Merlijn (International and European Governance) paid close attention to the meeting. ‘I think it’s good that they’re organising this for us. I was very impressed with Babette’s story because I can relate to it. It would be a dream come true for me to follow a Schuman traineeship at the European Union. The tips and tricks I’ve learned this morning will definitely come in helpful.’

Charlotte Rosalie

Example for others

At the end of the meeting, Study Advisor and organiser of the meeting, Charlotte Rosalie, was very pleased with how the kick-off meeting went. ‘We really hope that this programme will help us to prepare students for the labour market. We also hope that this programme will be an example for other institutes and faculties. Because what applies for our students, applies for others too.’

Text: Margriet van der Zee

Study advisers

Your study adviser or coordinator is an expert on all aspects of your study programme. If you have any questions or concerns about your programme, whether they be of a practical or academic nature, you can contact your study adviser.

Study advisers Public Administration
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