“This programme, especially with the specialisation I chose, Public Policy and Administration, is largely about the European Union. I’m currently looking for a job in Brussels, preferably at one of the institutions connected to the European Parliament. I think it would be very interesting to work for one of the lobby groups. During the master’s programme, we went on a two-day trip to Brussels and spoke to one of the biggest lobby groups, Business Europe, which represents the interests of all employers’ organisations. If you get a starting position there, you do things like researching policy to support the lobbyists – that really appeals to me.
I find the complexity of ‘Brussels’ fascinating. I’m intrigued by the process of establishing new legislation and treaties, and the interaction between the various institutions and the 28 member states. I also like that it concerns half a billion people, instead of ‘just’ the 16 million people in the Netherlands.
Based on what I’ve heard so far, looking for a job Brussels is like a funnel. Many people want to get in, and once you’ve made it into the funnel it’s easier to find a good job. I’m curious as to how I’m going to manage it. A paid internship is supposed to be a good starting point. But 25,000 people applied for the 600 vacancies the EP recently had to fill. I know that several graduates of this master’s programme found a job that way, though, which is encouraging. The programme has a good reputation there, as we found out during that trip to Brussels.
My thesis is on the influence of social media on the number of preference votes a Dutch candidate received in the European elections. It’s a nice combination of two of my interests, social media and the EP. A master’s thesis is a lot of work, so some of my fellow students and I would meet up to work at the faculty every day. The faculty has an open-doors policy, which means you’re free to use classrooms whenever they’re not being used for classes. We used Facebook chat to let each other know where we were working on any given day.
It’s motivating to be around other people who are working too, and to have fixed coffee breaks. Banditos in the faculty has been a great place throughout my studies in Maastricht. I’ve had a lot of cappuccinos in the past few months, here as well as abroad, but no one makes them as good as they do at Banditos.”
“I always wanted to show the world that I can leave an imprint on society.”