Niels Merkx

Class of 2009 (Graduated in 2012)
Public Administration (specialization in international administration) Leiden University Campus, The Hague

What was important in making up your mind?

Obviously, job prospects and career options are the most important factors to consider. I reckon many communication students come across different areas of expertise during their studies and would wish to specialize in one particular area as a result. Studying communication means analyzing a multitude of different and sometimes unrelated areas, making further specialization, in my humble opinion, paramount.

What made you decide to choose for this master?

For me, my master degree allowed me to place communication science on a somewhat more secondary trajectory and study the subjects that I previously analyzed on the surface, from a pure communication standpoint, more in depth. Secondly, the university and its reputation weighed significantly in my decision.

How would you describe your master?

The public administration master program focuses on the functioning of various political-administrative systems locally, nationally, and internationally. In this program we do not study government per se, but focus on a wider area of governance which includes a vast variety of different public, private, state and non-state actors.

How would you describe the connection between IBCoM and your master?

There are various connections. Within communication science, subjects such as democracy, globalization, diplomacy and legitimacy are prominently covered and discussed. Within the field of public administration, political actors largely derive legitimacy from all sorts of communicative processes (e.g elections, labour negotiations, agenda-setting). The fact that especially these audiences (e.g. voters) are increasingly disenfranchised with various public institutions, complicates this increasingly fragile communicative relationship. Secondly, globalization and new information technologies continue to hold important implications for policymaking in both domestic and transnational settings (e.g. international – polylateral- relations). Finally, media are still the prime intermediates between the political realm and the public, and thus continue to hold key positions in translating political information and processes.

In hindsight, what would you have liked to have known before, what you know now?

Not so much.

What kind of job would you be interested in after this master?

I am going to prolong my studies with one year (abroad). But in due time I imagine myself working at a consultancy firm, think tank or other (semi-)public organisation. But honestly, this is pretty much a shot in the dark.