Read and study hard, but don’t let it take away your free time.
Why did you choose the RMSCMA? Was it a conscious choice for a specific career path? What other factors contributed to your decision?
Before the Research Master, I completed a bachelor programme in political science, and followed a master programme that I felt was too aesthetics-oriented.
I have a strong interest in societal processes, so I wanted something that considers both – cultural studies and social perspective. Since I also wanted to go abroad, RMSCMA was a double-win programme.
Do you have any tips or recommendations for current students?
Read and study hard, but don’t let it take away your free time – have time to do things that don’t concern studying. Then you’ll probably be more fruitful in your studies, too.
How did you experience the job hunt and job application process?
I applied to many different companies, for instance in the field of marketing and theatre, but was not sure where I would fit in with my skills and knowledge. At the same time I was invited to many job interviews too, which was a really useful experience. All in all, I’ve sent many applications, but I was only interested in some of those jobs. Looking back, I could have applied to less positions, because you do not come across as convincing enough in a job interview, when you don’t really want to have that job. In the end, I found a job that exactly fits with what I wanted to do.
Were you well-prepared when you started your first job? Why/why not?
Yes, I was well-prepared. In the summer before graduation in September 2015, I took an internship in cultural ministry of Estonia, where I learned a lot. Furthermore, the methods courses in the Research Master helped me a great deal.
For which organization or company do you currently work, and what is your position in the company or organization?
I am an analyst in Statistics Estonia, where I mostly work on statistics on culture and education. I get to work with very credible sample sizes that are weighted to represent the whole population of Estonia, which is really exciting.
Which components of your Master are useful in your current position or career trajectory?
Before the Research Master, I barely knew anything about quantitative analytical methods. I had encountered qualitative methods in my studies before, but only in the context of aesthetic texts.
Now I work as a statistician – all thanks to the intensive coverage of qualitative and quantitative methods in Rotterdam and my thesis supervisor, who helped me put this theoretical knowledge into practical research (and helped me a lot with analysis in SPSS)!
What would you have wanted to know beforehand (about your Master, your job, or both)?
It helps if you are familiar with sociological theory and methods, before you start the programme. In the beginning, I felt a little lost in the course readings, and I had to make myself familiar with the basics of sociology to truly understand what we were doing in the seminars. In the end it has proven to a be a great addition to my knowledge, and in my first real job I really make use of a sociological understanding of the world (and culture). I use the theories covered in the Research Master in my analysis on an almost-daily basis, for instance when making questionnaires.