Iris Segers

Letting go and relaxing a little is just as important as working hard.

PhD candidate at the University of Oslo

Research Master Alumnus

Why did you choose the Research master? Was it a conscious choice for a specific career path? What other factors contributed to your decision?
During my bachelor programme in International Communication and Media (IBCoM), I found that I very much enjoyed executing little research projects, for instance within the scope of a course. I loved working on my own bachelor thesis project, and it made me consider doing a research master. When I saw that this research master programme was available at EUR, it did not take long for me to decide to apply. The research traineeship in the first year, as well as the opportunity to go on exchange in the second year, very quickly convinced me.

Do you have any tips or recommendations for current students?
Take some time off before you start the programme, and make sure you do not have too many other side-activities, especially in the beginning of the first year. The programme is quite demanding, as you have a lot of material to digest in a short space of time. Enjoy the opportunity of working with your professors and teachers, as that gives you a good idea of what a job in academia entails. An extra bonus is that this gives you a shot at getting your work published in an academic journal, which in turn increases your chances of acquiring a PhD position after graduation.

How did you find your first job?
I was lucky to receive a job offer from the Erasmus University itself, and signed an employment contract before I even officially graduated. The first year after graduation, I worked as a junior lecturer at the Department of Media and Communication, where I mainly taught research methods courses to Bachelor students of the IBCoM programme. After some initial discomfort with my new ‘authority’ as a teacher, I quickly realized that the research master has prepared me well for this job, as I have a good grasp of research methods, particularly quantitative methods.

For which organization or company do you currently work, and what is your position in the company or organization?
I currently work as a Doctoral Research Fellow (PhD candidate) at the University of Oslo. My PhD project focuses on anti-asylum seeker centre protests in the Netherlands. 

Which components of your Master are useful in your current position or career trajectory?
As a teacher, I think the master gave me a very clear understanding and a good grasp of research methods, in such a way that I can quite easily convey them to my students. As an (aspiring) PhD candidate, I found that the master taught me how to construct and present a research proposal, something you often have to do when applying for a PhD position.

What would you have wanted to know beforehand (about your Master, your job, or both)?
That no matter how stressful something seems at the time, it is never as bad as you think it is. Letting go and relaxing a little is just as important as working hard. You need balance.

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