Alumnus Pieter-Jan Oddens

I look back at a fun period that shaped who I am.

Pieter-Jan Oddens

Alumnus Arts, Culture and Society (2013)

  • Education: Graphic Design (BA), Arts and Culture Studies (BA) & Arts, Culture and Society (MA)
  • Graduated in: 2013
  • Current job: Project Officer Marketing and Communication's at Het Nieuwe Instituut

“After completing a study at the academy of arts and working as a graphic designer, I felt the need for more theoretical enrichment. That’s how I ended up at the bachelor Arts and Culture Studies, where I deepened my knowledge of the sociology of arts and culture. In the last year of my bachelor I did an internship at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where I was engaged in their business arts collection. Eventually, I stayed there for a year to conduct research, to make information complete and to create a basis for better information services. After that I continued my studies with the master Arts, Culture and Society, where I wrote my thesis on the perception and appreciation of the arts collection of my old internship company: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The courses I followed during my master helped me to broaden my perception of the arts and culture sector, to conduct good research and to become a better writer. The scientific discipline surely enriched my skills. I look back at a fun period that shaped who I am.”


“I graduated during the economic crisis and had to deal with the cut backs in the cultural sector when I started looking for a job. Due to a lack of job openings for starters, many classmates started their own company to gain experience as a freelancer. After working as a volunteer for six months I started my own company – Oddens Art & Communication – to gain experience in marketing and communications. The small jobs I started with became bigger jobs and eventually I got to work for the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Mondriaan Foundation. Currently I am working fulltime as a paid employee for Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, where I am responsible for the marketing and communication regarding Thursday Night Live! – a curated platform to present research. Besides that I promote the department of Research & Development and the Jaap Bakema Study Centre. The tasks are challenging: communication targeted at an international, professional audience.”

Figure out your talents

“My tip for current and future students: try to gain as many relevant work expierence in the arts and culture sector as you can during your studies. It will help you to figure out what you like or what your talents are. Your first job is often a risk, but that doesn’t matter. Make deliberate considerations and read all there is to know about the sector, so you can make a good impression at job interviews. Besides that, also keep expanding your network and maintain your current network. The best of luck!”

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