Laura Meneghello is a PhD candidate at the Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
“During my Master’s in Philosophy, I have learnt how to critically analyse secondary literature (not only in the field of philosophy, but also in the fields of history and history of science). Moreover, I acquired both theoretical and practical knowledge about dealing with historical sources.
After graduating with a thesis on Jacob Moleschott’s materialist worldview, I started my PhD in History at the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC), University of Gießen. There, I could carry on my research on Moleschott. Besides working on my own project and writing my dissertation, I participate in other research projects within my institute. I regularly take part in international conferences and colloquia, where I have the chance to present some of my results; I also publish scientific articles and book reviews.
What I mostly like is that I have the possibility to independently carry on research, but also to collaborate in larger projects with my colleagues. I am now teaching seminars on 19th-century scientific materialism, as well as on the history of the university. Moreover, I organised a workshop for PhD students and young scholars, dealing with the topic of ‘translation’ in cultural studies and the history of the sciences.”
Harmen Ghijsen is a PhD student at KU Leuven
"I always knew I wanted to continue research in philosophy, so the choice for this Research Master’s programme was an easy one. I was already familiar with Utrecht University because of my Bachelor’s and liked the analytic style, the professors and overall environment of its philosophy education. Moreover, the Master’s programme offered students the possibility to study self-chosen topics in the form of tutorials, which would allow me to gain more depth in my field of interest.
After graduating at Utrecht University, I found a job as a PhD student at KU Leuven’s Institute of Philosophy. By now – four years later – I have published articles in internationally recognised journals, and have just submitted my PhD Thesis to the jury. It wasn’t always easy: getting funds for research and getting articles accepted can be quite difficult and frustrating. But fortunately I was able to pull it off.
I have taught a few courses in my own area of expertise and helped organise a seminar series in which some of our institute’s philosophers present their work. My research activities include visiting conferences and workshops, presenting my own work to diverse audiences, writing and publishing articles in my area of expertise, and, of course, writing my PhD Thesis.
The Master’s programme has provided me with a good background in analytic philosophy and taught me skills like clear writing, presenting, analysing texts, and (re)constructing arguments. This has been very important for my work, but perseverance and a little luck have also played their parts."
Anna van Dijk is a self-employed journalist
“After the Master programme I started working as a staff member for Bureau de Helling, a research foundation affiliated to the Dutch green political party GroenLinks. My tasks were to think about topics in green politics: what course should the green political party take, what did I (we) think were important issues to focus on? I had to write articles, attend and organise political meetings and brainstorm with my colleagues.
After doing this for almost two years I quit to travel for almost a year. When I returned I enrolled in an educational programme in journalism, focused on graduated academics. Now I am working as a self-employed journalist, writing mainly for the Dutch independent newsmagazine De Groene Amsterdammer. I enjoy writing for this magazine because it enables me to combine interviews on social topics with more profound theories.
In the Master’s programme I have obviously learned to function in the academic world, which is very useful if you want to pursue an academic career. However, if you plan on pursuing a career outside the academic field, I would advise you to do an internship during your studies. In that way you are able to find out what kind of job suits you and you have a change to extend your network. If you have the chance, find additional educational training in the field you would like to work in, next to your study in philosophy.”
Read some of Anna's articles