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RMA History Blog

Adriejan van Veen: Working hard to prove yourself

Adriejan van Veen: Working hard to prove yourself

By Alexander van den Berg


Adriejan’s time at University Utrecht’s RMA Modern History program taught him that he enjoyed doing historical research and that he was quite good at it. Following graduation, his thesis supervisor helped him successfully apply for a PhD position at UU combining both history and public administration. Adriejan also taught two undergraduate history courses and supervised Master’s theses at UU’s Department of Governance. After completing his dissertation, Adriejan gained a position as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Leiden, where he is also supervises students’ theses and teaches courses.

Adriejan continues to use the skills, knowledge, and social network he obtained through the RMA program. He advises current students to work hard, not to wait too long to begin searching for an internships, and to remember that an original and excellent Master’s thesis is a great way to promote yourself to universities when applying for a PhD position.

However, Adriejan warned that even flawless grades, a perfect dissertation, and a RMA title cum laude do not automatically translate into a job in the academic world. You have to work hard and to prove yourself again and again in a very competitive world where the best positions will be uncertain temporary contracts. That said, Adriejan thinks a place in the academic world is a great job and that ultimately most PhD’s will end up doing just fine.