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RMA History Blog

Matthea Westerduin: Between teaching and journalism

Matthea Westerduin: Between teaching and journalism

By Pascale van Gils


Matthea’s first job was as a junior teacher in the course “Philosophy of the Sciences and Humanities” at UU. The process of finding this job was pretty straightforward, but before she started teaching she had a few months off. Because she always wanted to do more journalistic work, she decided to apply for internships at many newspapers. After lots of rejections, she finally got two internships which both resulted in jobs: as a freelancer at De Volkskrant and as program maker at Felix Meritis.

Research skills of course came in very helpful during her first job, as well as during her current job as a PhD student. She is also very glad to have gained working experience outside the academia, as it made her aware of other working environments where a whole set of other skills is appreciated. Also, academics could learn from the outside world and interact more with researchers from other fields. “We have a common goal,” she concludes.

Matthea’s advice:

“Try whatever you want: do not hesitate in contacting people from fields you want to work in. They do not mind, and if they do, they will let you know. Most importantly, it really helps to just talk with people who are working in fields you are interested in. Then, you can figure out what you would like to do, and they will remember your name when something comes up.