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RMA History Blog

Tom-Eric Krijger: Standing out with two masters

Tom-Eric Krijger: Standing out with two masters

By Sacha van Leeuwen


Tom-Eric Krijger not only graduated from the RMA program, but also completed a Master in Religious and Theological Studies alongside it. This educational background allowed him to study Dutch Protestantism in the nineteenth and twentieth century from a broad perspective. He looks back on his education as a valuable preparation for his current position as a PhD-candidate at the University of Groningen.

The research master taught him how to think analytically, find historical connections, and work independently. The course State of the Art in Modern History in particular taught him how to write a research proposal. “In my case, responding to an open vacancy was interesting because I already knew what I wanted to research. I used these two master’s programmes and a semester in Brussels to work towards a specialisation.”

Tom-Eric advises students to also work towards a specialisation because it is important to distinguish yourself from others. “If you want to become a PhD-candidate, it helps if you can demonstrate that you not only possess the necessary academic skills, but also know how to study a certain topic within a historiographical debate and from an original point of view.” However, he also stresses that students should not worry too much. “Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or to contact professors if you have questions or need help with something. If you really want to become a PhD student, you have to be bold sometimes and keep faith. Rejections are hard but not a sign that you should stop trying.”