Interview alumnus Leonie Bakker

Leonie Bakker

Junior researcher at Regioplan Beleidsonderzoek, The Netherlands                             

  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Bachelor: Criminology
  • Master: Victimology and Criminal Justice
  • Year of graduation: 2014

'I really enjoyed doing an internship during my study. I experienced a lot of freedom to do this and it is actually encouraged to gain work experience during the master'.

Alumna Leonie Bakker about her experiences after graduation:

Can you describe what your current position involves?

Currently I am working as a junior researcher at an office that conducts research, commissioned by inter alia the government, in all kind of fields. I want to develop myself in the world of scientific research and this position gives me this opportunity. Besides research that focusses on social issues of interest to anyone, I also work on projects that connect with my academic background. This for instance includes research to children’s rights, human trafficking and migration.

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How did you find this position?

By chance! I met someone who was already working at this organisation. When I found out there was a vacancy I didn't hesitate and applied for the job.

Tips: It is very important to connect with people on different kind of meetings, conferences and online. There are enough initiatives in the Netherlands to do this. Additionally, I think it is very wise to participate in some workshops focusing on finding your ambitions and solicitation skills.

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What was the defining moment in your study?

I really enjoyed doing an internship during my study. I experienced a lot of freedom to do this and that it is actually encouraged to gain work experience during the master.

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How do you use the knowledge gained at Tilburg University in your job?

I use my research skills and experiences in research projects. During Victimology you focus on expanding and developing these skills.

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What aspects of your Master's program surprised you - pleasant or otherwise?

I have consciously chosen for this program but was still pleasantly surprised that it was so diverse! It gives everyone the opportunity to discover what direction in the field attracts them the most. Secondly, I think the group of professors and employees connected to the master is really accessible and helpful. This informal and open atmosphere makes you feel at home.

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Did you participate in extracurricular activities and if so, how did they contribute to your personal development?

I encourage everyone to do an internship during the master. Even though you may think you’ll have no time for it, it is worth it!

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What is your ambition? What would you like to have achieved by 2020?

The reason that I choose to get a position that gives me the opportunity to develop my research skills and to get familiar with the world of scientific research after finishing my studies is partly influenced by my ambition to do a PhD one day. I would love to contribute to the field of human rights and victimology, with conducting meaningful and innovative research or by actively promoting human rights being involved with an NGO.

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Do you have any advice for current students?

Try to discover what your ambitions are and already start working on developing a network with people working in your fields of interest. This already gives you a head start for when you are done studying!

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