Events of Dimensie - Career Week

The Career Week already ended more than a week ago and there was a lot of interesting information. In case you couldn’t make it to one of the events or if the event was already fully booked, we got you covered! In this blog we will inform you about the most important things you could take out of the lectures and workshops:


1. Opening lecture

The Career Week started with an opening lecture of Marielle Stel and Freek Saring. In this lecture, Marielle briefly opened and introduced the Career Week. Freek Saring then continued with an introduction of the field of Provocative Therapy. This kind of therapy is focused on using humour and directness to confront clients about their problems and provocatively facilitate behavioural change, instead of the usual careful handling of clients. If you want to learn more about this field of therapy, Freek has a podcast called “provocative psychologie” that can be found on Spotify, Soundcloud and Apple Podcasts and is available in Dutch and Spanish. More can also be found on his website 


2. Job Interview Workshop 

This workshop was led through by Theo du Plessis, who gave some interesting and insightful tips on rocking any job interview and then allowed the participants to practice the new strategies they had learned with each other. Some of the tips that really stuck with us include: 

  • Do not wear green sneakers to an interview! Just trust us on this one. (You don’t wanna be remembered as the person with green shoes but as the person with the great skill set and effective communication, so try not to wear anything too distracting)

  • Don’t arrive more than 10 minutes before the interview, and of course don’t arrive too late or let the interviewer know in time in case there is any trouble on the road 

  • Turn off your phone! Theo seemed very particular about this, turn it off, putting it on silent is not a safe bet. 

  • Practice a decent handshake and have it ready (for the times when this can be done again) 

  • Don’t fidget

  • Instead of saying your greatest weakness is your perfectionism (‘cause apparently 95% of people are perfectionists if you ask job interviewers), offer something more authentic that can be turned into a positive, but doesn’t even have to be, be human!

  • If you think you will encounter random facts questions: you probably won’t, so there really is no need to prepare these, offering up a train of thought is more than enough even if you don’t know the answer

  • But just for the record: manhole covers are round so they don’t fall into the hole


3. Inspirational Public Speaking

In the talk about inspirational public speaker, Andrew Taylor, gave a lot of important tips:

  • You need passion, the audience will like it

  • Don’t move too much, it can be distracting. However, if you say something important, go closer to the audience and also lower your voice

  • Make sure your body language fits your message, if it does not, people tend to believe body language more

  • There are three important things you need to think about when preparing the talk or presentation: your audience, the message and how you are as a presenter. Ask yourself: what do you want to achieve as a presenter?

  • Depending on your audience, you might have to simplify your information. What is clear to you, and what could be unclear to them? Also, make sure you explain why things you say are important. After your statements, ask “so what?”

  • Make sure to practice the talk out loud and if you stumble across words that you find difficult to pronounce, think of synonyms already

  • Grab the audience’s attention with a story, maybe a shocking story, but people usually prefer personal stories

  • When giving examples, try to always use three, it has a good flow in the rhythm and people won’t remember the fourth one anyway

  • Use alliterations and repeat short sentences and phrases (other than in written texts)


4. PhD Talk

During the PhD talk, Christina Bode and Hanneke Kip shared some nice experiences and important things to take into account:

  • PhD is the Doctor of Philosophy.

  • You don’t do a PhD alone. It can even be argued that a PhD is not possible without others. You can work together with supervisors, but also with organizations. This is all depending on your subject and own interests.

  • In a PhD you have your promotor, who has the promotion rights and guides you from a distance, and co-promoters, who are the daily supervisors and usually are involved in the development of project ideas.

  • After your PhD, you can not only work in science, but also in education, practice, management and policies. 

  • After your PhD, it can happen that you are perceived as overqualified and, therefore, are not hired. This was explained with an example where an employer did not want anyone in his company who had a higher education as himself. But then again, do you really want to work for those kinds of employers?

  • When you are interested in a PhD, go to the website of academic transfer for vacancies. You can also tell your supervisor or a professor that you are interested. A network can be of use when looking for a PhD spot.

  • Finding a PhD spot at the University of Twente is not a guarantee. However, on a national level, there are a lot of opportunities.

  • Last but not least, your grades are important, especially the Master grades. This does not mean that you need to graduate cum laude or have a high average, but this means that you have to show growth throughout the years. 


5. Psychologist for a day I

Three former psychologist students talked about their work and gave useful tips.

In the first talk, Katharina Preuhs, who is a Junior behavioural scientist in Child Health in Leiden now, gave the advice to do voluntary work to get experience and to boost your CV.

Then, Sandra Ehrenhard, who is an Educational Scientist, advised to be active and even do a board year because it helps your development and network.

The third speake, Marlie Stegeman, who is a Clinical Psychologist now, gave everyone hope by saying that there is and always will be a need for clinical psychologists, especially in times like these.

6. Networking & Linkedin Workshop

In this interactive workshop, Joe Laufer  first started off with showing the participants an example of a good Linkedin profile, while giving tips about what to take into account, what to include and what to put where. He then gave some insights into the networking possibilities via Linkedin and explained why a network is important, how one can actually network via Linkedin and how to find Alumni that are interesting to you and connect and contact them. Overall, the workshop was held in a very hands-on and practical way and involved a lot of opportunities for the students to try things out for themselves with help from Joe. 

7. Internationals working in the Netherlands 

During the lecture about Internationals working in the Netherlands, Roberto Cruz (Originally from Mexico and is now a PhD candidate in Health Psychology and Technology) mentioned some very interesting points:

  • If you want to work while studying, check UT Flex, be open(-minded) and go to people or contact them to ask them directly.

  • If you want to stay in the Netherlands, prepare to stay by deciding what you want in life and having a Plan B. Next to that, talk about your plans, which will make them more realistic, even when your perspective changes. Additionally, by talking about your plans to different people you might gain new insight and information and might also get connected to people who could help you reach your goals  If you want to adjust to life in the Netherlands, become active during your student life (for example study, sport and art associations), make use of the support services and embrace the advantages of the culture. However, give yourself some time to adapt and also accept disadvantages of the culture.

  • When you are interested in the working culture, try to identify subcultures of the job market. In the Dutch culture, it has a low hierarchy, is open-minded and straightforward. A tip is to use this for your advantage. Another tip is to talk early and often about cultural differences, so you can reduce misunderstandings.

  • Last but not least, some tips are to speak the language, be open to adapt mentally and socially and be confident.


8. Therapy Training 

During the lecture about Therapy Training, Sophie Ekrod, Eva Steinbach, Joleen de Jong and Marjolein Prenger talked about some interesting things you should know about therapy training:

  • The important components during your Bachelor Psychology at the University of Twente are: Module 4 “the Individual”, Module 6 “Mental Health”, Module 8 “Professional and Psychological Skills” and of course the Master “Positive Clinical Psychology and Technology”

  • In the Master, it is strongly recommended to do an internship (20ECs Internship, 10ECs Master Thesis). During the internship, interpersonal skills are very important (for example, empathy, listening, communication, compassion and analytical thinking).

  • After receiving your Masters Degree, you have opportunities in different work fields, like Basic Psychologist, Prevention, Research, Education and Business.

  • When you want to work in Germany, you additionally need the “therapeutenausbildung” and your grades will be switched via the “Äquivalenzprüfung”.

  • In Germany there is a transition time to a new system, which goes on until 2032. However, you have to follow the new system if you started your Bachelor on the 1st of September 2020 or later.

    1. Old system: Bachelor, Master → Ausbildung, Approbation, Exam

    2. New system: Bachelor, Master, Approbation → Further training, Exam

  • Last but not least, when you transition from the Netherlands to Germany, always check the different rules for the different Bundesländer!

9. Personal development

The speaker Helma Rijbroer is a life coach who gave a lot of information about personal development: 

  • Going abroad is excellent experience for personal development because you learn being alone and independent

  • If you want development, you need self-awareness, because if you are not self-aware you can’t change or develop yourself. 

  • You need knowledge of who you are fundamentally when you don’t adapt to others. It will make you more confident, and you earn how to fulfil yourself and not only others. 

  • Find your talent: people often think they don’t have a talent because they think it has to be something special. However, it is important to know that a talent is something you can do effortlessly every day

  • Think of your three core values or identities that you can have or use everyday

  • Try to live healthy, a healthy body is a healthy mind

  • Ask yourself: in what areas do you want to develop yourself? What is holding you back?


10. Psychologist for a Day II 

Six people presented their different jobs in different work fields of psychology, depending on which talk you chose you could listen to three of them. We chose to attend the following speaker’s presentations: 

Fabiola Müller, who did her Master in Health Psychology, did a PhD and Post-Doc in Amsterdam UMC, now works in a project at UMCG (in Groningen) and is an Honour Affiliate in Sydney. 

She mainly gave tips regarding doing a PhD:

  • It is tough, you need to revise a lot and need to deal with resubmissions, setbacks, rejections and delays

  • The effort pays off though as it opens the door to academia 

  • Have a lot of patience

Next, Randy Bloeme did his Master in Conflict, Risk and Safety. Now he works as a researcher and consultant at the DSP group, which is an institute for policy research and social innovation.

He is working with different types of clients in fields of crime prevention and safety in the nightlife

His tip is: use your knowledge from your study but don’t focus too much on it. Instead, use your skills and tools, be open and trust your intuition. 

Esther Miltenburg is a senior and development advisor in a hospital. She was a trainee in trainer workers council and firefighter health. Now her work includes listening, building and maintaining a network and knowing the people you are working with.

11. Work-life balance workshop

This workshop mainly focused on how to manage time and energy and how to deal with potential lack of both due to stressful life circumstances by embracing self-care. It comprised several tips and tricks on how to find harmony in the balance between one’s study or occupation and daily life. For example, it introduced the attendee to simple steps of self-care and helped in realizing potential sources of stress in one’s life and how to tackle them, for example by explaining how to generate a personal energy plan. Also, tips on how to change tense situations or react differently to them were discussed, and the participants were able to get a very good insight into the identification of his or her own stressors. Some exercises were conducted which furthermore contributed positively to a better understanding of how to get aware of one’s own, potentially maladaptive behaviour in stressful circumstances, and how to change this behaviour.

12. How to find a job

from Together Abroad gave some important information on how to find a job:

  • Life science and health as well as high tech systems are two of the key sectors in the Netherlands

  • Use the UT career service if you don’t know what you want to do exactly and sometimes they also have some suggestions for potential companies or work fields

  • There are two ways to find a job: either you will find one yourself or you will use a recruiter such as an agency or LinkedIn 

  • If you go for the second option, always make sure to schedule a personal meeting. Make clear what you do, what you can and what you want to do

  • You have to knock the door because people will forget about you, aka if you didn’t hear back from anyone in a while, just call them

  • To find a job yourself, you can use LinkedIn, Job boards (there are multilingual ones and also some psychology related ones) but also look for companies in the Chamber of Commerce and see if they have nice jobs to offer

  • Use boolean search to find vacancies on google

  • Always adjust your LinkedIn profile to the job you want, you can also do that by uploading a CV that fits the description

  • Use keywords in your CV and motivational letter, because companies might search for those 

  • If you see a good vacancy, apply quickly. You want to be within the first 10 good candidates. Don’t wait until the deadline, the companies will already look when they get the first letters.


13: Closing Event: Jobs in Psychology 

In the lecture about Jobs in Psychology, examples of every Master track were mentioned:

  • For the Human Factors Master: working as a HIM& UX Engineer at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. In this job you have to understand user needs to gather insights that can be applied for the product strategy and design. You conduct usability tests for application to enhance user experience and safety.

  • For the Mental Health Master: working as a registered nurse at the Detox department. You can work in the Nurse Intern- Treatment department and will also do Social skills training.

  • For the Safety Master: working as a Researcher and Consultant at DSP-group. This job includes carrying out different assignments in the fields of Safety, Prevention and Health to ensure security and safety in social context. This job was also presented during Psychologist for a Day II.

  • For the Clinical Psychology and Technology Master: working as a Student Psychologist at Saxion or as a Clinical Psychologist. As a Student Psychologist at Saxion you offer services to support students, which range from online coaching to individual support. But you also give workshops about personal development and how to study effectively. As a Clinical Psychologist it is depending on your area of interest, but you mostly work with diagnosis and treatment.

  • For the Learning and Instruction Master: working as a trainer and coach. You can coach employees and managers in organizations.

  • There are of course different kinds of jobs for these masters. In the lecture the group was divided (based on Masters interest) into smaller groups to check out possible job opportunities on LinkedIn.

  • Tips for LinkedIN:

    1. Use interesting functions as new search key terms.

    2. Check out interesting companies.

    3. Fill out the LinkedIn feed with things that are relevant for you to clarify your job preferences.


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