In my study Communication Sciences I chose to specialise in the policy-side of forest and nature conservation. During that time I got interested in politics as well and I decided to run as a candidate for one of the student council parties of Wageningen University. It worked out, because I got elected and I stopped my study for one year to commit myself to student politics. I learned so much and enjoyed my work everyday! My study Communication Sciences helped me a lot during that year, because you build ‘bridges’ between student interests and the members of the Executive Board of the University and you have to be able to speak two different ‘languages’.
After I graduated I still felt the urge to do something in politics or government relations and I found the ideal job! I now work for the 55 chosen members of State of South-Holland. South-Holland is home to 3.5 million people, who inhabit an area of around 2,900 km2. This makes it the most densely populated of the twelve Dutch province. Rotterdam with its mainport is the largest city, the provincial capital is The Hague, which is the seat of national goverment and the Queen’s official place of residence. Outside its urban heart, South-Holland offers a countryside with agriculture, rivers, polders, lakes, dunes and beaches. It is a constant challenge to mediate between the many conflicting interests of such a multifaceted province. This task is in the hands of the provincial administration, which works in co-operation with the state government, the municipalities of South-Holland, the neighbouring provinces and the regional water boards. My job is to support the State-members in their work. This means analysing policy-documents on relevant subjects, advise the chairpersons of my committees on agenda-setting, but also organising visits to projects in the Province and serve as a link for inhabitants or organisations who want to discuss problems with the State-members.
Once a month, the State-members meet and the relevant subjects that are discussed in my committees will come back for final decision-making.The skills I need for my work, all come back in the study Applied Communication Sciences. Policy analysis, agenda-setting but also the practical skills like the several facilitating processes you can use. As you can see my job is very multidisciplinary and I work with many different people everyday, this makes it a challenge and never boring!