Kick start your Career: Academic skills during and after Grad school

Note: all our courses are taught online this year.

“What will I ever use this degree for?” Surviving university is no easy task! Many students panic when they finish their studies because they are not aware of how the countless hours they spent writing papers, taking exams, and giving presentations—sometimes to the point of exhaustion and even burnout—will add up to a paying job and fulfilling career. During university the focus is often on learning about specific topics in your discipline, but not necessarily what to do with this information in the real world. Some of the most sought after and marketable skills are learned in university, yet few students realize just how many transferable skills they are acquiring along the way that are highly desired by employers.

Course days11-15 January 2021
Course levelMaster, PhD candidates and professionals from all disciplines 
Coordinating lecturerFaviola Brugger-Dadis, MSc
Other lecturersDr. Sandra Rathod and Ruben Boyd, MSc
Forms of tuitionLectures, presentations, interactive practicals 
Forms of assessment40%: 5-page (min) paper written in academic English (APA format) 
40%: Oral presentation
20%: Participation
Credits3 ECTS
Contact hours30 hours
Tuition feeRead all information about our tuition fees and what's included here 
How to applyFind our application form here
Master’s students and PhD candidates from all disciplines who are interested in learning how to make the most out of their time in university and might not realize all the valuable transferable skills they are gaining! Students who would like to know how to apply these skills in the real world in order to have successful careers. If you have doubts about your eligibility for the course, please contact us: [email protected]
For those who plan to remain in academia, the path is quite straight forward and typically involves working in a university; when you finish your Master’s degree, you can complete a PhD, after your PhD a Post Doc, and you can also work as a professor or researcher. While the transition from academia to industry is not as clear cut, there are countless options that students may not even know are available to them. Regardless of the choice to remain in academia or enter industry, there are ways to maximize your potential options and choose a career that is well suited for your skillset and ideals.

This course will explore how to make the most out of your time in graduate school and understand the valuable skillset you have been provided with. The goal is to help identify these transferable skills, and how to put them into practice in order to gain the most out of your degree. Understanding your options, potential, motivations, and ideologies can help you find a career that is well suited to you, as you make the decision to continue on in academia or transition into industry.

•   Identifying the most valuable transferable skills you gain from graduate school and how to apply them.
•   Understanding your potential, motivations, and ideologies in order to find a successful career that fits you.
•   Career opportunities inside and outside academia.
•   Transitioning from academia to industry.
•   How to structure your CV and motivation letters, and prepare for a successful job interview.
•   How to balance school/work and mental health.

Students will have the opportunity to virtually visit a startup in Amsterdam. They will be able to have a one on one Q&A session with the management team about what qualities led to hiring many of the employees directly from university with no prior experience in the job market. Amsterdam possesses a rich Startup community and culture that promotes academic transfer—or the translation of research into successful and marketable solutions and products in industry. The coordinating lecturer of this course is both a PhD candidate in Clinical Neuropsychology, as well as the CEO and Founder of a Medtech Startup, NeuroReality, which creates virtual reality software for neurorehabilitation. This opportunity will allow students to gain a deeper understanding about how academia and entrepreneurship can be combined to create a successful career.
Selected peer reviewed journal articles and chapters. To be announced.
Faviola Brugger-Dadis comes from a diverse background. Her mother is German and her father was Egyptian. She was born in California, raised in the Netherlands, but has 3 passports and has lived in 9 countries!

While science is where Faviola's true passion lies, she also has a passion for entrepreneurship. After a 15 year long successful career as an international model, and three years as Managing Director for a PR firm in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Tokyo—all the while still going to school and finishing her Bachelor's degree in biological psychology—Faviola took a drastic change in paths and returned to university fulltime. This multi-disciplinary and cross- cultural perspective has formed many of her ideologies regarding how to create a successful career path.

Faviola completed her Research Master’s in Cognitive Neuropsychology at the VU University Amsterdam, and her thesis on cognitive deficits in stroke patients at the University of Oxford. She was editor of the book Aging and Dementia: Neuropsychology, Motor Skills and Pain, written by Prof. dr. Erik Scherder, and has presented her research at conferences around the world.

Faviola is currently a PhD student at the VU University Amsterdam and the CEO and Founder of a Medtech Startup, NeuroReality. Her research focuses on the creation of gamified solutions using virtual reality (VR) for neurorehabilitation in patients with stroke, dementia, and traumatic brain injury. As opposed to acquiring traditional funding via a grant, Faviola independently funded her research via venture capital funding, and the creation of her startup—which developed and will market the medical software created during her PhD.

Faviola is also a science communicator and believes in making learning accessible to those from all different backgrounds. She is passionate about outreach and projects that have the ability to make an impact on people, and make their daily lives better.

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” -Thomas Edison