Conquer the world with your PhD

On the 29th of November our Young@Heart Fall Event 2019 took place. It was a very energetic and inspiring day at the Driehoek in Utrecht with the attendance of almost 100 participants. The theme of the event was ‘How to conquer the world with your PhD?’. During the day, we gained insight into real-life stories of success and sacrifice in and outside academia. The day started off with an opening by Y@H chair Dr. B. Daan Westenbrink, who introduced the audience to Y@H: which has a goal of providing research opportunities and networking for young scientists in the cardiovascular field. As a real scientist, the next speaker Dr. Martijn Hoes wanted to collect data and provide statistics for Y@H. What do you think: would your peers be most likely to connect with each other on LinkedIn or Twitter? For those interested, these results have been released in another post!

Your career can continue in many directions. Different career opportunities were emphasized during the morning sessions: diverse, but very successful careers were brought to light! The different career paths included industry, education and teaching, clinic, and academia. All speakers followed their own path, but definitely had one thing in common: they pursued their ambition, motivation and passion. Great thanks again to all speakers; Dr. Paul van Haelst, Dr. Linda van Laake, Dr. Paula da Costa Martins and Dr. Volker Herdtweck. The morning session ended with a panel discussion, a part that I specifically enjoyed.  Different statements were discussed such as: ‘It’s beneficial for your career to be single and have no kids’, ‘My job consists of sitting behind my desk and going to meetings’ and ‘Follow the money; to earn a good living, you can better work in industry.’ The different opinions by all speakers and the audience led to an interesting discussion providing insights into different perspectives on the scientific field.

After enjoying lunch, the afternoon sessions continued with different workshops. The workshops addressed individual talent development, maintaining a good work-life balance and presenting your research to stakeholders. The workshop sessions were followed by a slogan contest: ‘How to conquer the world with your PhD?’ The three best slogans were as follows: ‘Finding what you want from the start will keep you Young at Heart’, ‘Having fun while failing’ and ‘Don’t get overrun, make sure you have fun’. With closing remarks by Dr. Diederik Kuster, the chair of the organizing committee, we closed off the day with drinks. I am leaving this event feeling inspired: I learned that, in order to conquer the world with my PhD, I need to follow my passion! We hope to see you at our next event on April 24!


By Kirsten Nijholt