What knowledge and skills did you learn during your Master’s that are really useful to you now?
I learned a lot about working with medical imaging systems, which I now use directly for my PhD. I also learned a lot about ethics in AI, which is a course I now teach in my current position. Not just for teaching, but following the Ethics in AI, Bias in AI, and Law in Cyberspace courses made me a better researcher. Writing the master thesis made me a better writer as well.
And finally, I took the help of the career officer, Sophie Raaijmakers, who really helped me improve my CV and motivation when I was applying for PhDs.
What did you find most challenging in your Master’s programme? Did you encounter any obstacles?
Managing time was one of the hardest things, especially as an international student new to the Netherlands. Especially the second semester, I had a lot on my plate because of all the courses with a lot of deadlines. There would sometimes be very little time for reading.
The housing situation, and the ever-growing inflation certainly contributed to more anxiety in an already difficult environment.
Could you say a little about the job you do now ?
I am doing a PhD in deep learning with epidemiology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. I focus on infectious disease modelling (malaria) and ageing research with the help of skin biopsies.
I am also teaching two courses, Ethics of AI and Data Visualisation, for Master students and other PhD candidates. I serve as an expert in a working group for AI at the University.
What do you like about your profession and what makes working in your field so interesting and/or relevant?
I work directly at the intersection of medicine, epidemiology, policy-making and artificial intelligence, which is really fulfilling because whatever research I do impacts real humans. Deep learning techniques also help in finding solutions faster and often more accurately, which makes it really relevant to use.
Do you have any tips/suggestions for prospective students?
Plan everything!! Put small details in your calendar, that helps massively. If a big part of your brain is not engaged in actively remembering when your meetings are, you free up a lot of space in your head for your studies, or hobbies even. And also, plan your internships early. The big reason I finished on time (very few people do), was that I planned my internships and thesis in advance, and did not hit any delays.