Who did you want to be when you were a child?
“An inventor. Even though I had no idea of what an inventor actually did. Nowadays I would rather call it a scientist. But if you were to ask me now if I still want to be that, I'd have to say ‘no’. I'm not so much interested in exploring one theme in depth, but rather in highlighting different topics. Which is precisely what I get to do as a journalist.”
Why did you choose to study Human Geography?
“I left secondary school at 17. I didn't have a clear career path in mind, and was mainly looking for a broad education. My cousin had studied human geography and was very enthusiastic about it. When I went to have a look for myself at what this study programme and studying at a university entailed, it really appealed to me. This study programme was a good match for my social interest. Plus, Human Geography is not just about the Netherlands, but about the whole world. It asks, for example, how people behave, and why. I found that really interesting.”
Did your study programme help you see things from a different perspective?
“I always wanted to explore the world. During my studies, we made frequent trips abroad, to places like Berlin, Brussels, and Morocco. In Morocco, I interviewed migrants who were stuck in the country and actually wanted to go to Europe. That research project made a big impression on me. Going abroad and doing fieldwork makes you see things differently. I think doing those interviews also paved the way for a career in journalism.”