From Aberdeen to International Diplomacy - Lotte HajemaLotte Hajema

MA (Hons) Philosophy-Politics, 2012
From Aberdeen to International Diplomacy

Your Time at Aberdeen

Why did you choose to study at Aberdeen?
I wanted to go abroad and Aberdeen offered a joint honours programme in the two subjects that interested me most. I also really liked the idea of studying in Scotland. Plus, I fell in love with the Old Aberdeen campus when I came to visit.

Why did you choose your particular course?
I was very interested in studying logic, ethics and critical thinking. I also wanted to see how these topics play out in the real world, so combining philosophy and politics was perfect for me.

What did you most enjoy about your time at Aberdeen? Did you have any particularly memorable student experiences?
The best part of my time in Aberdeen without a doubt was the people I met and the friends I made.
In Aberdeen brilliant minds from all across Europe and the whole world come together.

If while at Aberdeen you took part in a foreign exchange, e.g. Erasmus or Study Abroad, where did you go and what did you do?
I went on an Erasmus exchange to Berlin. I met a lot of amazing people. My German language skills improved greatly.

If you were involved in any clubs and societies as a student, what did you enjoy most about them and what benefit do you think they have for students?
I was the president of the Philosophy Society and member of the Debating club. Through this, I learned to take initiative, to be a leader, and to take responsibility.

If talking to a group of prospective students, what advice would you give them to help them make the most of their time at the University of Aberdeen?
Talk to everyone. Join many societies. Do sports. Go on an exchange.

Your Time After Aberdeen

What was the title of your first job after graduating from Aberdeen?
Policy officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

What did your first role involve?
Advising on foreign policy, drafting memorandums, drafting letters to parliament, accompanying the minister of Foreign Affairs on visits.
    
What is your current job title?  
Senior Policy Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

Please briefly describe the journey from your first job after graduating to where you are now.
After completing my Masters Degree I joined the Dutch diplomatic service. I worked at the Dutch Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Currently, I am working at the Middle East department, focusing on the Gulf region.

Was your degree at Aberdeen essential for getting to where you are now? If so, in what way?
Yes, I learned about different cultures, different politics systems, different ways of thinking.

One Top Tip

Please share your one top tip that you think is most important for our current students or recent graduates that will help them when starting out on their career paths. Get out of your comfort zone. Learn from your peers.