Education & early career

I am a consultant, teacher and trainer. I currently provide Business Support to Food & Farming Futures, coordinated by Lord Curry of Kirkharle. I also teach at Saxion University of Applied Sciences. In my spare time, I am building English on Point, my own language and communication training agency. 


I have worked and studied in an international environment for many years. In 2005, I started my BA in International Relations and was exposed to the wonderful and demanding student community of the University of Wales, location Aberystwyth. Being part of a student body of over forty nationalities in the unique setting of Wales, one of the United Kingdom’s constituent countries, was a unique start to my career as a student, which came to last nearly 10 years.


While at Aberystwyth, I learned a lot about EU and British Politics but not because I formally studied them. I learnt from my peers who – attracted by the international reputation of this tiny university – came from all over Europe and beyond. Students were passionate about politics and activism and the University and the Politics Department in particular offered an environment that facilitated the development of our perspectives by challenging them and asking to dig deeper intellectually. We also ‘lived politics’, as the differences between students coming to study military strategy and those more attracted to deconstructing global relations of power were evident in the seminars run by dedicated PhD students, one of whom I was to become myself, not too many years later. 


I will be forever grateful for the opportunities offered by Aberystwyth University and facilitated by bursaries from various institutions, including the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds. These ranged from receiving a travel bursary to visit and carry out my very first independent research project in India, to volunteering in Jordan, attending conferences in the U.S. and taking part in game simulations like the Crisis Games in a stunning location in Wales. I will forever embrace the kind of internationalism that I was able to experience thanks to this University and its philosophy.  


Aberystwyth was followed by the University of Oxford and later Sheffield University, where I studied and worked in Anthropology and Politics Department respectively. Nevertheless, while loving parts of academia, I did not enjoy the pressure to publish. Even though it can be very satisfying to see your work published in scientific journals. I found it difficult to make my ideas fit a certain mold and apply theory effectively, as I was always drawn to the exception and to the particular. Academia also demands patience and I preferred working in a more immediate and applied problem-solving manner. 


After finishing my post-doc research, I switched to the world of NGOs and internationally-minded companies. As a consultant, trainer and partnership coordinator I could put my knowledge of languages, in particular Spanish, Arabic and English, to good use. The portfolio page on this website gives an overview of the various international projects – including research projects – that I have been involved with. 


It has been a privilege to work and study in such a diverse international environment. Even though I have a few degrees under my belt, I have learnt most from the people I met along the way. It is my wish to put my experience and what I’ve learnt from moving within different environments and navigating different perspectives to good use in my current roles of consultant, trainer and teacher. I believe that through more connection, better communication and co-creating projects more sustainable and profitable results can be realised. 

University life

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