The Career Minor is a minor that prepares you for the job market and has as end goal to enhance your employability. This means that a) your knowledge of a sector will be improved and b) will give you the capabilities and attitude to function properly. The minor starts with a competence and personality test, and an individual talk with a ‘trainer’ to strengthen your insight and to set your learning goals (leerdoelen). General knowledge and skills will be obtained during general sessions with lectures, workshops, and exercises. Furthermore, you will choose a specific and important civil subject, such as sustainability, security, or governance, that connects with your interests, study background and wishes for the future. You will learn how to apply your knowledge, explore your talents, and develop relevant knowledge and skills. It is a intensive full-time program, where you will meet experts, fulfill practice orientated, go on excursions, but also learn to do a job interview, network, negotiate, make a planning for project, think enterprising, write policy advises, work in teams, and much more. You will complete the minor with an internship: a specific task from the government/business/ngo while working in an interdisciplinary team, or develop your own ‘start-up’ with guidance from business coaches.
Study year: 2021-2022
As a third-year history student, I enjoyed the Career Minor a lot! Led by dr. Sipke de Hoop, the minor introduces you to the working field of Humanities and it also provides you with an elective course: Vrede & Veiligheid (only Dutch); Working in and on Governance; and Entrepreneurship and Leadership. During the first eight weeks of the minor (course: Humanities at Work), you will get in touch with a variety of speakers from different working fields: Cordaid, Cyber and the Dutch Government for example. Besides these lectures, there are ongoing workshops about job application skills (CV, motivation letter) and setting up your LinkedIn. The elective course – I chose Vrede & Veiligheid – deepens your knowledge of the world through (guest)lectures, excursions and different simulations as well. Last year, we had to do a Model United Nations meeting and we went to different locations of the Dutch Ministry of Defence.
During the second eight weeks of the minor, you will either carry out an internship or a team assignment for a professional organization like Cordaid, the UN or the Dutch Government. I chose to do an internship at the Dutch Ministry of Defence and got to work for the Royal Dutch Institute for Military History. During this internship, I had to participate in the ongoing research on the (past) Dutch involvement in the war in Bosnia in the 1990s. The others worked on a dilemma for one of the available professional organizations and had to present research outcomes and a policy plan to that specific organization.
As a whole, the Career Minor is such a valuable minor to partake on! You learn so much different things and you get acquainted with a lot of new people. The Career Minor also stimulates the social interactions between the student by excursions, drinks and the (almost) continuous classes together. This is also a slight warning to those willing to do this minor; it is quite intense in terms of quantity of lessons. But as a connoisseur, I can tell you it will be worth it!
Study year: 2018-2019
The Career Minor introduces students to the elaborate working field of humanities. You will follow two different courses during the first eight weeks of the minor: Humanities at Work and an elective course (last year: Safety in the world, safety in the Netherlands, International Governance and Sustainable Livelyhood and Sustainable City). During the classes of Humanities at Work you’ll get in touch with guest lecturers from different working fields, such as Shell, Cordaid, national heritage and the government. Beside these lectures, you’ll have workshops about (among others) intercultural communication, entrepreneurship and job application skills. The elective course provides you with deeper thematic information via (guest)lectures.
During the second block of the minor you will carry out an internship or a team assignment for a professional organization. You are responsible for arranging your own internship; the team assignments are provided by the coordinators of the minor, but you’ll have to apply for a place in one of the assignments. During the next eight weeks you will work with your team on an actual dilemma within the organization, such as researching the attractiveness of the Ministry of Defence as an employer. Finally, you will present your research outcomes and a policy plan to the organization.
Study year: 2022-2023
The Career Minor is a great minor if you want to experience what life is like outside the ‘student bubble’. Although you still get to work together with other students from the Faculty of Arts, you mainly learn a lot about yourself and how you want to present yourself when you make the step from studying to getting a career.
The minor is made up of three different parts. The first one is Humanities at Work. In this part of the program you get to listen to a variety of speakers who each are active in other fields. This provides you with a great way to get in touch with a lot of interesting subjects you yourself might want to work in after you are done studying. Next to this Humanities at Work also consists of a weekly workshop provided by Career Services. This workshop lets you develop skills like how to act during a job interview, professionalising your LinkedIn and how to write your own resumé.
The other part of the Career Minor depends on what kind of field you are interested in. I chose for the subject Peace and Security (Vrede en Veiligheid). This specific subject is only available to those who master the Dutch language. In it we got in touch with interesting speakers who all work in the domain of building/keeping peace and security such as members of the military and diplomats. Next to this you will also go on a few excursions, where you can get more acquainted with the work environment of these people. Not interested in Peace and Security? Or you don’t speak Dutch? Make sure to check out the other Career Minor subjects because each subject has its’ own set of interesting speakers.
In the second half of your minor, you can choose to either work on a group assignment or do an internship. The group assignments come directly from several organisations and institutions like Cordaid and the Municipality of Groningen. I decided to do an internship since I wanted to really know what it is like to work in a general working environment and get more outside of the earlier mentioned ‘student bubble’.
All in all, the Career Minor is a great way to develop yourself not only professionally but also personally. Interested? Make sure to check out the RUG webpage on the Career Minor.