After your master’s

With its international reputation of excellence, Leiden University offers its graduates a ­
first-class starting position on the job market. In addition, we are committed to supporting 
you in building the skills needed to take your career in the right direction. 

Career Services

Our study and career counsellors provide advice and information on planning the next steps in your career. You will have access to our workshops and web-based resources, which include career step plans, job seeking strategies and self-assessment tools. If you prefer a personalised approach, you can make an appointment for an individual counselling session with your departmental career counsellor. Additionally, each of Leiden’s seven faculties has its own career services department, which embody specific expertise and resources related to the faculties’ programmes. These services are open to students and to alumni for a maximum of one year after graduation. 

Academic and professional network

Leiden University’s lecturers and professors have an extensive network in their field of expertise. Their connections may range from international or national corporations and organisations to international universities and research institutes. Access to this network can prove useful when you are ready to take your next career step.

Internships and jobs

An internship can be a good way to explore the job market and to get an insight into a specific organisation or job. Also, working as an intern can help you to expand your professional network. Our career counsellors can support you in applying for internships and jobs and can provide you with information about pursuing a career both in and outside the Netherlands. 

Orientation Year for non-EU/EEA students

Did you know that after obtaining your master’s degree, you are able to stay in the Netherlands to explore your options on the Dutch labour market? This is possible through a special one-year permit called the Orientation Year. Knowledge and talent are welcome in the Netherlands to strengthen our competitive position and knowledge-based economy. All candidates have three years after graduation or finishing research to apply for the Orientation Year.


After graduating and participating in the centuries-old tradition of signing ‘het Zweetkamertje’ (the Sweat Room) wall, you will become an alumnus. Leiden University is proud of her alumni. They contribute in many different ways to the growth and development of the university. The university also offers several services to contribute to its alumni’s ongoing personal and professional development. For example, our alumni have lifetime access to the Leiden University Libraries free of charge, providing you with access from home to the newest studies and publications to keep your knowledge up-to-date or to dive into completely new subjects.

Mentor Network

Leiden University’s alumni hold positions in a vast range of sectors, all over the world. As such they are good resources for graduates who are just starting out on the job market. Through the Leiden Alumni Mentor Network you can contact Leiden alumni online and ask them for advice. 

From New York to Tokyo

The university organises events for alumni all over the world. Leiden professors and other representatives meet up with alumni to catch up, to discuss developments in Leiden and to network. Around 26 November, Cleveringa Meetings take place at more than 40 locations throughout the world and are a great way for alumni to strengthen the connection with their alma mater and meet other alumni who work and live in their country. 

More information on our alumni services can be found here: 

As I like a bit of a challenge, I opted for the Research Master’s in History with a specialisation in Colonial and Global History. I’m currently writing my thesis on international anti-colonialism networks in the 20th century. I’m studying how these networks, which protested against colonialism, met in Amsterdam. I love writing. As a child I was always writing stories. That’s helping now with my thesis. I hope I have the discipline to keep on writing after I’ve graduated.

A while ago I wanted to continue in academia, but I don’t anymore. It’s been an important lesson for me: challenge yourself but make sure that what you do gives you energy. For me that’s not a PhD at the moment, although that may be the obvious choice with my master’s, but a job where I can make practical use of my knowledge and skills, preferably in an organisation in the non-profit sector.

I’m on a faculty think tank – the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Group – that ensures students feel safe, irrespective of their ethnicity or sexual orientation. We provide advice on policy relating to diversity and inclusion, and help create a safe space where people can go with questions and grievances. I think it’s important that everyone can be themselves at the university.

Dana van Vliet
History, specialisation Colonial and Global History