Bob Stoffels, one of our Student Poolers, tells us about his work for NEXT and how he is preparing for the labour market.
Who are you and what are you studying?
My name is Bob Stoffels, and I was born and bred in Groningen. I’m from a big family – I’ve got two brothers and two sisters. At the moment I’m finishing my Bachelor’s degree in European Law. I had the pleasure of studying in Sheffield for six months as a mandatory part of my degree programme. You’ll find me checking CVs at the NEXT desk in the University Library at least once a week. I’ve also been working with the student pool on a couple of projects: the “Volunteer for your career” seminar and the upcoming TEDxUniversityofGroningen event.
Why did you want to work for NEXT?
During my stay in Sheffield I saw that NEXT was looking for new poolers, and I knew some people who had very positive experiences with NEXT. After getting more information, I knew it was perfect for me. Not only would I get to be part of a big team that aims to do the best for student careers, I would also have the opportunity to gain valuable career skills.
You hear about problems students have finding jobs, or just about what they want to do after their studies. Do you know what you want to do after your studies?
Having done Law in my first year and Medicine in my second, I finally chose Law. However, I don’t yet know for sure which field of Law interests me most. I’m going to do an internship with a law firm this summer. Then I hope to find out for sure.
Has your work for NEXT helped you with your future plans?
When I started working for NEXT, I didn’t expect it to help that much. I already knew which direction I wanted to go in, but I wasn’t exactly working towards it. At NEXT you hear a lot of career tips that can really help you. The one thing I do notice is that when I apply for something I check my CV and cover letter like ten times to make sure it’s at its best. Seeing as the first job on my CV is student pooler at NEXT, recruiters will probably expect me to have a well-written CV and cover letter.
What do you think are elements on your CV that will set you apart from others who’ve done similar degrees?
A lot of people who have done Dutch Law haven’t been abroad. Also, I’ve also been busy. Each year I’ve done something that I can at least mention on my CV. This is something people often forget to do. You don’t necessarily need the coolest student jobs to get a foot in the door; you just need to make sure you’ve done enough things alongside your studies, seeing as there’s a lot of competition from others who do have.
Do you have any tips for your fellow students?
Join the NEXT student pool. If you think a second opinion on career questions could help, don’t hesitate to come by our office. Apart from this shameless promotion, I would also like to mention that you should try to do activities at different associations and so on. This will get you out of your comfort zone and can only be beneficial for your personality.
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