Have you ever wondered what being part of The Euroculturer is like? In this new mini-series, former editors-in-chief will reiterate upon their experiences as a Euroculture student and the impact that being part of the Euroculturer has had on their professional career! In this first edition, Maeva Berghmans (2017/2019, Olomouc and Kraków) will tell you all about her experiences!

The Euroculturer Magazine (EM): Out of the universities you have attended, which one did you enjoy the most (and why)?

Maeva Berghmans (MB): I have wonderful memories in both cities and at both universities, to be honest. Yes, I might have preferred Olomouc because it was closer to the type of cities I enjoy living in, but my favourite place to study for hours was Krakow. I miss the latter regularly, especially in Spring – which is perhaps the best season to visit this part of Poland. However, by the end of the first semester, Olomouc truly felt like home. 

EM: What did you do in your third semester? What is the most valuable thing you learned during your research/professional track?

MB: I did a research track! It might seem slightly boring, but: that all your teachers are part of your professional network. I picked classes that would widen my network, as well as give me the chance to see more teaching styles – a sort of preparation for what was coming next for me, since I was orienting myself towards an academic career. Also, that medieval history is probably the least well taught subject in secondary school in France, but that’s another story…! 

EM: Why did you decide to become part of The Euroculturer team, and how long were you active?

MB: To be honest, I am used to doing multiple things at the same time. Back in September 2017, I decided that for once, I would focus solely on one thing: my master studies. By the end of the 1st year, I had taken part in one election observation mission, chaired two MEU simulations, and I became The Euroculturer’s editor-in-chief. I just saw it as a nice opportunity to give back to the Euroculture community while making good use of my skills in online PR and digital communications! I became editor-in-chief around May 2018 until somewhere in summer 2019.

EM: About what did you write your Master thesis?

MB: My thesis is titled: ‘Pravda vítězí’: The Czech Victimisation Narrative and the Creation of the First Czechoslovak Republic in the Beginning of the Twentieth Century and it can be placed in the field of Czech History and Nationalism (First World War).

EM: What did you do the year after graduating Euroculture, and could you tell us more about your experiences during this period fresh out of university?

GB: First, I flew back home and helped with the last preparations for my sister’s wedding, then took some ‘time off’ heading back to Olomouc to attend their summer school in Slavonic studies (intensive Czech classes). Then, I started a PhD in History at Palacký University, so I very much stayed in Olomouc – not exactly out of university, though definitely a different ‘angle’ of university life. 

EM: What are you currently doing?

MB: Still the same PhD…! Though I am also teaching, as well as helping new Euroculture students navigate their first year in the programme. I also work on two individual projects this year (obviously still unable to focus on just one thing at a time…). 

EM: In hindsight, how has your experience of working with The Euroculturer been helpful for your post-graduate career?

MB: It helped me maintain certain skills that I would not have used otherwise during my MA (including fully reorganising the website and changing the design according to the ongoing trends in UX/UI back then, which was a lot of work but a lot of fun for me!). It made it also easier for me to network within the Euroculture community, and I worked on my writing skills. 

EM: Based on your experiences, why would it be useful for current Euroculture students to become involved in the Euroculturer?

MB: First of all, the consortium and the teachers involved in Euroculture notice your work, and they appreciate it. It is not influencing your grades in any way, of course, but they will remember that you worked extra – and that will be helpful when you will reach out to them for recommendation letters, for example. Then, you will feel truly part of the Euroculture community and you will realise how impressive this network is. Last but not least: it is a line on your CV, and one that matters especially when looking for internships. Oh and it is fun, by the way. Just saying! 

Want to read more about Maeva’s Euroculture experiences? Read about it in this article!

For the full Euroculturer 10th Anniversary Special: Click here!

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