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After graduating from PPLE, Pauline deepened her knowledge of behaviour change with a Master's degree in the UK. In her current job, she applies behavioural science in order to improve workplaces.

Looking back at PPLE

"Studying PPLE has been one of the best decisions I ever made, and I am not just saying this because I was asked to share my experiences in an alumni article. Studying four disciplines and discussing complex topics from different perspectives has been truly inspiring and a great skill for my further interdisciplinary path. At the same time,I was able to build all the foundational knowledge in psychology and research methods that I needed to excel in my Master’s and my current job."

On the risk of sounding slightly nerdy, I specifically cherished the sense of being intellectually stimulated and academically challenged. And especially in retrospect I realise how thought-through and well designed the programme was, how high the teaching quality, and finally what amazing facilities we had. I made lifelong friends (with the only downside that many of us now live in different countries) and often wish I could turn back time to re-live some of my Amsterdam years. 

Finding my path after PPLE

"Deciding on my next move after my Master's was a more complex challenge. I considered further studies, PhD’s, and honestly, the world of work sounded a bit scary to me. But then, I landed an internship at 'The MindGym' shortly after graduation, and any thoughts of further studies quickly faded. The internship turned into a full-time job, and there I still am, four years later, as a Principal Solutions Designer."

Employing behavioural science in companies

"At MindGym, we focus on applying behavioural science in workplaces. By applying a human lens, we are able to support other companies to improve their leadership practices, become more inclusive, or help them with their cultural transformations. My role is it to conduct research to understand behavioural themes and blockers at different companies. I then design interventions, such as trainings, communication campaigns, and nudges, to drive behavioural change. What I really love about this role is that it allows me to apply a lot of knowledge and methodologies from my studies, it's both scientific and wonderfully creative, and I get to work with amazing colleague, many of whom became close friends."

PPLE Alumna Pauline Schwarz

Advice for future graduates

"My advice to current students looking to shape their paths after PPLE would be to dedicating time to research potential Master’s, both thoroughly and broadly. Once I had found a Master’s that really appealed to me on paper I stopped looking at equivalent programmes at different schools that might have been a better fit for me retrospectively. Try to speak to alumni from different Master’s to get a better, unfiltered sense of the programme, and ask about the particularities of the different university systems. If you have the opportunity, consider applying early; it can significantly alleviate second-semester pressures, allowing you to concentrate on your thesis and savour your final half-year in Amsterdam. Beyond the preparations for your future, don't forget to immerse yourself fully in the present: Choose electives that genuinely interest you, engage in extracurricular activities you are passionate about, and take breaks to enjoy life in Amsterdam and at PPLE to the fullest. It might sound cliché, but embracing the moment will make your journey all the more fulfilling."

Delve Deeper

We caught up with Pauline for an in depth interview to find out more about her career, what role her PPLE background has played in it, and how she sees current work trends.