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Doctoral Schools

Career development

Doctoral Schools

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This 6-session workshop (by Dr Ilse Van Damme) is meant to increase your insight into your own talents and ambitions, to assist you in preparing for a job interview, and to ultimately help you to be more successful at the labour market. The workshop is set up as a career coaching trajectory in group and comprises six half-day sessions, spread out over 2.5 months, with (limited) homework in-between sessions.

The programme looks as follows:

  • Session 1: What do I want? (personal goals and values)
  • Session 2: What are my core qualities (strengths & weaknesses) and how do others perceive me?
  • Session 3: What are my main competences?
  • Session 4: What am I looking for?
  • Session 5: How do I 'sell' myself?
  • Session 6: (Preparing for) action!

There are two editions of this workshop, one in Dutch and one in English. The current edition is in Dutch. The next edition in English will take place in Spring 2021.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this trajectory, you will ...

  • know what you find important in your (professional) life,
  • know what your strengths are,
  • be aware of how you are perceived by others,
  • feel (more) confident in presenting yourself to others,
  • have the tools to look for and evaluate vacancies,
  • be prepared for the job application process,
  • be prepared to take your career into your own hands.


An important part of preparing for any further professional step is becoming (more) aware of the competences you have developed and/or want to develop. In the current workshop, the following competences from the UHasselt competency overview are actively dealt with:

  • self-development,
  • self-confidence,
  • initiative,
  • responsiveness to change,
  • responsibility,
  • networking.


For whom?

  • The workshop is open to both PhD students and postdocs. Only PhD students in the second half of their PhD can participate. An exception can be made for people who have strong arguments for wanting to take the workshop sooner, but it is most useful when you are already thinking about the next professional steps to take.
  • Priority will be given to people approaching the end of their contract.
  • There are 12 places available per edition.

When and where?

DUTCH edition - location: campus Diepenbeek, building D (except for session 3)

  • Thursday September 3, 13:00-17:30  -  room C20
  • Wednesday September 16, 13:00-17:30  -  room A4
  • Monday October 5, 13:00-17:30  -  green room, Old Prison (campus Hasselt!)
  • Thursday October 15, 13:00-17:30  -  room A4
  • Thursday October 29, 13:00-17:30  -  room A4
  • Thursday November 19, 13:00-16:30  -  room A4


  • Registration is closed since August 3, 2020.
  • Please register only if you can attend all six sessions.
  • As places are limited (max 12 participants per edition), registering does not automatically imply that you will be able to participate. You will receive a confirmation e-mail.
  • Please cancel your registration at least one week in advance in case you cannot make it (cf. cancellation & no-show policy).

Acknowledged as?

  • DS BSH: category 'career management & personal development' - workshop on career management
  • DS HLS: category 'transferable skills' - one compulsory elective course
  • DS ST: category 'career & personal development' - one course about career development



I recommend this workshop to anyone who is looking for a job, even to those who think they know exactly which direction they want to go. In my own experience, reflection on your skills and personal characteristics, and their compatibility with certain job opportunities, often leads to some kind of psychological entanglement that obscures your vision. The workshop deals with that problem very elegantly by providing tools to structure your thoughts so you can really learn about yourself, from the core. You may be surprised about what you didn't realize about yourself and what drives you!
(participant in 2016)

Before I started the course I had a bit of an idea about what would be my next step. Thanks to the course, I was able to think this through and explain why I really wanted this. Although I knew most of my strengths and weaknesses, during the course I was able to discuss this with peers. In addition, I learned a lot about the do's and don'ts regarding networking, compiling a CV, elevator pitching, application letters and application interviews. I can recommend this course to any PhD student who passed the two year mark of his or her project.
(participant in 2016)

Tijdens mijn doctoraat vond ik het moeilijk om de positieve dingen in te zien: zoals wat het was dat ik echt goed kon, en wat dat eventueel kon betekenen voor mijn verdere carrière of zoals wat het net was waar ik plezier uit haalde in mijn werk en wat dat dan over mij vertelde. Hoewel dit allemaal erg eenvoudige dingen lijken, is het herkennen van wat je belangrijk vindt, wat je graag doet en goed kan en wat je nog beter wil kunnen niet altijd evident. En hoe kan je al deze dingen vertalen naar een mogelijke overgang naar een carrière buiten de academische sector?? De antwoorden worden je niet gegeven in deze cursus, maar wel de achtergrond en nodige tools om je aan het denken te zetten om zo zelf tot de antwoorden te komen. Dit alles gebeurt in een vertrouwelijke en gemoedelijke setting: een hele fijne ervaring! Voor mij was deze cursus een echte eye-opener, die ik iedereen kan aanraden!
(participant in 2018)

Very interesting and relevant. Because of the small group, there was room for a very personal approach and we were encouraged to learn from each other. In my opinion, the group dynamic has a real advantage over individual counseling - especially in the first few sessions of the workshop -, because you can appreciate the differences in personalities and strengths/competencies better.
(participant in 2018)