“They say SEW students are not always the best at choosing. In my case, that was true”

Roel Dom (Social and Economic Sciences, 2012) is a young professional and economist for the World Bank in Washington, D.C. The World Bank is an international financial institution that seeks to eradicate extreme poverty worldwide and to create shared prosperity in a sustainable manner. “As economist, I am part of a team that aims to find macroeconomic policy strategies to achieve those goals, together with our partners.”

A taste of everything

“They say SEW students are not always the best at choosing. In my case, that is true. After graduating high school, I needed a full year to decide what I wanted to study. After doing an AFS exchange to Peru I knew I wanted to work in development cooperation, but I wasn’t sure what basis I needed for that. Political science, sociology, anthropology, law, maybe economics?

“Coincidentally, I encountered the Social and Economic Sciences programme, where it seemed like you got a taste of everything. After that, I made up my mind quickly. ”

“The study not only strengthened my reflex to think in a multidisciplinary way, but it also gave me the empirical basis and analytical skills to do so. Thanks to my solid foundation in economics, sociology and political science, I am able to work productively with experts from different fields, to translate ideas and to offer different perspectives. These skills are indispensable in a policy-oriented position.”

Wine and economics

I have many fond memories of my student days, such as the founding of the student association Socio Economica, or that one professor and his assistant who had the ability to tell us all about wine as well as about the state of the economy. But my best memory is my participation in an immersion trip from the University Foundation for Development Cooperation (USOS) to the Democratic Republic of Congo. That trip not only enabled me to immerse myself in a completely different culture, I also got to developed long-lasting friendships.”

First interview was a hit

After his studies in Antwerp, Roel obtained an additional degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). “When I graduated, I sent out quite a few applications in London but as soon as I got my first interview, it was an immediate hit.  I applied for a position as economist and was asked if my SEW degree had provided me with enough economic background knowledge. However, the combination of economics and social sciences intrigued the interview panel and after a discussion about the redistributive effects of monopolies, I landed my first job. So LSE opened the door but SEW sealed the deal.”

“When I look back on my trajectory, I am thankful for all the opportunities that allowed me to explore different paths. Now, in my professional life, those opportunities enable me to work in a meaningful and impactful way.”

Find out more about the Social and Economic Sciences programme.

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