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What is your study programme?

For current information about the demonstrations, see uva.nl/protestsExternal link

Master's student Amber Mulder

'I'm someone who likes to figure things out'

Published on 25-10-2022 16:00
Amber Mulder followed the Academic Excellence Track (AcET); the honours programme for Master's students. The programme consists of a research internship, the course 'Law as a Change Maker' and a topped-up Master's thesis. 'AcET gives an innovative view of what you can do in your work.'
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Amber has been a junior lecturer in the Constitutional and Administrative Law section since 1 September. She teaches in the Dutch Bachelor's programme Rechtsgeleerdheid, including tutorials of Constitutional Law and Administrative Procedural Law. She also collaborates on ongoing research on government funding. 'Before the Academic Excellence Track, I did not expect to go further in research. That seemed hard to reach and it was also not clear to me how you get there. Through my internship, I discovered that it was possible.'

Combination of research and writing

During her Master's in Constitutional and Administrative Law, Amber became interested in doing research. Together with 3 other students, she wrote an article for the Dutch Amsterdam Law Practice course 'Staats- en bestuursrecht in de praktijk' on what would happen if an election dispute arose in the Netherlands, as happened recently in America. The article was published in a Dutch Law magazine. 'I am someone who likes to research things thoroughly and wants to know everything before I act.' So when Amber received an invitation to the Academic Excellence Track, she did not have to think hard. Studying in English seemed challenging but the programme appealed to her enormously. 'I like the combination of researching and writing.'

Insight into the research world

The research internship of the Academic Excellence Track gives students a look behind the scenes: 'What goes on in the research world? You don't often have to deal with that during your studies,' says Amber. She spent 2 days a week in the Dutch section Staats- en bestuursrecht, making her a real part of the research team. She got to know the colleagues there very well. During her internship, she co-wrote the study 'Financieren in netwerken'. This is a project in which, under the guidance of Jacobine van den Brink, Associate Professor of Administrative Law, she researches government financing. Especially in the field of loans and guarantees. The project is conducted in collaboration with the province of North Brabant and the province of South Holland and will eventually appear on the website financiereninnetwerken.nlExternal link. This is a website that governments use to see which financing instrument are suitable for which social purpose. Amber is currently working on her own academic article within the research for which she is studying literature, case law and legal history on the provision of loans and guarantees by governments. 'I enjoy it because it's so concrete.' 

Law as a Change Maker

The course 'Law as a Change Maker' is part of the Academic Excellence track. Among other things, the course deals with the ethical questions you ask yourself as a lawyer when working in research. Questions such as: What is the impact on society of my chosen research design? How do we establish truth? How do I deal with bias? As a student, the course teaches you how to find your role as a researcher. 'In the internship, I was able to apply that immediately,' says Amber.

Trip to the European Court in Luxembourg

Besides the internship, Amber's most memorable experience is the trip to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. It was her first excursion from the UvA. The AcET students were given a guided tour and attended a lawsuit. During the visit, they also got to know each other better. 'There are people I still keep in touch with, both Dutch and international students. You follow the programme with students from other Master's programmes so you quickly become a close-knit group because you are all new to each other.'

The programme is a good addition to your cv, even if you already know you want to work in practice.
Amber MulderAlumni Academic Excellence Track

Having doubts about the honours programme?

We asked Amber for her advice for students who are unsure about the honours programme. 'I can only recommend it,' says Amber with a wink. 'It gave me an innovative look at what you can do in your work, no matter what kind of work you are going to do.' The programme is a good addition to your CV, even if you already know you want to work in practice. 'It shows that you have looked beyond that. And also that you have sharpened your writing skills, which, after all, you need in any legal job.'