Campus IRC

Leonoor Cornelissen

Leonoor Cornelissen
Leonoor Cornelissen

BA International Politics and History | 2013

Nationality: Dutch
Graduate School: Masters in International Development, Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland
Current Position: Senior Policy Advisor on Forced Displacement at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, The Hague Area, Netherlands
Position at time of interview: Migration and Development Policy Officer

Leonoor Cornelissen
Leonoor Cornelissen
What I sought was exactly that: an international community that really celebrated its diversity - and that’s what I found.
Leonoor Cornelissen

How did Jacobs University help you reach your personal goals?

I think Jacobs helped me in reaching my goals in that it offered lots of opportunities for me professionally, and personally. I think on campus there were always clubs, there was really a sense of community in order to let me develop safely at that age in the person that I wanted to become. At the same time, professionally there were opportunities to do internships, to get financial support for internships, to do field work for my thesis research. I think it really provided a community with a lot of support in which a lot of things were possible.

What did you search for and find at Jacobs University?

Well, I came from an international boarding school at high school (United World College), and I really wanted to go back to a community like that—a community that really valued diversity. So, I was a bit hesitant to go to for example, a university in the U.S. where only 6% maybe, is international. When I found Jacobs, what I sought was exactly that: an international community that really celebrated its diversity—and that’s what I found.

Do you have any advice for prospective students?

I think with advice, it only really works once you’ve experienced it yourself. You can receive it, but you really only internalize it once you’ve had the experience. But if there is one thing I’d say is to—we’ve heard a lot about this term of “employability”, and my advice would be: try not to become employable. That’s not the purpose of university. The purpose is to become empathetic, and compassionate, and critical. Focus on developing those skills and not on becoming an employable person for the labor market.