A day in the life of… Marco!

Marco is a Master student International Business Communication, performing a study into science-based entrepreneurship. Additionally, Marco has a lot of experience in marketing & communication strategies for businesses.

“Monday. Again.” I always try to shake the “Monday blues” mood as I believe starting off the week with good vibes is the best way to get energised! As a master student working part-time, it would not be a Monday without overlapping meetings and having to catch up with my writing for my thesis and my research for Mercator Launch.

After conducting my curricular internship at Mercator Launch on improving communication with PhDs, from November 2020 to January 2021, I was asked to follow up on the matter through a research project to map the encouragement of entrepreneurship across Research Institutes from Radboud University and Radboud University Medical Centre. I am excited to assist Mercator Launch in the process of bringing science to society and, interestingly enough, I celebrate my third year in The Netherlands at the same Mercator Launch celebrates its third year of existence! Double celebration, double the fun, right?

I usually start the day by snoozing my alarm a couple of times as I prefer to have 15-30 minutes time “waking up in bed” before I get up. This way I am a more functional person when I get my feet on the ground! Today I got out of bed at 09:15. Being able to sometimes wake up a bit later is perhaps one of the best perks of still being a student!

Irrespective of my mood, timing, or agenda for the day, what follows is a coffee attack: I grind some coffee beans and prepare a good cup of coffee to fuel my morning. During this time I normally catch up on my socials and emails and read some news. This gives me some context as to how smooth my day will go and if there were any events that either affect me directly or that are of my interest.

With coffee running through my body, I join Mercator Launch’s team meeting at 10:00. Everyone shares what is being (or needs to be) done and solutions for certain problems emerge from short brainstorm moments. Although the meeting lasts for one hour, I need to leave half an hour earlier to meet my master thesis supervisor at 10:30.

Overlapping commitments is something I normally try to avoid but depending on the matter at hand, its urgency, and/or the people involved, that is not always possible and this was one of those cases. Given the short time available to complete my thesis, the earliest I could meet my supervisor was in the middle of two other meetings. Provided I incorporate some minor changes, my collection methods got a “GO” and I can start collecting my data! The first good news, just after two hours of being awake… what a day already! As I further discuss my thesis with my supervisor, it becomes clear that this meeting will take longer than anticipated. So, around 10:55, I quickly write an email to inform my lecturers I will not be able to join the informal Monday coffee break at 11:00.

My thesis meeting ends at 11:40 and I directly start implementing the changes agreed on with my supervisor. At 13:00, I am already hungry but a part of my Crisis & Reputation Management course’s group reminds me we have an assignment due on Wednesday. After taking some time to (re)discuss the assignment and confirm task division among us, I am ready for lunch a little over 14:00.

Today I was going to cook something for lunch but the time I took for the assignment was not on my schedule, so I’m running a little behind and decide to eat some bread and cheese instead. For tasks involving other people, I do my best to stay within an 8:30 to 17:30 timeframe which I consider to be reasonable working hours. Having finished eating my lunch at 14:45, it becomes obvious there will not be enough time for me today to incorporate the changes discussed with Brechtje in the research project I am doing for Mercator Launch. I will probably have to send the improved version of the project tomorrow.

As the clock strikes 18:00, I decide to let the research project rest for today. Tomorrow I will review it one last time before sending the improved version. For many the workday would be over at this point but, being a student, I tend to always work “a little” after dinner. Time to cook and eat the postponed lunch: chicken curry with rice!

At the end of the day, I look at what I did during the day: what could I have done better and what needs to be done the following day? I occasionally avoid the last part because I tend to get ahead by jumping right into it and, well… This has cost me some hours of sleep. After this, it is time to put my computer and myself to sleep! What an intense Monday this was, can hardly wait to see what the rest of the week will bring!”

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