Lennart Stokman (22) is a former IRIO student of the University of Groningen. He is currently doing his master Political Economy of Europe at the London School of Economics. In this interview he will tell you more about his experience at LSE, some tips and tricks on how to apply, and more!
Why study at the LSE? “I was looking for a bigger challenge and I wanted to put more focus on political economy. I talked to Dr. Fuller about my interests and he recommended LSE to me. Also, something that caught my interests was the different working sphere of LSE. All of the professors have more expertise in a certain area of the programme. Moreover, there are blocs of 11-12 weeks in which you focus on 3 courses. This gives you more time to go into much more detail. There is a lot of room to improve yourself and there are also more specialised courses to focus on one particular skill, for instance academic writing. Furthermore, LSE is focused on the professional sector. There are different societies at LSE that provide opportunities for students with a shared interest in for example central banking or trade, to meet new people and to pick up new skills. The University helps you to develop both academically and professionally by offering guest lectures of alumni, or a work collaboration with one of the partners.”
What surprised you the most about LSE? “The students of LSE can be quite competitive. Everyone is working hard to pass their studies and to be able to apply for good internships. The workload is also more than I was used at IRIO, but then again, this is a master program so you also expect it to be more challenging.”
How does the application procedure work? “It is really important to look at the entry requirements. In general, you need a 7.5 average in order to be eligible to apply. Then, it is important to write a good motivation letter in which you make clear why you want to study this specific master and how it helps you to achieve your academic or career goals. This is the only thing that is still under your control so make sure that you think thoroughly about how to write your letter. You also have to hand in an English proficiency test. Lastly, you will need two recommendation letters of for example professors or people you have worked with. Explain to them clearly why you want to apply for the master so that they might be able to include this in their own letters. If you have done research or if you have written your thesis in a related field to the master you are applying to, this can be beneficial in proving that you are seriously interested in studying at LSE. It is really important to start early with your application. Try to finish it around November or December, a little less than year before the start of the next academic year.”
“Moreover, do not get disappointed if you get rejected by one university. Always try to apply for multiple universities or multiple programmes at one university. This could enhance the chances of being accepted to one of your preferred master programmes.”
How do you finance your studies? “Once you have been accepted to LSE you need a way to finance it. Studying at LSE is more expensive than studying at RuG, especially for Dutch students. For some grants you need to provide a confirmation of the fact that you have been accepted to the university. This is why it is important to start early with your application process, it can take up to 2 months before you know whether you have been accepted or not to LSE. It can be very stressful to look for ways of financing your study last minute, so try to do this immediately after you have been selected. The deadline to have your fundings ready is at the end of April.”
What are your future plans? “Right now I am interested in giving strategic consultancy to businesses.”
Do you have any advice for IRIO students that are interested in LSE? “Plan ahead! Be well prepared during the application procedure and during your search for financial resources. Also, look at the acceptance rate so that you know what to expect. The website www.admissionreport.com can help you with that. Another useful website is https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/. Here, you can come into contact with other students who have applied to LSE. Above all, it is important to choose a master programme that suits your interests, if you do that then you will definitely end up in the right place.”