Dr. Carmen Rietdijk obtained her PhD in Neuroscience from Utrecht University in 2016. In her PhD, she investigated the expression and function of Toll-like receptors on enteric neurons, which is one of the mechanisms involved in Parkinson’s Disease. Today, she is actively involved in politics and a representative of the Dutch Liberal Democrats party (D66) in the city council of Utrechtse Heuvelrug. She covers the topics related to youth, families, education, healthcare, environment, and culture.
Next to her political career, Carmen is also a certified coach and offers one-on-one coaching to PhD candidates through her company CDr Coaching (https://cdrcoaching.nl). She supports PhD candidates who struggle with issues of motivation, emotional well-being, and stress. She coaches PhD candidates at all stages of their PhD: whether they are trying to find their way in their first year, facing a lack of motivation and confidence later on, or are wrestling with the last steps towards their PhD defense. She is also active on Twitter (@CDrCoaching) where she posts about PhD-related topics and answers questions posted by PhD candidates. She also writes a blog about how to cope with grad school.
In this episode, Carmen told us how she started her career as a politician after her PhD. How to get involved? What are the factors for success in politics? How to help PhDs to get through the graduate school and successfully complete their PhD program? How to marry a career in politics and a side-hustle as a coach with family life?