Jan attended the Nuclear Safety Summit

'Making sure you get to Den Bosch by three o’clock at night, to hop on a bus full of police officers setting out for Den Haag. Arriving home more than 15 hours later, tired but satisfied. Seeing Obama’s plane land (albeit from a distance), watching the small parades go by, but especially, feeling proud while carrying out all the preparations for the event. That night in bed, I was watching Obama’s speech: ‘You’ve set a high bar for the work that needs to be done in Chicago’. What a day! I fell asleep with an immense sense of pride.

Where did you carry out your graduation research?
I carried out  my graduation research for the national police service where I was part of the project team which was responsible for the logistical support of the global Nuclear Safety Summit (an international summit with the aim of preventing nuclear terrorism worldwide) in Den Haag (the Hague) in the Netherlands. 

What was the outcome of your research?
The report I produced comprised a project-based approach at conceptual level for major new events organised by the government. Since the police service is currently undergoing a process of reform and restructuring (various regional forces being merged into one national organisation) and more major events of this kind are going to be organised in the future, a proactive logistical approach will be required. In the past, the police’s strength was its reactivity and flexibility in addressing ad-hoc issues. My model offers a good guideline for  a systematic proactive approach in the future. In addition, all lessons learned from previous experiences are incorporated in the model; which means it involves ‘continuous improvement’.

In what respects did the practical situation tie in with your studies?
I was able to apply in practice nearly all theoretical models, methods and techniques I learned about in school. From concepts such as the integrated logistics concept, various methods (PCDA, Prince2) to a range of practical competencies (Excel, Access, etc.). It was a great experience to truly realise why studying theory is important.

What did your average working day / schedule look like?
The weeks and days before the summit were unique, each and every one of them. A 9-to-5 mentality? Out of the question. Under high last-minute pressure (read: multiple changing circumstances fundamentally affecting the organisation), we worked towards the event as a team.  I experienced the days of the summit in a kind of euphoria - an amazing experience. Together with my supervisor, we were immersed in the event. Making sure you get to Den Bosch by three o’clock at night, to hop on a bus full of police officers setting out for Den Haag. Arriving home more than 15 hours later, tired but satisfied. Seeing Obama’s plane land (albeit from a distance), watching the small parades go by, but especially, feeling proud while carrying out all the preparations for the event. That night in bed, I was watching Obama’s speech: ‘You’ve set a high bar for the work that needs to be done in Chicago’. What a day! I fell asleep with an immense sense of pride.