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I am Vincent Peters, and This is How I Work

Today, I have the pleasure of hosting Vincent Peters. Vincent is a 25-year-old PhD student at the department of Management at Tilburg University. He has started his PhD in May 2016 and is specialized in the area of healthcare chains. He has both a MSc (with honor) as well as a BSc in Organisation Science from Tilburg University and completed an Exchange Program at Hanken Svenska Handelshogskolan, Helsinki. Also, he participates in Tranzo, the Tilburg interfaculty research program on health care, to investigate integrated care.

Current Job: PhD Student
Current Location: Tilburg, The Netherlands
Current mobile device: iPhone 5S
Current computer: Macbook Air 13 inch

Can you briefly explain your current situation and research to us?

I am full time employed at the department of Management of Tilburg School of Economics and Management at Tilburg University. My research focuses on improving collaboration and coordination between service providers in a healthcare chain for people with a complex disease (e.g. down syndrome, oncology, dementia). I make use of the lens of service modularity in order to tackle this problem.

What tools, apps and software are essential to your workflow?
Outlook, Excel & Word are essential. Skype also comes in quite handy.

What does your workspace setup look like? Do you have a fixed workspace, or do you alternate between a home office, university office and lab?
I do have a fixed workspace at my university and a home office, however I prefer to work at my university office. It’s a great office with a lovely view, since I am located at the 11th floor of our building. I have a computer with double screen and a desk + cabin. I share my office with 1 colleague, however she is not always present at the office.

What is your best advice for productive academic work?

Make sure to block certain timeslots in your calendar for academic work. Turn of your phone and what else can distract you and just focus. Also, your brain tends to focus best on the things you do first, so plan academic work before answering your email.

How do you keep an overview of projects and tasks?
Everything I do is marked in my Outlook calendar, so that’s what keeps an overview for me. I also have a whiteboard on which I mark all deadline dates.

Besides phone and computer, do you use other technological tools in work and daily life?
I do have an Apple Watch which I both use for work and daily life in order to get into shape and make sure I burn enough calories during the day for example. Furthermore, I have an Apple TV for streaming Netflix etc. Sometimes it also comes in handy to stream my Macbook Air on a bigger screen to understand a model better and take a step back.

Which skill makes you stand out as an academic?

My perseverance and the fact that I can switch fairly quickly between subjects (In Dutch we call this competence ‘Snel kunnen schakelen’ however I cannot find the right translation). I have a good sense of balance between practical and theoretical subjects.

What do you listen to when you work?
Depends on my mood, but mostly classical music (e.g. Ludovico Einaudi) or Techno livesets from Soundcloud.

What are you currently reading? How do you find time for reading?

Currently I’m reading the book of Max Verstappen (MAX), the world’s youngest Formula 1 race winner. Most of the times I read books from authors like David Baldacci, Dan Brown. I am mostly interested in American politics, advocacy, law and regulations and organizations like CIA, NASA.

Are you more of an introvert or extrovert?

I’m more of an introvert, I hardly talk about my inner emotions with someone else. I have a strong feeling I should do this more often but I find it hard to find the right people to share these emotions with. It does not really influence my working habits, I think. Feelings with regard to work I almost immediately share, sometimes to quick even.

What’s your sleep routine like?
I try to sleep around 23.30 and wake up most of the time around 07.15. I aim to have at least 8 hours of sleep but it seems like I function better with 7 hours of sleep. I always feel sleepy when I sleep 8 or more hours.

What’s your work routine like?
I try to start work at 08.00 and finish somewhere around 17.00’ish, depending on how the day goes. I feel lucky with the fact that academic work does not have the usual 09.00-17.00 working days.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you land among the stars. I think this was one of the best advices I ever get. Always aim high and see where you end up. If you aim for the low hanging fruit, it was probably too easy in the end.

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