‘Arjen Lubach is a very nice person.’

Student Hielke Jan has already obtained his dream job.

Hielke Jan Borger is still a student but has already obtained his dream job: he is working for the editorial office of the TV- show Zondag met Lubach. ‘There are more people watching the show than I could have ever imagined.’

He lives with his parents in Zwolle and he has completed his third year, but he is taking a break from all that for now. Hielke Jan (21) is travelling to Amsterdam the entire week so he can work for the editorial office as a fulltime researcher for the VPRO-show  Zondag met Lubach. He researches a lot of topics such as: the expansion of the Schiphol Airport or the extraction of natural gas in Groningen. ‘I am learning so much from Arjen and the others.’

Are you the rookie of the editorial office?
‘Yes, I am by far the youngest. In the beginning it was strange to work with so many people who are already so experienced. Some of them already have children. It is such a different world compared to Windesheim, sitting in a classroom. At school everything is about personal development and with Lubach we all work on a group project. The tension curve is shorter than at school. One week compared to seven weeks. And there is a lot more pressure on the show than at my own school performances. I also work hard at school, however Zondag met Lubach will air on TV. It feels different.’

So Lubach, is he nice?
‘Very nice. Also very funny, obviously. I am learning a lot from Arjen and the others, especially about how you can think about a lot of topics. Because of that I started to look more critically at the news and our civilization. It is not all serious, we have a lot of fun too in the editing office. There is even a Ping-Pong table, which we use a lot. Around the world is our favourite game form.’

How did you end up with this substantial program?
‘Well, it all started with my internship, which I also did at Lubach. After that I was hired, I had my head in the clouds for a week. The internship was so cool and I did perform very well because my internship was assessed with an eight. The period after my internship I could combine school activities and working for Lubach as a paid employee. Meanwhile I am working there fulltime and I am currently not doing anything for school. Soon I will start my second internship at school and after that I can come back and work for Lubach again.’

What are your tasks as a researcher exactly?
“I am researching items that are going to be in the broadcast. If we think of a topic, I will find context for it and its history. I do watch a lot of broadcasts from “Nieuwsuurand the “NOS-Journaal.” This way we try to find out what is going on regarding a topic.”

What research from you has been broadcasted?
“I am not allowed to tell what my input is in the show, because the idea is that we all work on it as a team.

There are also writers who come up with the jokes however, they also do not get credits for their work. I am very proud of the work that we all did together. For instance that item about the Groning`s gas of last year. That was amazing to research.’

Why is that amazing, researching? Sounds a bit dull.
‘I really love finding a lot of information about something that I am not very familiar with. Even if the topic might be a bit dull. Then there is some challenge to find something interesting regarding the topic. I do read a lot: newspapers, background pieces. To do research for a full day as my job, it is fantastic.’

Was this always your dream job?
‘ Ever since “Zondag met Lubach” aired on TV, I have always thought of it as one of the most entertaining shows there is. If I had to think of a dream job for myself, this would be it.’

How does it feel having so many viewers?
‘In the beginning it had a lot of impact on me that a lot of people watch the show. There are a lot more viewers than I can imagine. That also causes a lot of stress and pressure, because I really wanted to do it right.

Comments from viewers online motivated me to give it my all, even though I never take those comments personally.’

So you still travelling back and forth every day?
‘I work Tuesday till Saturday, so I do travel each day to Amsterdam by train. For the weekends I have another place to stay. The recording of the show is on Sunday afternoon and sometimes I am present during the recording session. I am off duty then but it still feels like work. Because I am watching how everything falls into place. It is fun to see how the audience responds to the content of the show.’

 Silke Polhuijs 




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