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Tinnitus, experience days and playing the piano

Tinnitus, experience days and playing the piano


Archive Kennedy d’Abreu de Paulo

Kennedy d’Abreu de Paulo is a master’s student of Biomedical Sciences, specialising in neuromodulation. “Neuromodulation is about making adjustments to the brain or nervous system, for example through deep brain stimulation, where electrodes are implanted in the brain.”

d’Abreu de Paulo talks about it with a lot of enthusiasm. It’s no surprise that he is an ambassador for the master’s programme. His work as an ambassador has changed quite a bit because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he explains. “We were supposed to be running experience days right now, on which prospective students shadow a student for a day. The experience days are taking place online instead. The ambassadors give a presentation about their own experiences of the programme and we host a Q&A session afterwards. It’s actually going quite well. Last time, about 40 students attended the online session and asked a lot of questions.”

Being an ambassador is one of the three jobs d’Abreu de Paulo had before the coronavirus outbreak in the Netherlands. His other jobs – in the catering industry and in his mother’s beauty salon – have been “put on hold”. Because of this, he was forced to leave the studio flat in Maastricht where he had been living only since November last year. “I couldn’t afford to pay my rent anymore. I was lucky that my landlord let me out of my lease agreement early when I explained the situation. I’m temporarily moving back in with my mum in Brunssum.”

He spends most of his time working on his internship. “I’m doing research on tinnitus. I already have all the data, so I can analyse them from home. I found it difficult to stay motivated in the first week, but I’ve settled into a new routine by now. I take my laptop to my mother’s shop every day to work on my research there. It means I’m not alone and I have a separate place to work even while working remotely.”

d’Abreu de Paulo is also looking for an internship for the second year of his master’s degree. “It’s quite difficult because of the pandemic. Companies have other things to worry about than looking for interns. But I’m confident I will find a place, and if not, the university has said it will help me out.”

To relax, he plays the piano. “I love to play the piano to clear my head.” He also composes music himself. Are his current pieces different from the ones he composed before the coronavirus outbreak? “I don’t think so. My pieces always contain both sad and happy parts.” He’s modest about it, but he does mention that two of his compositions are on Spotify (search for Kennedy Jo).


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