After her bachelor's in Health and Wellbeing Silvia was looking for a master's that fit her interest in public health, food safety and food safety. The master's specialisation Food Law and Regulatory Affairs fit her interest perfectly.
How did you choose Wageningen University & Research?
"Following the completion of my Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellbeing at Amsterdam University College (AUC), I was in search of a master's programme that would complement this undergraduate degree in a very specific focused way. Also, while answering to my interests in public health, food safety, and food policy.
When I came across the master's programma Food Law with the specialisation in Food Law and Regulatory Affairs taught in one of the best universities, I immediately applied and was luckily accepted. As I would soon realise, Wageningen University’s reputation was not underserved and the master's programme did indeed fulfil my wishes.
I had the honour of following courses given by researches and experts in their field – be it of food microbiology, food safety, and, of course, food law – who would incessantly do their best to inspire their students, challenge them, and encourage them to go that extra mile. The two years were certainly very intense, stressful at times, but also extremely rewarding from a personal, as well as, a professional perspective."
How did studying at Wageningen University & Research prepare you for your career?
"For my internship, I was given the great opportunity to carry out a 5-month traineeship at the Directorate General responsible for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) of the European Commission. The unit to which I was assigned dealt with issues related to nutrition, food composition and information. This extremely enriching experience complemented my master's at WUR very well.
Indeed, after having studied the theory behind food law, I could witness how the process of creating food legislation was carried out in practice. I was also involved in drafting and revising implementing acts of European provisions which I had explored in courses taught by the Law and Governance group.
A final task was to research the impact of current legislation covering products for specific consumer groups at EU level. Within products intended for different consumer groups, I found foodstuffs intended for sportspeople to be particular interest and dedicated my thesis topic to researching the impact of current and potential regulatory provisions on these products at European level.
I used notions learnt in Food Law and related courses on a daily basis during my traineeship, the writing of my thesis, as well as during my current job as an external consultant in the enforcement unit at DG SANTO. The aspects that fascinate me most about the realm of Food Law are (1) the divergence of opinions among stakeholders with regards to certain existing or potential food law provisions and (2) the concrete application of food law and its potentially great impact on consumers’ everyday life."
Did your decision to study at Wageningen University help you find job opportunities after your master's?
"The master's specialisation Food Law and Regulatory Affairs at Wageningen University exceeded my expectations. It has opened career opportunities that I had not even dreamed of being possible prior to specialising in this branch. I am proud to be an alumna of this master's and can only advise potential future students interested in this field to apply and be as continuously inspired and challenged as I was, first during my studies, then my traineeship, and finally during my current occupation."