Alumnus testimonial

Suzanne – Junior geohydrologist

For Suzanne the knowledge she gained during her master’s gave her the perfect base for her current job. Since graduating she is working as a junior geohydrologist. A challenging and versatile job.

We do not only give advice on the extraction, which is calculated with a hydrological model, but we also give advice on the effects of the extraction on the environment

Could you explain what a junior geohydrologist does?
"After my study I got a job at Tauw. This a European and engineering company specialised in environmental consultancy and sustainable development of the natural and constructional environment.

I work as a junior geohydrologist on geohydrological research, supervising fieldwork, measuring & monitoring and I write different advice. As an example, I write geotechnical advices in which I advise on the extraction of groundwater during construction projects that are constructed below the phreatic water level.

These advices are for example written for municipalities when they construct a new sewer system. We do not only give advice on the extraction, which is calculated with a hydrological model, but we also give advice on the effects of the extraction on the environment."

How did studying at Wageningen University & Research prepare you for your career?
"The knowledge I have gained during my master’s gives me a solid base for my current job. You learn to process a lot of information in a short period and apply this on various issues. Also, you learn to conduct research in order to answer different questions. The fields in hydrology are so broad, interesting and challenging so you keep on learning day by day!

The master’s programme consists of a number of compulsory courses. In addition, you get the opportunity to specialise in subjects of your own interest. You can specialise or broaden your view through free courses, your thesis and an internship.

Besides my interest in hydrology courses, I followed courses in geology to expand my knowledge in that field. A good example was a study trip to Germany, Luxembourg and France, where we studied the different landscapes and soils. Both compulsory and free courses were very useful during my thesis on possible causes of the mangrove die-back in Lac. This research was done for the organisation STINAPA, the National Parks Foundation of Bonaire. For this study, I carried out ten weeks of fieldwork in the area of Lac, located on the beautiful island of Bonaire itself. Here I measured and monitored different aspects of the hydrological system of Lac. Back home in Wageningen I analysed the gathered data and wrote a report about it.

My internship was closer to home in the province of Utrecht. During my internship, I did research on the groundwater characteristics of eleven nature reserves commissioned by the Province of Utrecht."

Why did you decide to come to Wageningen?
"After my bachelor’s, I wanted to continue studying. Besides the good atmosphere in the province of Brabant, I learned a lot about the design of the outdoor spaces and I found out my interest was in the field of water. The master’s Earth and Environment has an ideal combination of challenging and interesting compulsory subjects and free courses you can choose.

Moreover, the quality of the master programme is very high and the university has a good international reputation. And maybe the most important thing is as a student you are not a number at Wageningen University & Research. Professors and teachers know you by name. Also, I can promise you that it offers plenty of fun for students!"

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