Alumnus testimonial

Laura - Soil specialist at Arcadis

During her Master’s Environmental Sciences, Laura joined the Environmental Toxicology thesis track and developed a research project about the influence of bioturbation on the spread of silver nanoparticles.

Living and studying in Wageningen made me more aware of the fact that we need to take care of our planet, but also taught me ways we can contribute to a better world.

Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
"My name is Laura Sloot, I studied MSc Environmental Sciences at Wageningen University & Research. I started my BSc in Wageningen, and went on with the MSc. During my master's I chose the Thesis Track Environmental Toxicology and did my thesis also at this department. The topic was about the influence of bioturbation on the spread of silver nanoparticles."

Since you graduated, what kind of jobs did you have and what are you currently doing?
"After my internship at Arcadis, I started working there as a soil specialist. At the moment, I still work at this company. I mostly organise soil inventories from the beginning to the end: doing desk research, but also planning and organising the field work.

After the field work I give the lab assignments to analyse samples and in this way we get an idea of the quality of the soil. Of course after this I still need to make the report and interpret the results. Other projects are more knowledge based, for example on emerging contaminants or PFAS. We work for different clients, mostly governmental and industrial clients."  

Is this what you always wanted to be or what has changed?
"I actually had no idea what I wanted to be or do in the future, but I am happy with the way it turned out." 

What are your future goals?
"My future goals are to grow in this position now that I am settled in my position. And also, spend more time at my job for the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) part of the company."

How do you contribute to a better world and what role did studying in Wageningen have to achieve this?
"I experienced the last years that I enjoy my job, but I missed to contribute something to a better world. Therefore I am planning to invest more time in CSR within our company. Living and studying in Wageningen made me more aware of the fact that we need to take care of our planet, but also taught me ways we can contribute to a better world."

What choices have you made that have helped you to get where you are now?
"I did the Environmental Sciences BSc and MSc. During my study I worked at Green Office, an organisation which stimulates sustainability at Wageningen University & Research. I also did the serious request committee of the Red Cross, which helped me being more pro-active and gave me the insight that it’s possible to change organisations from the inside."

How did studying in Wageningen helped you overcome the challenges that you have encountered in your previous and/or current job?
"I work with colleagues from different countries and my experience with international co-students in Wageningen made it easier for me to talk to them, and to overcome cultural differences."

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