Hanneke followed the Economics of Development specialization in Wageningen. Her master thesis experiences gave her an advantage when she applied for her job as Market and Trade Economist.
Where have you worked since your graduation?
“Since graduation, I have been working at the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) in the U.K. as Market and Trade Economist. The NRI provides research, consultancy, training and advisory services. They do this to support global food security, sustainable development and poverty reduction in developing countries.”
You are Market and Trade Economist. What does this job include?
“The position is versatile. I am involved in a wide range of research and consultancy projects related to rural development. I work, for example, on enhancing smallholders’ access to markets and integration in agricultural value chains. I’m also involved in rural finance and farm risk management. Apart from providing advice on these subjects, I am also involved in project management and the development of research proposals.”
Do you need to travel a lot?
“NRI has projects all over the world; the ones I am currently involved in are mainly in Africa. This means a lot of travelling. Something I enjoy greatly. Over the past 2.5 years, I have had the opportunity to visit countries like Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone. We have a broad range of partners. I work closely with farmers’ organisations, ministries and other public sector organisations, research institutes, universities and with the private sector.”
How did your master’s at Wageningen University & Research prepare you for your career?
“Two aspects of my master thesis proved invaluable. First, the interdisciplinary research experience, and second the opportunity to build a network of contacts. This experience, in combination with the courses I took and Wageningen University & Research’s reputation gave me an advantage when I applied for my job as economist at the Natural Resources Institute in the UK.”