Marjorie studied Leisure, Tourism and Environment at Wageningen University & Research and is convinced that she made the right choice. Nowadays she is working as a sustainable tourism and livelihood specialist.
Could you tell more about your job as a specialist?
I am a sustainable tourism and livelihood specialist. This means that I am designing and coordinating a range of tourism and livelihood development projects for an international organisation. Currently, I am collaborating on a research project that is looking at the constraints and opportunities for enterprise development in pilgrimage destinations in India.
And, I am working with Travelife. A system that helps companies improve their social and environmental impact. I coach companies during the process.
What do you like about this job?
My ambition was to find a dynamic job. One where I could work with and advise various actors, and also work across different countries and cultures. Looking back now, it’s what I was hoping I would be able to do and so much more!
And how did your master’s prepare you for this career?
The master’s degree Leisure, Tourism and Environment provide me with a diverse set of knowledge and skills. Things that will lead you to a dynamic career in tourism, development and management. As local or as global as you want.
For example, during my Environmental science course, I had to simulate an environmental policy debate. This has been very beneficial for my further career. It helped me see the complexities of the discussions, reveal the various interests and roles of other actors, and facilitate change processes.
Also, Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Studies have proven to be very useful in my work. I’ve been able to support various organisations in Nepal in the context of political-economic conflicts and natural disasters. I was able to advise on and support tourism recovery and livelihood resilience.
What choices have you made that have helped you to get where you are now?
I really enjoyed my internship at the UN World Tourism Office in Quito, Ecuador. I learnt about monitoring and evaluation and gained a broad insight into the organisation. In my thesis, I focussed on a completely different area. I looked at power relationships in the context of a Croatian Mediterranean island.
In addition to my study, I thought it was important to take part in extracurricular activities. I was the chairperson of the MLE’s student organisation Licere. A valuable experience, since I learnt a lot about organisational management.
And I worked as a student assistant for a PhD researcher. This way, I supported a study on the image of nature among Dutch citizens and a study on varying perceptions and needs of different stakeholder groups living in and around a national park in the Netherlands. These experiences have been a good foundation for some of the projects I am currently involved with.
Why did you choose Wageningen University & Research?
The first time I heard about the master’s programme was when I was working as an executive manager of a boutique hotel. I just completed my bachelor’s programme a few months earlier. I knew this master’s degree was the right choice for me since I was eager to think more analytically and research methodologies and policy dynamics.
Also, I was very impressed by the variety of courses that were offered during my master’s. It was a wonderful opportunity to explore so many topics in addition to leisure and tourism, like environmental science, humanitarian aid and disaster studies.