Alumnus testimonial

Joost – Ecologist at the Province of Utrecht


‘’I am very happy that, in my position, I can make a positive contribution to the development of nature in the Province of Utrecht.’’

Former student, at the Wageningen University & Research, Joost studied bachelor Forest and Nature Conservation. During his study he found the communication side of nature management very interesting. After his bachelor’s degree he decided to study master’s Communication, Health and Life Sciences in order to get more in-depth courses on this subject. A good preparation for his current job at the Province of Utrecht!

This Master's was a good continuation for me because, in addition to the communication courses, I could also take more in-depth courses on ecology and nature management.

How did studying at Wageningen University & Research prepare you for your career?
"After my bachelor's degree in Forest and Nature Conservation at Wageningen University & Research, I was more drawn to the communication side of nature management. I found it fascinating to see how ecological insights in the public debate regularly get drawned out. This master's was a good continuation for me because, in addition to the communication courses, I could also take more in-depth courses on ecology and nature management. In the papers I wrote for the communication courses, I almost always chose themes related to nature management.’’

 

Could you tell us more about your work experience after your master’s?
"During my studies, I already took on assignments as an ecologist and, towards the end of my studies, I got a chance to work for the Province of Utrecht. I've been working for the Province of Utrecht for a few years now and, after a year and a half of secondment, I was offered a permanent contract. I advise private nature conservationists throughout the province who have returned their agricultural land to nature. In my job, I spend a lot of time outdoors and have conversations with nature conservationists in which both my ecological knowledge and my communication background come in handy. I am the first point of contact for many private nature conservationists and try to remain accessible. Precisely by looking at their land and talking to them, we can provide tailored nature management advice that will benefit nature the most. When I was hired, this position was new and we, at the project team, went in search of a good approach. I was given a lot of space to flesh out the work. We regularly meet other ecologists and lawyers to discuss the best approach.’’

 

Why do you like your current job?
"I like working for the province very much. You get a lot of space to develop yourself and you acquire a lot of responsibility in a short period of time. In addition; I am very happy that, in my position, I can make a positive contribution to the development of nature in the Province of Utrecht.’’

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