I have always loved cooking and had an interest in health. During my bachelor’s in psychology I developed a curiosity for food choices, public health and society and decided I would like a career that helps contribute towards a sustainable food future. I had little opportunity to study abroad in my home country- England. Therefore, I decided I wanted to travel abroad to complete a master’s degree that would help develop my knowledge on food, health and society.
When I found the MSc Communication, Health and Life Sciences programme (specialisation- Health & Society) online and was pleasantly surprised as I did not expect to find something that was such a close match to what I had been looking for. The first few courses were compulsory and give you a good basis for conducting qualitative and quantitative research at a master level. These courses also provided an interesting introduction into health and the many perspectives you can use to help solve complex societal issues such as health inequality. Following the compulsory courses, you were given quite a bit of freedom to tailor the courses to suit your interests. I took a variety of social food focused courses where I gained understanding of the politics surrounding food and agriculture. I even found myself taking a course on the basics of food technology! This is something I never thought I would study but had given me so much insight into the role of large-scale food corporations in shaping a sustainable food system.
In addition to expanding your academic knowledge the university offers you the chance to gain practical working experience which is really helpful for writing a good CV and finding a job after your studies. For instance, during academic consultancy training I had the opportunity to work with a small start-up who commissioned our group to develop a food system for a ‘tiny house’. I worked with students from completely different studies (e.g. Nutritionists, Plant Scientists, Greenhouse Technologists) and gained the skills needed to work in international and interdisciplinary groups. I also worked on a project with the Municipality of Amsterdam and further developed my practical work skills during the internship in my final year. These experiences helped me secure a part time job at Unilever as a freelance food trend consultant while completing my studies. Studying at Wageningen has been a great choice as it has allowed me to explore my academic interests while providing me with the skills needed to apply these to the working world.
Asides from studying Wageningen is a great place to meet likeminded an ambitious friend. I have made many friends for life from all over the world. Although the city very small there seems to be plenty to keep you busy. There are several fun festivals through at the year and weekly house parties if that’s what you are in to ;)! I have now completed my studies and am looking to begin my career in healthy and sustainable food consultancy.