Alumnus testimonial

Jeroen van der Valk - Junior-consultant at Infram

Jeroen started studying in Wageningen in 2014 and is currently working as junior-consultant at Infram. The master Earth and Environment offered him a broad base of knowledge which he now applies in his challenging and versatile job.

Studying Earth & Environment in Wageningen has been an amazing experience for me.

Which bachelor did you do before the master Earth & Environment?

“Ever since I was young, I was fascinated by nature and its processes. Therefore, I looked into studies in the environmental sector, which Wageningen is famous for, and ended up at the bachelor Soil, Water, Atmosphere. This choice was mostly based on the broad range of disciplines the study offered and the fact that the city of Wageningen felt like home for me.”

What did your masters look like?

“When I started the master Earth & Environment I was still in doubt what specialisation to choose, hydrology or meteorology. I first broadened my knowledge by following courses related to both disciplines. I eventually chose the hydrology track. In my Master thesis I got the opportunity to again combine my interests in both hydrology and meteorology by doing my thesis in the field of hydrometeorology. This shows that during your master's and in your future career you can easily combine the specializations the master's offers. For my thesis I researched the possibilities to improve hydrological modelling by using short term radar rainfall predictions, the so called “nowcasts”. It’s like using Buienrader to better predict a river’s discharge, and it works! In my internship at Neelen & Schuurmans, a small consultancy company specialised in water and IT, I further deepened my knowledge about hydrometeorology. The internship was aimed at improving their rainfall prediction tool for hydrological models by calibrating radar rainfall predictions with crowdsourced precipitation measurements from thousands of ‘personal weather stations’ ”.

How do you look back on your study time in Wageningen?

“Studying Earth & Environment in Wageningen has been an amazing experience for me. First of all, because of the vibrant student life in Wageningen and the active study association Pyrus! Secondly, the many excursions during the study (among others to Iceland and France/Germany) made that I became close friends with my fellow students! Furthermore, the very involved and skilful teachers made studying Earth & Environment even more interesting and fun!”

What did you do after your graduation?

“After graduating I knew I wanted to work in consultancy. I found a job at Infram, a small consultancy company working mostly for the different Dutch authorities (water boards, ministries and municipalities) in the fields of water, energy, mobility and infrastructure. In my job at Infram I am mostly using my broad base of knowledge from the disciplines in soil, water and atmosphere which I gained during my studies. I use this knowledge to bridge the gap between the technical specialists and policy makers. The projects I do are very diverse, for example I am now working on the subjects of drinking water and freshwater availability, next to that I am also active in project management.”

Back to Future career