Eline de Boer graduated in 2017 from MSc Animal Sciences in the specialisation Global and Sustainable Production. She is working as a Commercial Product Specialist After Sales for GEA, a company that produces milking robots and -parlours, In her work, she support dealers in the Netherlands that sell GEA products. Read below how Eline ended up at her current job.
I have always been interested in animals, so the choice to study Animal Sciences was an easy one! Therefore, I followed both my BSc and MSc in Wageningen. During my MSc, I wrote my major thesis at the chair group Animal Production Systems (APS) about the behavior in veal calves. My internship had a more practical direction on the subject Mycoplasma Bovis at Royal GD (veterinary laboratory that aims to improve health of animals). For my internship, I visited many dairy farms, took samples and discovered how this disease was transmitted between different animal groups at these farms.
After graduation, I was looking for a job that combined both theory and practice and that involved contact with people. Therefore, I started working at Denkavit (manufacturer of young animal feed) as a Technical Sales Manager Feed Additives. For my job, I visited nutritionists at feed mills in the Netherlands and Belgium and discussed with them which nutritional products or solutions would fit (better) in their feed formulations. This means that I needed to have quite some specific knowledge about how (nutritional) products work and how you can implement it practice.
After 3 years of working at Denkavit, it was time for something else, something that was more focused on support. I started working at GEA as a Commercial Product Specialist After Sales. GEA is a company that produces milking robots and milking parlours. They also have a portfolio of products that are used when the installation is running; like pre- and post-milking dips and sprays, cleaning agents, teat liners. This is the portfolio I am responsible for. I support dealers in the Netherlands that sell our products, but I am also involved in project works that brainstorms for new ideas or concepts. This job has a broad scope and is very diverse, which I like very much. I work with theory on all kind of subjects, but am also actively working with people and animals.
Take home message
Both jobs have in common that there is a commercial touch in them. The commercial side of things is not something that you learn during the study. This aspect is not really promoted by the university as they are more focused on the theory itself and research. But this aspect is so interesting, that I persuaded it after my study. Don’t let it hold you back only because you don’t know anything about it yet! Thereby, it really is an interesting career path if you want to work more in practice. There are many career opportunities after graduation, so do what you like best.