Student testimonial

Even – MSc Plant Sciences – Intern CIRAD - March 2022

Even Seyersted is in the final steps of his MSc Plant Sciences, specialising in Natural Resource Management. He is currently doing an internship with CIRAD in Montpellier, France. Student Career Services helped him in finding this fitting internship. Read about Even's experience!

Student Career Services guided me through some reflection exercises, which made me critically evaluate the different things I want in a career.

Hi all! My name is Even Seyersted and I am in the final steps of my MSc in Plant Sciences, specialising in Natural Resource Management. I am currently doing my internship with CIRAD in Montpellier, France. CIRAD is a research organization funded by the French government and they a variety of projects on agricultural development in more than 100 countries. I am working on the calibration of a crop growth model within the Agap Institute (Genetic Improvement and Adaptation of Mediterranean and Tropical Plants). CIRAD has high level of focus on the training of young researchers, taking on approximately 1000 interns and PhD students each year. This makes for a dynamic and international working environment.

It took me a bit of time and investigation to find this internship, mostly because I am not sure what type of career that I want to target after graduation. The Student Career Services provided me with many useful tools and resources during this process. Elizabeth guided me through some reflection exercises, which made me critically evaluate the different things I want in a career and distinguish them from things that I may need to deprioritise.

I received a lot of useful feedback to improve my CV, which made me more confident about my previous achievements and experiences as well as the competences that I have. I became more aware of the skills that I already have and which skills I want to further develop. For example, in this internship my target was to work with crop models and to gain more experience programming in R. Although I have used R during my thesis and courses, I did not necessarily feel confident enough to highlight it on my CV.

Hanneke helped me think of specific types of companies and jobs that I may want to target based on my goals and gave me useful tips on how to look for positions and reach out. At first, the process of finding and applying for a position was a fairly abstract concept in my mind, but this helped me break it into manageable pieces. She also stressed the importance of actively reaching out by networking and she was absolutely correct. At first I emailed many different project coordinators within CIRAD to ask if they have any openings, but it was not until I had made a direct contact through my existing network that I started receiving replies and eventually found a project that matched my interests and goals.

Tips from Even for job/internship seekers

First of all, make use of the opportunities and resources that are available to you while still a student, especially at WUR I think there is a high level of support available to students. Secondly, networking is a crucial part of the process. Being a naturally introverted person, I do not necessarily find networking intuitive. Nevertheless, as I mentioned, I would not have been able to find this internship if I had not asked around in my network to find a contact person. Lastly, if you are like me and have a hard time determining what type of career and field suits you, try to listen to other people’s stories and how they found their current job. It is rarely a straightforward path!