Student testimonial

Testimonial Mia Fehr

Mia Fehr from Switzerland started the Online Master’s Plant Breeding in September 2022.

The best thing for me is that I realise every day how I can connect the knowledge from my studies with my practical work.
Mia Fehr

What is your current profession?

"For two years now, I have been working as a breeding assistant at Sativa, a traditional breeding company that focusses on the organic sector. Our aim is to develop new varieties that are adapted to an organic environment. I focus on kale, lettuce and sweetcorn."

What was your motivation to pursue an online master's in plant breeding?

"I finished a Bachelor in organic agriculture, and that’s when I got interested in Plant Breeding. I have chosen this Online Master’s because I want to be a Plant Breeder in the future. I already have a lot of practical knowledge from my job, and I want to complement it with the theoretical background. This online master’s is a perfect combination for me."

What made you choose Wageningen University & Research?

"There’s also a Master’s in Zurich, and that would have been very convenient for me, since I live there, but this Online Master’s gives me a lot of flexibility. The workload differs from week to week at my company and I can quite easily plan the studying around it, which you can’t do when you have live classes on a fixed schedule."

What’s the hardest thing about this Online Master’s?

"For me, it’s the ability to balance work and study. In the beginning, it takes some time. You have to get familiar with the programme and figure out how everything works. It takes me around 20-25 hours per week, but it differs per course. I work 3 days per week, 27 hours. So, I need to study in the weekends as well. Because even though I’m really passionate about this programme, in real life, work comes first. You’re part of a team, and you want to deliver. Your co-workers rely on you."

What’s the best thing about the programme?

"The best thing for me is that I realise every day how I can connect the knowledge from my studies with my practical work."

"Also, the Wageningen Weeks are great, when you are at the campus for two weeks, and meet your fellow students. Via a friend, I found student housing here in Wageningen, where I sub-rent a room, so I can stay relatively cheaply and also get to meet a lot of students. You have several Facebook groups for student housing in Wageningen."

What is your advice for prospective Online Master's students?

"I would definitely recommend the programme. If you work in plant breeding, it is a very nice combination; work and study. And, be prepared to do some serious time management and planning; it takes commitment when you combine it with work."

What are you going to do with your Master’s degree?

"My goal is to finish the Online Master’s in 3 years. I’m planning on doing all the courses in 2 years and I’m hoping to integrate the practical part of the study into my work. Then, I aim to do the master’s thesis in 1 year; doing the fieldwork in the summer, and writing the report during wintertime. After I finish my Master's, I can see myself working as a plant breeder. My aim is to contribute to species diversity by preserving old varieties and breeding new varieties that are adapted to organic agriculture."