"I had trouble choosing between a programme in architecture and one in the natural sciences. But in the end, the ambiance in Wageningen and at the university persuaded me to choose the programme Molecular Life Sciences."
Exploring the academic world
"After my MSc thesis in Wageningen and an additional thesis in Amsterdam at the research institute AMOLF I left for the lan Wark Research Institute in Adelaide, Australia. My internship about ‘the stability of nanoparticles in varying salt concentrations’ was not the most interesting part of my stay there. However, it was interesting to experience doing research on the other side of the world, ordering standard laboratory equipment could take forever for example, which can be an unpleasant surprise. And of course, while I was there, I took the opportunity to backpack through Australia and New-Zealand, an amazing experience!"
The next step
"When I returned to the Netherlands, I decided not to start a PhD, even though I was still interested in scientific research. During my thesis and internship I considered my options, and I decided that I wanted to try how I would hold up in the industry without a doctor’s degree. I sent a number of open solicitation letters to some companies, and got invited for some interviews. In the end I started at TNO, the Dutch Organisation for applied scientific research. This obviously means that I won’t start a PhD project, in the near future at least."
Possibilities as a trainee
"I work within the division Defense and Safety specializing towards ‘Chemical and Biological Protection’. TNO is an independent research institute, which is special since it partially functions as a company and is therefore market oriented, but part of the research is also funded by the Dutch government. During my first year at TNO I work as a trainee, which is an excellent opportunity to work on different subjects and really get to know the institute. Besides physical-chemical oriented research there is also a lot of biological oriented research involved, which is a good opportunity to refresh my knowledge in that area.
I want to work as much in the laboratory as I can, but other options are also appealing. ‘Project management’ and ‘consultancy’ interest me as well, because you can combine scientific knowledge with organisation and communication talents in such a role.”