I am working at the WUR Centre for Development Innovation in Wageningen (CDI). CDI is an organisation which works on processes of innovation and change through facilitating innovation, brokering knowledge and supporting capacity development. The projects and topics that we work on, are mainly linked to agriculture, nature and water and of course mostly the social aspects of it.
Job and career
At CDI I work on an agricultural education project in Afghanistan. The aim of the project is to improve the agricultural education by developing the curriculum and providing new teaching material for agricultural colleges. It is a challenging task to develop the material in a way that it is both fitting the level of the teachers and the students as well as taking into account the context of Afghanistan. The material is reviewed, translated and tested in Afghanistan before it will be used in the schools. It will be great to see the material being used in Afghanistan later on and to see that Afghan student will get a good basis for work and further studies.The MSc courses on facilitation, innovation and communication inspired me and I hope, further on in my career, to become a trainer and facilitator in the field of agriculture, and social change. I am therefore happy that I am working in an organization where this is possible, and that I am both developing my own knowledge as well as working on a project which will be beneficial for teachers and student in Afghanistan.
I truly enjoyed the MDR programme but sometimes, coming from an Applied Science background the academic readings were a bit overwhelming. However, the courses were interesting and challenged the way I look at the world. Critical and creative thinking was appreciated and there was always room for discussion and questions. What I like about the studies is that it links the technical with the social, and the abstract with the practical. The knowledge and skills I have obtained during the two years programme are useful in my current working field.
That my classmates were from many different countries with different backgrounds created a great and (fun!) learning environment. I chose the specialization Communication and Innovation because I personally thought the Communication chair group had interesting research projects, subjects and publications. I had the opportunity to do my MSc thesis in a field of my interest and my ideas about the research was received enthusiastically by my supervisor. I realized that choosing a thesis subject that was relevant and close to my heart made the thesis project interesting and enjoyable. My motivation was to understand what was going on with the young people in my father’s birth country and be able to tell their stories about the situation. The thesis was consequently about how young Greeks are framing and coping with the financial crisis. I spent some months in Greece conducting interviews and made observations by meeting people through couchsurfing. The field work was a lot of fun! Even though it is not the easiest time to find a job in the agricultural and development sector I would still choose the same MSc programme because I think the topics are so important, relevant and interesting. And I have met some wonderful people in Wageningen!