Alumniverhaal

Alumna Francy Vennemann – MSc Nutrition and Health

During her study, Francy Vennemann chose the specialisation Nutritional Physiology and Health Status and combined this with Public Health courses. After graduation she became a trainee at the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) in Parma, Italy.

After finishing this master, I can say that I have the essential background and that I am able to link science with practice.

“After my bachelor in Nutrition and Dietetics I had the feeling that I knew a bit of everything, but not enough to give a good judgment. I wanted to learn more about nutrition and science and therefore decided to continue with the master Nutrition and Health.”

Wageningen

“Even though Wageningen has a lot of prejudices, I like it that it is a small city. The people are very open and it is easy to make new friends. Wageningen has a strong focus on sustainability and doing sports. This is something I like a lot!”

“Now, after finishing this master, I can say that I do have the essential background and that I am able to link science with practice. My thesis was in the direction of eating behaviour. I looked whether consumers based their food choices on conscious or unconscious behaviour. For my internship I did something in the direction of public health because I like to transfer my knowledge to the public. I did research about the nutritional and overall status of elderly people in the eastern part of the Netherlands, questions as: how is their lifestyle, what do they appreciate in life? The answers to these questions will be used in a project about protein enriched meal for elderly people.”

Traineeship

“Currently I work as a trainee in the Evidence Management (DATA) unit of the EFSA, which is located in Parma, Italy. This unit deals with the collection and analysis of data on food consumption and chemical occurrence in food for exposure assessment at European level. In one of the projects in which I am working we analyse how much of a certain nutrient people consume and what the differences are between European countries. We determine whether people are below or above the recommended daily allowances. Based on this we advise the Nutrition unit of the EFSA, which is responsible for writing a scientific advisory report.”

“As a trainee in EFSA you have your own individual projects where you work on and once in a while you meet with your supervisor to discuss the progress of your work. Every day I meet new people and I learn new things, which I like a lot about this traineeship. I gain experience in a professional environment and can finally apply my knowledge into practice. Furthermore this traineeship allows me to develop on a personal level. Being abroad is a great experience. You improve your personal skills a lot when being in a country where you do not speak the language but where you need to arrange things such as a house. The trainees in EFSA, which are about 20 a year, come from all over Europe: Spain, Italy, France, Slovenia, Croatia, England and many more countries. The diversity in nationalities is very interesting and I can recommend it to everyone!”

Future

“The duration of a traineeship at EFSA is between 6 and 12 months, after which there is almost no possibility to stay. But, being a family person, I also like to go back to The Netherlands where I will be close to my family and friends again. After my traineeship I would like to have a job in which I can create awareness among people about the impact of nutrition and why it is important to live healthy.”