I came to Wageningen, not knowing what it was or where it would lead me, but it might have been one of the best decisions I ever made.
Starting here, I fully dived in into student life of which Wageningen University has so much to offer. The team spirit and close student-teacher relations really make the MGI programme special. My main motivation for taking the master Geo- Information Science was Remote Sensing, which was already my favourite subject during my Bachelor studies in Geography in Germany.
The nice thing about the programme is that every student can chose their own courses based on their personal preferences. This way one can follow more IT-courses if they want to, or focus on applications in e.g. hydrology. Naturally, my focus lay on Remote Sensing - I took all related courses and my master thesis dealt with landscape classification in Ethiopia. So one could say, I already knew what I was after. But to my surprise the programme also offered many other courses which I didn’t think I would enjoy, like programming, which turned out to be hands on practical.
When I started the programme I heard that MGI responsibles were very proud that by the time of graduation nearly all their students were already employed. And this actually turned out to be true. But not because the teachers would organize a job for you, but because the things they teach you are in fact really good. The MGI programme prepared me with the right tools to work in this sector and finding a job was quite easy.
First I did an internship at Aerodata, a company doing airborne LiDAR surveys, which lead into a one-year contract. There I was responsible for the classification of point clouds, including development of routines, quality control measures and keeping contact with subcontractors. This job involved all kinds of things which I hadn’t learnt at university. But still what I had learnt was how to think spatially and how to find solutions for abstract problems, which was more than enough to adapt to my new position. And additionally my employer found my point of view very interesting and we could find many ways of merging knowledge and involving more GIS in their routines.
When they couldn’t continue my contract after one year I reached out to other companies in the Remote Sensing sector and found a new job as an Image Analyst at eLeaf, a Wageningen based company providing data and advice on water usage and crop health. There I work as part of the production team, mainly coding all day (in Python), keeping up with production schedules, and working on standardizing the production workflow.
I am really happy with this job, because it allows me to do what I hoped I could when I started this master: working with satellite based data and provide it as a tool to people who can use it to make this planet a little bit better. And after all the best reward for me is to make a good map.