Prior Education: Chemical Technology, Saxion University of Applied Sciences
I am Alex Hamhuis and I am doing the Master’s program Biotechnology at Wageningen University. Prior to this I did Chemical Technology at the Saxion in Enschede. After my graduation internship I briefly doubted if I did not want to start working immediately instead of continuing with my studies. However, as I wanted to become more knowledgable and was encouraged by people in my surroundings I decided to do follow-up training.
During my Bachelor’s at the Saxion University of Applied Sciences I had had a couple of biochemical assignments. One of the assignments was, for example, to grow algae in waste water streams. Here through I became interested in the workings of biology in the chemical industry. A friend of mine had already started Biotechnology in Wageningen, so I found it logical to ask for his experiences and to try it out with him for a couple of days. I also looked at other Master’s programs, but these had mandatory Pre-Master’s programs and lacked the practical approach that Biotechnology has. Many courses herein have project assignments or practicals. A meeting with my Study Advisor made clear that there is a lot of freedom in choosing a study program, but that you can get advise where it is wanted.
Once I had started with the program I doubted if I was able to manage the level of theory. It took a while before I had found my rhythm and really started learning again. In the lectures assignments were discussed classically by which one gains new insights from other students. Hence, during the first exams I was not very sure of myself. However I passed easily and I could conclude the first courses with good grades. Like I wrote earlier, there is a practical approach taken at Biotechnology. During the practicals and the projects we were given the freedom to do as we chose. From this one learns the most in my opinion because one can really come to face ones own problems. Also, we worked together with people from a different backgrounds, programs and/or specialisations. In this way attention is drawn to different possibilities that lie more in biology than in technique for example.
In September I will start a thesis at the Laboratory of Bioprocess Engineering. Here I will conduct a research to the growth of algae on foaming agents. This research interest me because I already have some experience with algae and this research can be a step towards greater application of algae in industry.
Looking back I sometimes wonder why I was so doubtful to start a follow-up training.