Marlous has studied Landscape Architecture and Planning in both her bachelor's and master's. In her master's she specialised in spatial planning and that resulted in a job as junior spatial planning consultant at Sweco.
What do you do exactly at Sweco?
'Sweco is one of the largest consultancy and engineering companies in Europe. At Sweco we plan and design the communities and cities of the future. ‘Spatial planning consultant’ might sound as an unambiguous job description, but actually my job is very dynamic. I work on projects related to nature conservation, as well as a vision for the development of a channel and its surroundings, the matching opportunities for the maintenance of a provincial road and area development plans. And in these projects I have various roles, I work as a consultant and project- and proces manager, but I also communicate with citizens about the plans that we make for their living environment and I coordinate their participation in our projects, I make illustrations and layouts for our reports, presentations and posters, and I coordinate and prepare the field work that has to be done by my colleagues. This broad scope of tasks makes that my work never gets boring and that every new day is different from the day before.'
Is this what you always wanted to be?
'No, I always thought that I would become a landscape architect. But during my Bachelor’s I learned that the analysis of the landscape and developing visions on area and landscape development was what really interested me. Therefore I chose for the Planning specialisation during my Master’s.'
How do you contribute to a better world?
'I hope I contribute to a better world by working on plans that not only solve the challenges that we face today, but which also prepare us for the issues that we might face in the future.'
What choices have you made that have helped you to get where you are now?
'I did my internship at Royal HaskoningDHV, which is also a consultancy and engineering company. This internship was the perfect way for me to experience whether a career in consultancy was what I wanted. I think the best way to get to know whether something is right for you, is by experiencing it.'
'During my studies I also participated in various committees of the study association Genius Loci, such as the weekend committee, master committee and the gala committee. With these committees I organised many fun and educative activities for the other students. The skills that I have developed by participating in these committees are still of use today in my daily work, such as organisational skills, leadership and teamwork.'
What are your future goals?
'My goal is to remain a generalist among specialists. I think the strength of people who studied Landscape Architecture and Planning at Wageningen University & Research is that they know a bit about a lot of things, while specialists know a lot about only one thing. Being a generalist, I am able to be the link between the different specialists that I work together with. I want to apply that strength to contribute to a healthy and climate adaptive living environment. I think that in order to achieve a healthy and climate adaptive living environment we need to combine knowledge, tools and innovations from many different disciplines.'