Alumniverhaal

Thijs - Business Owner and Vegetation Adviser

After his graduation of the master’s Landscape Architecture and Planning Thijs and his fellow student Mart started their own landscape bureau: TRACK landscapes. Beside his own business he also works as a vegetation adviser for landscape architects at Ebben, one of the largest tree nurseries of the Netherlands.

The excursions abroad that I have joined as a student provided a lot of useful insights in the field.

Could you incorporate your personal interests in your study programme?

“The study programme has a quite big elective component. I have chosen to broaden my knowledge with courses in various topics. In my bachelor’s I have even followed courses about vegetation abroad (Erasmus), because I was unable to find them in the Netherlands. I also followed masterclasses that underlined the importance of storytelling in designs. These masterclasses also triggered me to get the technical details of my designs in order to make them more convincing. I could also choose my theses and internship according to my personal interests.”

What else did you do as a student to prepare yourself for your future career?

“I have always been an active student. I participated in various committees at my student and study association. I have also been president and secretary in the board of my study association Genius Loci. I have learned a lot from these activities. The excursions abroad that I have joined also provided a lot of useful insights in the field. Joining conferences and lectures also helped me broaden my knowledge. I have also had a part time job at a garden centre. In this job I worked with plants and advised customers. This helped me learn about vegetation and communication with little effort.”

What skills did you learn during your education that you still use in your current jobs?

“The preferred method in Wageningen was always focussed on a thorough analysis of the assignment. Understanding the context, usage, culture of the users and the (natural) processes of a landscape is important in order to come to a proper solution to a problem. This approach is in my opinion the added value of the study programme.”

Can you tell us something about your own business?

“TRACK landscapes is a continuation of our master thesis. In this thesis we investigated how joggers, hikers and cyclists use the outdoor space and what this means for urban planning.”