19 April 2023 | Category: Education, Housing, Master's Student

Life after WUR – an interview with a recent graduate

By Maria

Most people follow a similar scheme. First, we are children going to primary school, then comes the teenage era with high school and finally we go to university. But what about later? Probably lots of graduates ask themselves this difficult question trying to fix their plans after their studies. To give you inspiration and a positive view I talked to my Spanish friend Marina to tell us about how she discovered job life!

How did it start?

Marina came to Wageningen 4 years ago to do a master’s in Plant Sciences. She said the program was really enjoyable as she could tailor it to her preferences and interests. Fortunately, she was already quite predicting staying in the Netherlands even before arriving here. She knew the job market in the agriculture sector was prominent so it was logical to stay. Moreover, she also felt connected with the country and its lifestyle. That is how step by step Marina decided to stay in the Netherlands.

Staying from the bureaucratic perspective

Lots of foreigners would be wondering if they would need to arrange specific documents to live or work here. This depends on your place of origin if you come from an EU country or outside of it. Sometimes a visa is necessary or other working permits. In Marina’s case, as she came from Spain, she didn’t have to deliver many documents. In the beginning, she had her health insurance from back home. Then during her studies, she got a part-time job which required Dutch health insurance. For this, the BSN number was also needed but she said at the end it was not much of a hassle.

Working experiences

During her studies, Marina already got an internship at an agricultural research organisation where afterwards she was offered a full-time job. She started working as a consultant for CIAT from CGIAR even before finalizing her MSc. She really appreciated the experience but sometimes it was a struggle as she had to work from home. Now after graduation, she works for a start-up FarmTree company on agroforestry modelling. The office is actually on our campus in the PlusUltra building. Therefore Marina stayed in Wageningen!

How about housing?

As we know, looking for a place to live in the Netherlands can be a challenging experience. You usually have to start searching months in advance and be really patient. As Marina continued working in Wageningen she also wanted to stay here but she had to move out from her student house. Luckily she knew friends who were moving out from a nice flat so she got it after them. Although she managed to fix her housing situation quite smoothly she added that without that opportunity it would have been very difficult.

The general impression

From our talk, I can tell that Marina has really been enjoying her life in Wageningen which is also why she stayed. The MSc program was exactly what she was looking for. Wageningen itself can feel too small at times, but Marina finds it cosy with plenty of things to do all the time. She has met amazing people here, both Dutch and international. The difficult period was during the high peak of the covid pandemic. She had to delay her studies for a year but in the end, it was still a good experience. Marina said the post-graduation life has been pretty positive for her, although she is still adjusting to the extra responsibilities.  Now she actually feels like she has more time, stable good friendships and some money to do fun things.

Summing up!

Obviously, for everyone the story will be different, we come from different places having different aspirations and ideas. Ultimately, I strongly believe that all of our journeys will be successful and full of great experiences. Thanks to Marina for giving me this interview and allowing me to tell you her story! I  hope it will inspire some of you, Good luck!

By Maria

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