Student in the Spotlight: Cyril Hachemi

“Besides your assignment, you get a lot of advice in writing reports and presenting through the courses offered by Korrie Hoekstra, lecturer in Communication at Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences.”

My name is Cyril Hachemi, I’m from Montpellier, France and I am 22 years old. I am doing a Master in Chemistry at the Ecole National Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier, ENSCM. Compared to Dutch equivalents, my study is more or less a combination of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. After I finished high school I started taking courses in mathematics, physics and chemistry. Of these exact subjects, chemistry appeals to me the most because it is very tangible. I also like physics and mathematics, but I don’t see myself doing any research in that. I am particulary interested in green chemistry, that is why I chose water technology. What I like about water technology most is the fact that it is a very broad subject in which you get to interact many different people and disciplines.

When I had to find an internship, I just started looking on the internet randomly, searching for water technology. Through Google I found the CEW in The Netherlands and decided to send them an e-mail. I was invited for a job interview and the rest is history. The project I am working on is about producing energy from the mix of salt and fresh water at river mouths, without the use of membranes. What I like about my internship most, is the fact that you get to do everything from scratch. In the beginning I had some trouble getting used to the new environment and finding my way in the Water Application Centre (WAC). But the people there and at CEW are very helpful and always available when you have questions. I live in the city centre of Leeuwarden in a student house. Leeuwarden is a nice city, but a bit too quiet for me. Quite a difference with my home town Montpellier where, no matter what time of the day you go outside, there is always people in the streets and activity going on.

My internship at CEW ends in August and in October I will start a PhD about removing micro plastics from surface water in Australia. I would certainly recommend an internship at the CEW for several reasons. First of all you get your own project in which you can act very autonomously. Whenever you need help, there is always people available. And besides your assignment, you get a lot of advice in writing reports and presenting through the courses offered by Korrie Hoekstra, lecturer in Communication at Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences. The most important lesson I learned so far during my internship, is about being patient and to deal with stress. Indeed, things can happen slowly, but it is hard for me to wait as I like it when everything is done fast and efficiently (especially with paper works). Now I am more relax, and I just keep my to-do list updated daily.

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