My name is Wesley van Doorn, I am 20 years old and I come from IJsselstein, The Netherlands. I study Biology and Medical Laboratory Research (Life Sciences) at Utrecht University of Applied Sciences. I chose this study because I have always enjoyed biology and because the study program is still fairly broad in terms of career choice. In addition to theory, you will also receive many practical lessons, which will help you learn how to deal with problems that you may encounter in the lab, which is very useful for later.
The first time I heard about the CEW was actually by chance. I received a message through an acquaintance containing a vacancy from the CEW for interns. Because I find water technology very interesting, I have decided to apply. Within water technology there are always opportunities to optimize processes and there are many companies active in the field of water technology in the Netherlands, so the job prospects are good.
My internship assignment is to investigate and validate online techniques to monitor biofilms. These techniques are available in the form of sensors, but not validated for monitoring biofilms under different conditions. Every sector has its own specific circumstances. The aim of this project is to compare the various online monitoring techniques. For example, it must become clear for each sector which technology is best and why. What I really like about this internship is the alternation between literature research and practical research, which means that you are not just in the office or just in the lab. Unfortunately my project has not yet started completely, so far I have not been in the lab much. I have already worked a few times in the Water Application Centre (WAC), but not yet for my (own) main project. The most important thing I have learned so far is that in practice there is much more involved in the implementation of a project than at school. At school everything is spoon fed to you and you only have to do the implementation. At CEW you really have to think carefully about what you are going to do and how you are going to tackle this precisely, because there are no (full) protocols yet. I like this very much because you learn more by setting up something yourself.
I currently live in Leeuwarden because the distance between IJsselstein and Leeuwarden is very large. I rented a studio there in the Markt058 building, which has been open since August 2019. Everything in the home is still new. It is very nice that the studio has been furnished, since the move is (probably) temporary. It is also very nice that you have your own kitchen and bathroom. Markt058 is a very nice place to live, because many other (international) students live there. Everyone is looking for friends and it is very easy to get to know new people here. So far I think Leeuwarden is a very nice city, but it is a pity that it is so far away from Utrecht. This makes it difficult to meet up with friends at the weekend. In addition to my internship, I work every weekend as a host in a retirement home in IJsselstein. This means that I still regularly come close to my family and friends in IJsselstein and the surrounding area.
In the short term, I intend to complete my bachelor. For the long term, I focus on a master’s degree. For example in biomedical sciences, biomolecular sciences or (bio) technology. I have not been able to make a choice yet, but I intend to participate in a student-for-a-day program to find out which master suits me best.
I would recommend an internship at CEW, because there is a good alternation between theoretical and practical work. The CEW offers room to develop yourself well and to work independently on a project. If there are problems, the researcher or project manager can still help.