"I have been drawn to science since an early age, fact that motivated me to pursue a degree in Chemistry. After finishing high-school, I considered doing my Bachelor abroad, applying for programmes in several countries, such as UK, Denmark, and The Netherlands. In the end, I decided that the Chemistry programme offered at HZ University of Applied Sciences suits my interests. The aspects that I considered in taking this final decision were the close collaboration with teachers, the applied orientation of the programme, and the country itself, being a leader in field of Chemistry.

Throughout my period as a bachelor student I grew a lot and I was stimulated to allocate time on performing experiments and learning how to independently design research projects, covering various research projects. I developed a great interest for Life Sciences subjects, which eventually turned out to be my choice for specialisation in the third year. Apart from the regular study programme, I received the opportunity to join ASTP (Analytical Sciences Talent Programme) organized by COAST. This is a 3-years scholarship programme that allowed me to follow additional courses and projects on various analytical techniques given by experts from industry and academia in The Netherlands.

In the final year of my study programme I carried out an internship project at Unilever in the Analytical Chemistry department. As for my final thesis, this was performed at RIKILT-WUR in the Nanotoxicology research group. These internships gave me a very good image about research and how it is working in industry. I received the chance to work on novel projects which helped me to learn a great deal and to be updated with the latest trends in the field, but also to expand my network. Worth-mentioning is also the great support and guidance provided by the teachers from HZ during this time, having a significant contribution to my performance. In the summer of 2016 I was pleased to receive my Bachelor’s diploma, graduating with Cum Laude.

After graduating, I decided that I want to pursue and academic career. For this reason, I have considered following a Master programme in Molecular Life Sciences with a specialisation in Physical Chemistry at Wageningen University. I believe this represents an ideal opportunity to further stimulate my learning curve in the direction of my research interests.

Reflecting on my years spent at HZ, I was indeed satisfied with my choice of study and how much I grew as a person and as a future scientist. I was privileged to work with very supportive teachers and I was closely guided in achieving my goals. Apart from this, the focus on applied research and the close connection with industry makes HZ a suitable place to follow your studies. For me it turned out as an exciting journey and I am sure that this will be applicable to other future students, which I encourage to grasp this opportunity."