This article was written during Yannick's first year of MSc MADE. He has completed his studies and is now an MSc MADE alumnus.

Can you give a short introduction of yourself?

Since I finished my bachelor's I’ve worked as a researcher at different Universities of Applied Sciences on projects about biorefinery and the impact of organic waste management on global warming. I enrolled in the program because my career opportunities with a BSc were not meeting my goals. The MADE program was the perfect opportunity to further myself as a unique inter- and transdisciplinary analyst and engineer in the metropolitan environment and to specialize more in the environmental-technical field.

What do you think of the MSc MADE program so far?

The MADE program is very broad and touches upon the most relevant subjects regarding the dynamics of a sustainable city. Because you can virtually shape every course towards your own likening by choosing the subjects of assignments, essays, and projects, I’ve been able to develop myself academically in the direction that I want.

How did you find out about this program, and what made you decide this program was suited for you?

I collaborated with a researcher from AMS Institute and was part of the REPAiR project as a member of their workshops. I found the research done at AMS Institute very engaging and the organization itself very stimulating and friendly. Because of this nice experience, I was excited to hear about the MSc MADE program. Seeing the strong alignment between the program and AMS institute, choosing the MSc MADE program was a no-brainer for me.

You followed higher professional education (HBO, in Dutch) instead of university before you applied for the MSc MADE. What did you do to make this transition possible, and what was this like for you?

The character of a BSc at a University of Applied Sciences is more practical than an academic BSc. Before starting the MSc MADE program, I was a bit nervous about potentially lacking academic skills and finding my way within the WUR as an organization. I think because of my work experience, the gap between my BSc and an academic MSc wasn’t that big, and any problems I encountered were easily solved by contacting my study advisor.

Can you tell us something about the study program and your personal choices?

Right now, I’m in the middle of the electives period, and I’m taking the courses ‘The Carbon Dilemma – a soil perspective’ and ‘Processes for Water Treatment and Reuse’ at the WUR. With my electives package, I’ve been able to find the more technical courses that interest me. I discussed my plans with the study advisor and put some extra effort into creating my ideal selection. It’s also possible to follow more elective courses than needed. I’m planning on doing so next year.

Which part of your study did you find the most interesting (so far)? Which courses did you like best?

The MSc MADE program itself is more or less split into two sections, MADE specific courses related to metropolitan dynamics and more generic courses related to modeling, GIS, entrepreneurship, and product or services development. The combination of these two is very exciting! For example, I’ve taken part in a project where we aimed to model train movements in GIS to figure out which train tracks in Amsterdam would be best to place electricity-generating piezo pads. Vice versa the same applies, after following a course on R, I participated in a project on cultural heritage, and we were able to process all our obtained data in R.

How do you experience studying at AMS Institute instead of the Wageningen or Delft campus?

AMS Institute is a very nice place to be! The location itself is pretty amazing, situated at the Marineterrein looking out on NEMO and the Scheepvaartmuseum. But for me, the best part of AMS Institute is the diverse group of students, professors, and researchers. The students come from all over the world, have different kinds of backgrounds, and have the same mindset. Part of the student also had some working experience prior to the program. This all contributes to the group’s expertise and offers a great fundament for a multi-perspective approach to projects.

What do you think of student life in Amsterdam?

In this last year, there weren’t a lot of opportunities to enjoy student life. I’ve lived in Amsterdam for some years now, and I can say is that I like it here. In normal circumstances, I really enjoy the old dive bars of Amsterdam and the many movie theaters and concert halls the city has to offer! Besides that, within an hour you can be at the beach, in one of the national parks or in the Flevo-polder depending on your personal taste!