Rita Henriques Rebola Branco
25 years old
‘It’s unique that you have people from many different fields working here – biologists, engineers, physicists, chemists, you name it’
I’m from Portugal, I have a BSc in Biotechnology and a MSc in Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology.
I got to know about Wetsus on the first year of my MSc and immediately became interested in the research done here. Since I wanted to pursuit a research career, a PhD was the obvious next step and at that exact time Wetsus had opened a PhD position in micropollutant bioremediation, a field within biotechnology that I would like to know more about. I applied for it and now here I am 🙂
I’m now starting my 3rd year and I really like working at Wetsus. It’s such a friendly place to work and I’ve learned so much since I started my PhD here!
Unlike what you would usually find in a university department, you have people from many different fields working here – biologists, engineers, physicists, chemists, you name it. And this gives space for very interesting discussions and collaborations. It’s also pretty special that you have close contact with the companies funding the research projects.
It allows me to develop not only my research skills but also work on different soft skills, like project management, communication, leadership and collaboration. The kind of skills that are useful whatever my future career might be.
Before you can start working in the lab at Wetsus, you have to do a small practical exam. I was so nervous during my exam that I made 2 glass graduated cylinders fall and they broke. Thankfully, the exam is not difficult so I did the rest of the things right and got access to the lab.
Although I miss the Portuguese warm weather and sun, I have to admit I really like the Netherlands. I enjoy how multicultural the Netherlands is and I also appreciate the Dutch lifestyle, which I believe has a healthy work-life balance.
In 10 years I see myself, still living in the Netherlands, working in product development for a company (hopefully in the field of bioremediation or biobased products).
Just go for it, you won’t regret it!!!