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My academic path started with a bachelor’s degree in Biology but Forensic Science was what was really calling to me. The Master’s in Forensic Science felt like a good way of combining both my interests in criminalistics and natural sciences.

I was drawn to study at the UvA by the curriculum, which offers insight into different forensic fields and the option to specialise in what captures you most. This was Forensic Anthropology to me, so I wrote my Literature thesis about this subject and went to Barcelona for my Research Project. There I had the chance to work at the Institute of Legal Medicine of Catalunya. I did my project on Forensic Neuropathology (assessing the alterations in traumatic brain injury) and volunteered in anthropological work. I see it as a gateway to my current job in the forensic field, since it broadened my knowledge on trace evidence and handling human bodies.  

After graduating, I was lucky to find a job with the State Federal Police Office in Berlin, where I am currently employed as a Forensic Scientist in the Crime Scene Unit. My job (and that of my team) is to manage crime scenes in cases of capital and serious offenses. We search for trace evidence, visualize it and subsequently secure it for further analysis by specialized departments. Through the Master’s programmes’ emphasis on interdisciplinary teamwork, I had a fairly easy start in my current job, working with people of different backgrounds and ages. Spending plenty of time in autopsies during my research project prepared me for the unusual and unpredictable situations encountered at crime scenes. I’m happy to be able to work in such a thrilling environment. After gaining more experience with my current job I could imagine myself pursuing a PhD in Forensic Anthropology one day.  

My advice to the students is to find what interests you most, however unconventional it may be, and give it your all. If you show motivation and are determined, opportunities will arise.