Before I started the master’s programme in 2016, I graduated at Avans University of Applied Science in Forensic Chemistry. During my time in Breda, I did several internships related to chemistry and forensics chasing the dream of being a forensic scientist. One of these internships was at the Forensics Department of the Police, which was a great opportunity and provided me with a drive to learn more. Because of this drive I applied for the programme.
Besides the skills and knowledge of the programme, the broad and interdisciplinary setting of it was something that I really liked, and I hoped that it could be an extension of my domain specific knowledge. I expected to get more in depth knowledge in forensics, which we could apply in our own domain, making the students specialists. I think the master’s did fit my expectations quite well, but I do think that in order to specialise you need a well aligned research project, or, as I did, a more practical background.
One of the important parts of the program is teamwork, something that is present in basically all courses. You should be able to work in a team, especially because of the high diversity of topics and assignment types. Because of that I think it is a good thing that the student population is mixed, something that saved me on the DNA related topics for example. Using each other knowledge is key!
After one and a half year of courses it is time for a research project. I got the opportunity of doing this at the Netherlands Forensic Institute. I will focus on the IC-MS analysis of pre- and post-explosives residues and their prevalence in the Netherlands.
I am not sure yet what future will look like. My main interest is still in the crime scene investigation part of forensics, but working for the NFI, doing a PhD, and even teaching are all things I am still considering. Let’s see what the future brings me..