Student - January 25, 2018

YOU on campus - I enjoy being on campus

Liza van Kapel

He graduated two months ago, actually, but Otto van der Linden (26) is still having a great time on campus. With his guitar at his side, he is preparing his class for this afternoon. A biologist, he has a job for six months as a teaching assistant. ‘That is ideal for me now.’

‘I finished my internship in New Zealand two months ago and I am not sure yet what I want to do next,’ says Van der Linden. ‘I could have stayed there to do a PhD but the overall scenario wasn’t right. Content-wise, it was a nice challenge but the social scene wasn’t a good enough fit for me, not for four years.’

So he came back to the Netherlands where, having given up his room, he was forced to couch-surf for a while. He couldn’t get a permanent job. ‘Normally you go and live where you work, but I didn’t want to rush into a job just so as to be able to live there.’ So the temporary job as a teaching assistant was a perfect solution. ‘This means I can figure out what I want to do exactly, while I do have the security of an income. So I am now setting up a little project at a company, looking at whether composting machines can be made more sustainable. Nice to do, and who knows, something may come of it.’ Until then, the university world suits him just fine. ‘It is very nice to be among people with the same passion for and knowledge about plants.’

Nice to be among people with the same passion for plants

Van der Linden plays guitar in two bands, and likes brewing beer. ‘I get a kick out of doing that. We’re working on setting up a beer-brewing committee now, together with the Wageningen Student Farm. The committee will help groups of students to brew their own beer.’ Another hobby he pursued for a while was breeding tropical fish: ‘Even before I started on my degree in Biology, I thought it was very interesting to study how they reproduce.’