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Ron Berends

Alumnus Biomedical Sciences

"Back when I was deciding what to study, I was very interested in how the human body works, especially when it doesn’t function like it should. I didn’t see myself standing at the bedside of patients, so I chose to focus on the working mechanisms of the body and its biological enemies."

"The Netherlands has a number of different study programmes that range between biology and medicine, including Biomedical Sciences. At the time, the programme was still called Biomedische Wetenschappen." 

"VU Amsterdam was the first open day I visited and I happily stayed there my entire time at university. My first impression of the programme was immediately good. Also, the Protestant character of the university was in line with my upbringing; this is particularly reflected in the history of VU. And, not completely unimportant, physics was required for similar programmes elsewhere. I didn’t happen to have that subject in my high school curriculum and, despite that, I was still able to start my studies at VU." 

"During my studies, the university switched to the Bachelor’s-Master’s model. I was probably one of the last students who passed a propaedeutic year [in the old Dutch education model]." 

"Towards the end of my Master's programme, I had been working as a Clinical Research Associate (CRA) for several months and ‘only’ had to complete my thesis. Of course, this was not entirely ideal, but I couldn’t let that opportunity pass me by. After obtaining my Master’s degree, I continued working for my employer at the time. I am currently working at Danone’s R&D headquarters in the area of medical and baby food. Our R&D counterpart for dairy and water is based in France. Scientific research, mainly clinical studies in collaboration with doctors, is very important for our product development." 

"In terms of content, I have moved further away from my education and now primarily benefit from general project management skills learned on the job. However, my biomedical background makes me a credible discussion partner with the doctors with whom we work a lot. In addition, my background means that I understand the scientific and substantive context of clinical trials much more quickly without having to know all of the details." 

"A tip: visit the Bio Career Event during your studies. This is an annual event and it is the perfect way to explore your options for a job after your studies."

Ron Berends

"I didn’t see myself standing at the bedside of patients, so I chose to focus on the working mechanisms of the body"