Angie Luna Pinzon, alumnus of the Master's in Epidemiology
"My PhD is a very challenging and ambitious project but I know I have the knowledge and skills to succeed at it, thanks to my Master’s Epidemiology. A great advantage of this programme is the opportunity to do a one-year internship versus the shorter internships offered by other Master’s programmes. My one-year internship at the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) was a chance to fully dive into my research topic and develop my research skills. I got to put into practice all the theoretical aspects I had learned and worked under an excellent supervisor, a senior epidemiologist who, in a very short time helped me to dramatically improve my research skills.
I have known that I wanted to work in the public health sector for a long time, but it was a summer course in epidemiology that helped me to make the decision to do my Master’s in this area. During my Master’s I got to develop my research skills to a higher level than many comparable programmes, and I gained a strong theoretical knowledge during the coursework. In fact it was during the coursework that I came to know about the research conducted at the Amsterdam Academic Medical Center’s Public Health Department. I knew immediately that this was an area I wanted to work in – and I have just started by four-year PhD here.
The aim of the project I am working in is to develop an innovative approach to promote sustainable healthy habits in children (10-14 years) in multi-ethnic lower social economical groups. I have always been interested in research with children and, having an international background myself, I was very excited to join this research group and to embark on such a highly-rewarding project."
Jennifer Boer, alumnus of the Master's in Epidemiology
“My job as a health economics consultant requires a combination of clinical knowledge and quantitative research skills, which makes it a perfect fit for me. This is something I would tell students considering the Master’s in Epidemiology: you have many options afterwards. A lot of companies are looking for people with strong research skills, so consider all your options.
I realised that I was good at quantitative work during my Bachelor’s in Health Sciences. From there I decided to pursue a Master’s that specialised in medical research. My main concern regarding Utrecht’s MSc in Epidemiology was if I would be able to do the statistics courses. In fact, they ended up being my favourite courses. They are taught by biostatisticians who have an in-depth understanding of clinical practice and how to make it easy to understand.
In this Master’s you do a thirteen month internship. I found this challenging, but I learned so much. There are also many post-graduate students in the programme who are primarily doctors. As a result, I now have a broader view on how the medical system functions in the Netherlands and abroad.
As a health economist, I work for pharmaceutical companies building health economic models. We model the cost-effectiveness of new medication that has not been approved for reimbursement in the healthcare system yet. This job requires a combination of working with clinical trial data, and applying and modelling this data so our clients can build a dossier for scientific decision making. With our models, we make new treatment options available for patients. My work is really rewarding and I get a lot of chances to develop myself. My solid understanding of how to analyse data has become a real strength of mine and absolutely helps me in the work I do.”