Humans of TU Delft: Wieke Joustra
Wieke Joustra. (Photo: Heather Montague)

With travel plans on hold due to Covid, bachelor’s student Wieke Joustra intends to pursue a master’s degree when she graduates.

“I was searching for something to study and every field that I explored had too much of one thing or too little of one thing. I looked at mathematics for example, and there was too much maths, too little physics and too little biology for me. Then I found nanobiology and it’s like a mix of everything. It’s about one quarter biology, a quarter maths, a quarter physics and a quarter nanobiology courses.

I’m a fourth-year bachelor’s student. I’ve done everything except for my thesis and I’m working on that now. I’m just a few weeks in but it’s nice so far. The topic is about cell sorting mechanisms. Early in the development of embryos there are certain types of cells that develop. Those different types of cells go to different places in the embryo. So, for example, you have a bulb of type A and you have a shield of type B around it. The question is how do the cells know how to separate in different ways. The study is using the embryos of mice. A PhD candidate did some experiments in the wet lab and I’m making a model to mimic that experiment.

‘The study is using the embryos of mice’

My initial plan was to finish in February and then to travel for a half a year before starting my master’s. But now it’s a bit difficult to travel so I probably won’t be able to do that. I want to pursue a master’s in biology for sure.

For my minor I went to Leiden University and studied marketing and management. I had mixed feelings about it while I was doing it, but in the end I’m happy that I did it. It was just for me to see the company side of things, not only to learn about research and what you do in a lab. I wanted to get a feeling of courses like marketing, economics, management, like how you cope in a company as opposed to just doing research.

I always said I didn’t want to work in research, but I’m not sure because I haven’t really done research yet. I have no idea what I want to do after my studies. Because my studies are broad it’s not like I’m preparing for one profession. It gives you a lot of options so let’s see.”