From chef to academic

Martin Willing, top of his Bachelor's class and Master's student at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences

Graduates from the Faculties of Life Sciences and Technology and Bionics were recently honoured in a festive ceremony at Rhine-Waal University's Audimax. Among the graduates was Martin Willing, who was honoured for his outstanding achievements in the Bachelor's degree programme in Quality, Environment, Safety and Hygiene (QUSH). The coveted prize was presented to him by Dr Ralf Wimmer, Unternehmerschaft Niederrhein, and Julia Nepicks, Managing Director of the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences Development Association.

Das Bild zeigt zwei Männer in einem Innenraum. Auf der rechten Seite steht Dr. Ralf Wimmer, erkennbar an seinem lächelnden Gesicht und seiner formellen Kleidung, die aus einem grauen Anzug und einem dunklen Rollkragenpullover besteht. Er hält einen Strauß Blumen in der einen Hand und scheint dem Mann links von ihm gratulieren zu wollen. Auf der linken Seite steht Martin Willing, der ein breites Lächeln auf seinem Gesicht hat und eine Urkunde in der Hand hält, die den Preis symbolisiert, den er erhalten hat.

Martin, who began his academic career after successfully training as a chef, has been enrolled on the Master's degree programme in Food Science at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences since completing his Bachelor's degree in March 2023. Despite his success in the catering industry, including regional, state and national awards, he made a conscious decision to study. Martin describes his career reorientation in his own words: "I could have continued in the field of cookery, I would have had the best prerequisites for that, but of course I was aware of the working hours. In a way, I was okay with it, but I wanted to look directly to the future and said to myself, well, I don't want to be doing this in ten years' time.

He opted for the Bachelor's degree programme in Quality, Environment, Safety and Hygiene at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, which impresses with its versatility and practice-oriented projects. During his studies, he quickly realised how wide-ranging and relevant his chosen subject area is. "The degree programme offers a wide variety of subjects, including natural sciences, wastewater management, energy management, quality management and sustainability," he explains. The Faculty of Life Sciences actively encourages participation in innovative projects and excursions that give students valuable insights into the real world of work.

For his outstanding Bachelor's thesis on the influence of the colouring of glucose syrup on fruit gums, Martin was named the best student in his year on the QUSH course. Martin Willing was already interested in the Master's degree programme in Food Science during his Bachelor's degree. After taking the Bachelor's lecture "Food Technology" as an elective module, he decided to continue his academic path at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences. "The variety I had on my Bachelor's programme is already helping me on my Master's." 

Martin Willing is already looking forward to the next graduation ceremony in the Rhine-Waal University Audimax when he receives his Master's degree in Food Science. 'Yes, I'll soon have to see what happens next. I want to stay in the region," says Martin, who can imagine a career in business or perhaps also in science: "I mean, there are also some food manufacturers here in the region that I find quite interesting."