“With my clinical background, I also better understand why certain ingredients are used and what function they perform in the recipes I work out.”

Vanessa Haerens

Application Lab Technician

During my education in Nutrition and Dietetics, I had to choose between the different tracks. You had the Health Education track, the Clinical Dietetics track and the Food Technology track. I hesitated hard at the time because I found the clinical and food technology tracks equally interesting. Clinical Dietetics is more focused on the influence nutrition can have in relation to disease, and food technology is more about the technical and functional aspect of foods themselves.

I chose the clinical track, in which I then wrote my final paper on nsLTP food allergies, a rare type of food allergy to certain fruits and vegetables. Although I did not regret my choice, after graduation I could see myself working in the food technology industry more and so I started looking for a job in the food sector.

At that time, IMCD Benelux had a vacancy for Application Lab Technician in Mechelen and after the first application round it was already clear to me that this was a position where I could get the opportunity to expand my basic food technology knowledge. An added bonus was that the range of possibilities in the job is very extensive.


In the beginning I doubted whether I had enough knowledge in food technology, but during my job interview my knowledge level turned out to be better than I thought. With my clinical background, I also better understand why certain ingredients are used and what function they perform in the recipes I work out.


I experience the IMCD culture as very warm and open. It didn't take long before I started to feel comfortable in the team. There is also a real emphasis on team spirit and you can tell by the good atmosphere in the workplace!


My tip for young starters is to really find out for yourself where your interest(s) lie. I believe that with an open and curious mindset you can open many doors to new opportunities.