“I’m from a very small town in Zeeland. I was equally good in languages, economics and science and I had no idea what I wanted to study. I decided to pursue science as a profession and then the rest could be hobbies. I also wanted to do something a little bit creative and thought about engineering. I stumbled upon aerospace and thought I would try it.
I’ve always held onto my interest in those other things so for my minor I wanted to do something that was the opposite of aerospace. I thought, how extreme can I go? I studied Japanese culture and languages in Japan and I absolutely loved it. It was interesting to go to a culture that is the opposite of your own and not just learn about how different we are, but also to take a big mirror to see what Dutch culture is and what you do because you think it’s normal.
After my bachelor’s I did a board year, working with the VSV ‘Leonardo Da Vinci’ study association and the Delftse Bedrijvendagen. During the autumn of that year, a lot of things happened and I came to a realisation. I wanted to tell everyone studying here that your best quality is not being smarter than everyone else because you’re already smart if you’re at this university. But the best thing about people who study here is they are very good at teamwork. When you build an aircraft it’s not only about making sure it has the most beautiful wings because in the end someone else’s engines need to go underneath them. It’s better to find the best combination of both of your ideas.
‘It’s a problem of how we see ourselves as a society and how we all have natural biases’
I got to go to the IAWA conference in Lima, Peru, and I saw that the women were so focused on connecting good ideas and pulling each other up that I thought I want to be involved in this. I see the merit in giving as many chances and opportunities as possible to people you know and not just trying to do everything yourself. It inspired me to try and do what these women do on a global scale on a smaller scale inside the Faculty here.
In the Faculty I think we have a lot of amazing women, and other people who are in the minority and I hope they can grow and get more management positions. In terms of diversity I think you should realise that you have to actively change things to really make a difference. I’m glad we’re having more discussions about it because it’s not a problem of how some men see women, it’s a problem of how we see ourselves as a society and how we all have natural biases and we need to become more aware of them.
For me, next on the agenda is to get an internship and finish my studies. I hope to graduate in about a year and a half. I have a few ideas of what I want to do when I graduate. I’d like to work for an aircraft manufacturer and then work in the R&D section on something related to a societal problem. Maybe either noise reduction of the landing gear or looking into climate effects. I also really like research. Or maybe I will even end up working for the government to look at how we can make policies that help.”
Who are the people who work and study on campus? We meet them in Humans of TU Delft. Want to be featured in this series? Or do you know someone with a good story to tell? Send us an e-mail at email@example.com