As a secondary school student I spent a long time searching for the right choice when it came to higher education. With my roots in The Hague and my technical skills, Delft seemed like the obvious choice, not least because it meant I could stay at home. I suppose you could call it the path of least resistance. Unfortunately, after endless Open Days and even a Taster Day, it turned out that Delft did not offer the ‘high-tech, human touch’ combination I was looking for so I started attending Open Days at the other universities of technology: Eindhoven and Twente. My first visit to the UT campus gave me a completely different feeling to other universities, and after spending a morning at Business & IT, there was no looking back. The combination of business and technology which BIT still offers, enticed me to move into student digs in Enschede, a choice that I've never regretted! I could just as easily have opted for mechanical engineering or physics, but with hindsight I can say that studying IT in this increasingly digital world of ours has been a very good one.
As a student I was always involved in all kinds of extra curricular activities. This was an important part of my development but most of all, it was great fun. The programme committee, the board of the student society, tutoring children with learning disabilities, ballroom dancing, nights out with fellow students... and so much more. Because the University of Twente is small, with a good male/female ratio, it’s easy to find your way around and discover where your passions and interests lie. Despite my busy schedule, I didn’t fall too far behind with my studies and the delay was more than worthwhile. It’s a fact that a company like Shell sees good academic results as nothing more than a solid foundation, and focuses more on the 'life experience' of the people it employs. I had a wonderful time during my days as a student, learned a lot about myself and I made some very good friends I see to this day.
I started working at Shell after my graduation in early 2009, where after three years I became IT manager at the Pernis refinery and the chemical plant in Moerdijk. My BIT background has certainly helped. Thanks to my studies, thinking analytically, focusing on solutions, working with others and on-time delivery are second nature to me. Because I understand the nature of IT, where the challenges and opportunities lie, but also understand how business processes and organisations operate and what they require, I can bridge the gaps between these two worlds.
BIT graduates are bridge builders, and whether you decide to start your own business or work for one of the largest companies in the world, as a bridge builder you can really make a difference.