‘Science is such a good way to put aside differences, because it is something we all share’
How did you experience the YBSS?
“I’m so happy I did it! When I heard I was selected, I was absolutely ecstatic. And it was only after the program was finished that I learned it was the first edition. I had no idea, because it was so well put together. We visited a lot of interesting places. The Brainport region is so involved with international scientific activities, that really opened my eyes about all the possibilities.”
Why did you sign up?
“Originally I applied for a sister program in Canada, but I was too young for that. So they told me about the YBSS, which seemed like a very good alternative. And it was! It offered me the possibility to visit technological companies where I would like to work later on, such as Philips. So the YBSS was my chance to learn more about their way of working and research departments. And by learning more about that, I realised I am capable of working there myself. So it gave me lots of self-confidence.”
How did you prepare for the YBSS?
“Mostly, I got to know all the other kids beforehand and we exchanged knowledge. We talked about what everyone already knew about science and I learned a lot from them. And I also made connections afterwards; I contacted the scientists from the companies we visited on LinkedIn because I would like to find a job at one of those companies after I finish my education.”
Would you recommend the YBSS to others and if so, why?
“Absolutely! If you have the chance the learn from people that come from different countries, you should always take that opportunity. Science is such a good way to put aside differences, because it is something we all share, regardless where we come from.”
What did you gain most by taking part of the YBSS?
“All the different perspectives I got from my fellow students and the people we met at the places we visited.”
What´s your most memorable anecdote regarding the YBSS?
“The atomic fusion talk we had at the TU/e was fantastic. And we had a lot of fun during a music festival we visited. Also, I enjoyed stroopwafels (a Dutch cookie) and I took a lot of tulip bulbs with me as souvenirs for my family. They all bloomed so I have lots of reminders of my time at the YBSS.”
Do you keep in touch with any other participants of the YBSS?
“Yes, we chat on Facebook and other social media every day.”
Do you have any tips for future participants and/or the organization?
“For participants: always have questions for the speakers you’re going to meet. Don’t be afraid you will seem dumb, because you won’t, so don’t shy away from it. And always get their names afterwards. Networking is very important.”
What are your future plans? And did the YBSS influence them in any way?
“I’m going to do my best to find a job in the Netherlands, now that I know there are so many interesting companies here. Preferably with ASML. I would like to gain experience at those international companies. In the long run, I would like to be a director of an national lab in the United States.”