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Meet our pioneer: Laura van Erp

In Brainport Eindhoven we change the world because here we develop key technologies that change society. We can only do that because of our pioneers. Therefore, meet one of our pioneers: Laura van Erp.


In Brainport Eindhoven we change the world because here we develop key technologies that change society. We can only do that because of our pioneers. Therefore, meet one of our pioneers: Laura van Erp.


Who are you?

My name is Laura van Erp and I am 22 years old. I was born in Best and I now live in rooms in Eindhoven.

What do you study?

Last academic year I completed my bachelor of Industrial Engineering at the TU/e. In this, I learned to analyze and optimize business processes. In my opinion, you learn to manage there. As a Industrial Engineer, you are the link between all aspects within a company. You know how it all works globally, but you don't go into technical depth. So you are the one with a broad overview of the whole process.

Why did you choose this study?

I liked mathematics and I have the ambition to start my own company. I've had that since I was very little. That is why it was very logical for me to combine mathematics with economics. And that's how you end up at Industrial Engineering. During the workshop, I was told that you can become an entrepreneur with Industrial Engineering and that immediately appealed to me.

Why did you choose TU/e?

I didn't want to go to Eindhoven, because I wanted to be as far away from my parents as possible to live in a student room. But when I finally chose to study Industrial Engineering, Brainport Eindhoven was the right place for me. All the high tech is here. That is why I opted for Eindhoven after all and simply moved here.

“I didn't want to go to Eindhoven, because I wanted to be as far away from my parents as possible to live in a student room. But when I was studying Industrial Engineering, Brainport Eindhoven is the right place for me.”

Are you going to do a master's?

I'm going to make a study switch now. I'm going to do the pre-master in mechanical engineering and then the master. Simply for the reason that as a Industrial Engineer you are the overarching part and I want to know how it works exactly. I did miss that part. That's what I found out at my student team.

Which student team are you in?

After my bachelor, I spent a full-time year at InMotion as an account manager to put into practice what I learned at Industrial Engineering and Management. I went to see InMotion once because my roommate was a team manager here last year and told me this was perfect for me. I wasn't very familiar with student teams myself, but I was sold by the ambience almost immediately when I came to see it. I wasn't into cars at all, but that evolved by now.

What do you do as an account manager?

We have 79 partnerships. These are partners who support us in our project. I am responsible for that. For example, I enter into discussions with those partners about the continuation of the contract, but I also do relationship management to keep them up-to-date on the project. That's a lot of fun.

Did you consciously choose this position?

I made an open application for all business-related topics. Because with Industrial Engineering you are a bit less technical in terms of content. During a case day, they assigned me to this task, but in retrospect, I think this was the most suitable task for me. I was able to achieve my personal learning goals with this position.

What did you learn?

My main goal was to learn to speak professionally. I could already small talk, but I mainly wanted to learn how to acquire a company, how to start a conversation with a person, where you both eventually get what you want, and how to convince a company to enter into a partnership.

We have had training courses from the university and in the end, it’s up to you to apply it. Stijn van Deudekom was my buddy in this and we did everything together. That way you gradually learn what works and what doesn't.

What else do you do besides your studies?

I work as a student assistant at Erasmus+. Erasmus+ scholarship is a scholarship for students and graduates who are going to do an internship abroad. The European Union has set up this to facilitate students to visit another European country to study or do an internship. TU/e manages this for the whole of the Netherlands. I award those scholarships for the internships.

In addition, as a student assistant, I also do the web care at the TU/e ​​as a side job.

I was also member of the study association Industria. Besides the fact that it’s a super fun association, it’s also good for your personal development. You could join committees and organize activities with groups. You can learn a lot from it when you first enter university. You also get to know a lot of people this way.

What do you want to do next?

I would like to start my own company. I don't know what kind of company yet. I think there already very long after. I would prefer to invent and develop something myself, but that is of course a very intense and difficult process.

I think it's been spoon-fed to work in your own company. My parents both have their businesses. That attracted me. In the past, I've worked for several large companies, but I didn't feel quite at home there. I'd rather think for myself what I'm going to do. I like that freedom. I also think a scale-up or start-up fits very well with this. That I can make my own decisions.

“I would like to start my own company. I also think a scale-up or start-up fits in very well with that. That I can make my own decisions. I like that freedom.”

I want something connected to sustainability. I've been working on that all my life and that's why InMotion attracted me. I want to contribute something to the world. Because I find the tech side very attractive, I do think it will become something that solves a social problem. That is a long project, so you don't just do it overnight. I would never do it alone either. Who knows who I will meet in my studies and what ideas will arise.

What else do you find important about a later job?

Cosiness! I would also like to have the ambience at InMotion in my future job. The team feeling, that you feel at home and that you do it together. Normally I’m more of a wait-and-see person, although I have learned to do otherwise this year.

What do you think about studying and living in Brainport Eindhoven?

I think it's great. Studying in Eindhoven gives you many opportunities to develop yourself. I think there are more possibilities than most students initially think. At first, I didn't even know about the existence of student teams or what they did exactly. You get a lot of opportunities here. Also due to the close collaboration between the TU/e ​​and the companies.

"I think there are more opportunities than most students initially think."

What else would you like to tell (future) students in Brainport Eindhoven?

You have a lot of development opportunities, especially look further. Nothing is too crazy here. Your idea might just become reality, chase your dreams. And above all, enjoy everything that comes your way, the possibilities that you have and take them with both hands!