'Since I was sixteen, I wanted to do officer training with the Royal Netherlands Navy after my pre-university education. In the year I left school there were substantial cuts in the defence budget, which meant the training didn’t take place that year. As an alternative, I became interested in the Marine Technology degree programme. But unfortunately I couldn’t start immediately because I only had mathematics A. I then decided to go ahead and get my mathematics B diploma in one year.
Mathematics was never my strongest subject and I felt a little anxious about whether I had what it takes to get through university. The first year was tough, but with my motivation and interest in shipbuilding I eventually passed all my courses. My advice? Don’t be put off by admission requirements, but choose a degree programme you’re really interested in.'