Testimonial Martina Stavreva
My name is Martina Stavreva, I am 24 years old and I come from Bulgaria. I graduated my Bachelor in Aerospace in Delft and am currently doing my Master in Flight Performance and Propulsion track.
Due to the fact that my father is an aircraft engineer and my grand-father was a captain and then pilot instructor, as a kid I was always surrounded by aviation people. This got me to be very passionate about aircraft and I always wanted to do something with planes. However, I did not want to be a flight attendant and I felt like I was not suitable for a pilot. Also, as I come from somewhat still traditional country, nobody would think of me becoming an aircraft engineer, so I did not even consider it in the beginning.
Even though I went only for language schools back home, I was always interested and good in math, chemistry and physics, so I decided that I should go for economics. Smart, huh? Well… I just thought: A girl with languages and math … What else should I do? And at the same time, I was looking at possibilities to combine economics with aviation.
One thing I knew for a fact though, I wanted to go abroad for my university years and looked at the opportunities in the Netherlands. In my last year of high school I came for open days in Amsterdam and Utrecht, looking for business and economics programs. Fortunately, during my stay here I met a person who just graduated Aerospace in Delft and that made me start thinking: What do I really want to do? Am I ever going to enjoy economics? I don’t think so. What has always been my passion?
And then I went home and told my parents: “Ok, so I like this and this business/economics program, but you know what I heard of? There is this awesome university teaching Aerospace Engineering! And it is in Delft, super nice small university town!”. Then my father, highly experienced in the field, told me: “I don’t think this is a good idea. This is not a very feminine field, you know…” This did not change my mind even a bit, actually quite the opposite, I just knew I wanted it.
Ever since I have been studying here my passion for aviation has grown by the day. My father is very happy about me following his steps and he supports me in any possible way.
The study is challenging, dynamic, demanding and moves in a very high pace. At the same time it is extremely interesting and it gives you not only a great amount of knowledge but also a lot of experience in team work, which I very much enjoy. I also enjoy the possibilities we get to go to the airplane hall and build and break a wing box or fly a simulator or even do a test flight with the faculty’s airplane. I have also had many difficult moments, but I believe the most recent, and maybe best moment in my study here, was last week, after having spent around 4.5 years here, when I was sitting in my lectures on Aircraft Aerodynamics and Advanced Aircraft Design and was thinking: “Oh, wow! This is so cool! I so much love this study, I would have never chosen anything else!”.
True, there are many more male students around and it is normal to be working with guys only. This might have felt a bit different for me in the beginning, but I never had a bad experience and I got used to it quickly and actually enjoy it very much now. I got to meet new, interesting people and have a lot of friends, girls and guys, with whom we have dinners, do sports and go partying. And I feel like having only girls time, I invite my female friends and flatmate and we have nice dinners with wine and chocolate or go shopping or dancing somewhere, just with the girls.
People say that Aerospace is not a typical field for women... This was only the way people thought in the past. We are the present, we form the future, let’s not think like that! Just do what you feel like will fit you best and you will enjoy the most!