There I was, as a 7 year old girl that had just moved to Holland a year before, sitting in class when the teacher asked everyone: what would you like to become when you grow up? A pilot! I answered very confidently. Not knowing anything about the so called ''male jobs'' terminology. This question has been asked several times through out my childhood at school and every time I answered it with the same, let's say, naievty.
Every time there was an event at school and the kids had to choose a topic, I would choose anything that had to do with aviation. I remember in year 6 where I wrote a poem and made the B747 (aircraft that I ended up flying later on). Even though my own friends were very supportive on me, some girls would say :gosh , she always wants to do things that are so different. They couldn't be more right!!
Above all of that, there were some myths about being a pilot. People would ask me ; O you need good eye-sight, o but you have to be tall for it etc etc. Once I completed my primary and secondary education, I was now keen to take up flying... but my parents thought I was too young and not ready to move to a different country. They suggested I get a degree and if after, I was still interested in flying they would be happy to let me go.
Being very keen on flying, I chose to study Aeronautical Engineering where I lived (Amsterdam). In the first year, there were about 7 girls, but after December there were only 2 left, me included. Again during my year at Engeneering, I had to go through some remarks here and there, but me being from Amsterdam and a city girl, I knew how to push back. Engineering was not easy and I had to work very hard. Looking at the results of the exam we would get always 4-5 students out of the 25 or so that passed exams! As I was always one of the students who would pass there exams, my confidence grew and so the boys were now careful before making any jokes. During every open day, I was there standing and waiting to encourage any girl that was considering to study Engineering.
In 2002, out of the 25 students , only 13 completed the study on time, with me being the only girl. During the ceremonie, one of the parent complimented me and said well done for being the only girl !
There I was now ready to look for a Flight Training Institution and go chase my dream...