Biography

I was born in Leuven, Belgium and have two Belgian parents who have lived in Belgium for most of their lives. I spent the first 8 years of my life growing up in Belgium, until my dad, working for the parent company of Johnson and Johnson, was offered a job in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

At the age of 8 I thus moved to Switzerland, and started in an English speaking international school, without having been taught any English before. At the same time, I played in a local soccer club where they spoke Swiss German (a dialect of German). After spending 6 years in Switzerland I switched to a German-speaking public school to prepare myself for an entry exam to the "kantonalschule" - a school specifically targeted to prepare students for college or university. Not even a month after I had passed this strenuous exam and was ready to attend the "kantonalschule," my dad informed us that he had been accepted for a position in Singapore. We had gone through some great experiences in Switzerland, and therefore after long contemplation and consideration we decided to move to Singapore.

Having completed my previous year in a German-speaking school I now returned to an English-speaking international school. I slowly started to adapt to my life in Singapore and traveled extensively throughout Asia. I was exposed to a lot of different cultures which really started to shape the ideals and values that I have today. After a short two years it started to become time for me to think about where I wanted to go to university. Initially, I was set on going back to Belgium or somewhere in Europe. However, in late November of 2010 my dad got notice that he had the opportunity to work in the US. Given the excellent higher education system that the US has to offer, I was very eager to move to the US. Unexpectedly, the deadlines for college applications in the US are usually in the beginning of December or January, and I had to work very hard to make sure that I could submit my applications on time. I was thrilled to be accepted to such a great school as Rutgers and started there in the Fall of 2011.

Consequently, I had now moved to a fourth country, and a third continent, before turning 20. I started off in the Rutgers Business School but realized a year later that I was seeking a more theoretical education, and thus switched to the School of Arts and Sciences where I started my economics and psychology double major. As I found myself questioning numerous topics in class, I started to develop an interest in research.