Meet the EYE members

„Once you attended, you will attend again“

EYE sind die European Young Engineers, ein Netzwerk in dem sich Studierende und junge Ingenieure europaweit vernetzen. Eine von ihnen ist Laura Hufschmidt. Wir haben mit ihr über ihre Erfahrungen mit dem EYE-Netzwerk gesprochen.

Bild: VDI TechnologiezentrumLaura_HufschmidtWhy EYE?
I came in touch with EYE by joining the local students and young engineers group at my university back in 2004. From there it was just a small step to my first EYE conference. It blew my mind. The nationwide conferences are always a great time but the international ones are simply awesome. It’s a bit more of everything, so to say.

Where are you from and what did you study?
I live in Hamburg, Germany, and studied Medical Engineering and did my MBA in Technology Management. Currently I’m working in Controlling in the health sector.

EYE@Antwerp was not your first conference. Which ones did you attend yet and why do you keep returning?
My first conference was Malta in 2007, followed by Hasselt (Belgium), Düsseldorf (Germany) and the last ones were in Dublin, Ireland and of course Antwerp, Belgium.
The weekends are a perfect opportunity to have a short break from your daily work and are also one of the rare opportunities to get in touch with most of the people who also keep returning to the conferences.

Why should someone spend time and money for such an event?
Being a student, most national organizations support their participants who want to attend the EYE conferences. And to be honest, once being on the job the money isn’t the problem. It’s like travelling: during your studies you have the time but are short in money and afterwards it’s the other way round. But it’s worth every cent and every hour of your time. It’s about the spirit and the people and about unforgettable memories.

What was your best experience at a conference and why?
There is actually not a “best” experience. What is always great is the first night out with all other participants. Getting to know the people you didn’t meet yet, being crazy about meeting the people you knew before and just having a great time. Mostly this takes place in a pub crawl – which is of course a great opportunity to also get a first impression of city and culture.

Are you going to attend one of the next conferences?
Definitely! Although once you start a regular job it’s not always easy to get some days off – that’s also the reason why I missed some of the conferences in the last years. Looking back, that was maybe not the best idea. EYE conferences are special and I am not planning to let that happen again. It’s a pity there most probably won’t be a conference in spring 2014 but I hope at least the one in autumn will take place.

What you want to tell others about EYE:
For everyone who is just slightly interested in meeting interesting people, getting to know other cultures and countries, spending hours over discussions, fun and local specialties (Antwerp: beer!!), attending an EYE conference is a must! It’s fun, it’s for most people not much sleep and it’s heaps of new impressions. And once you attended, you will attend again. It’s EYE.

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