- Manon Pap works as an Engineer, Junior Project Manager and Assistant Engineering Manager at Strukton Systems in Hengelo.
- Manon has loved technique from an early age, and she would like to see more women in technique.
This article is part of a series called “Twente Leeft!” (Twente Lives!). You can read personal stories here about living and working in Twente. Twente is a nice place to be, according to the talents we meet. The beautiful nature, space, the down-to-earth mentality; they all characterise Twente. There are also plenty of career opportunities! Twente has many innovative, international and future-proof companies that are desperate for staff. Want to know what Twente has to offer? You can find Manon Pap’s story below.
Although not a lot of women generally work in engineering, it has always been a logical choice for Manon. Manon: “My interest in technique started at a young age. My father has his own agricultural mechanisation company, and I was allowed to help him out in the garage as a young girl. That started with handing him different tools, but I was allowed to tinker and even repair tractors myself after some time. I wanted to become a car mechanic, initially, but fortunately, I had a teacher who told me this: “But you learn well, and there is much more to technique than just tinkering”. Studying mechanical engineering was a very logical choice after that.”
Manon grew up in Gelderland and studied Mechanical Engineering at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences in Zwolle. She worked as an engineer at a company in ‘t Harde after her studies but then moved from Nunspeet to Twente for a new challenge in engineering. She has been working at Strukton Systems for almost four years now and holds various positions.
Manon: “I feel completely at home at Strukton Systems! I am the only woman in the company apart from the secretary, and nobody really cares. They might have had to get used to it in the beginning, but they all love having a female colleague now. Various things come together at Strukton: mechanical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering and high voltage. A beautiful combination of all these interesting fields.”
Manon now completely feels at home in Twente. Even though she lives in Deventer now, she does work in Hengelo and regularly spends her free time in Twente. “My boyfriend and I love driving through Twente in our convertible. Nature here is really beautiful! But we can also cycle through many different nature areas if we are looking for a bit more exercise. I also like the fact that Twente has almost everything you need.”
“It is always nice and quiet when I drive from Deventer to Hengelo, but I see big traffic jams when I look at the other side of the highway... I always think the same thing: “This is so unnecessary! There is more than enough work in Twente, and it’s a lot less busy as well!” And this is not only the case on my way to Hengelo. It is the same on the way back. The peace and quiet you find in Twente are some of the biggest advantages if you ask me.”
Even though Manon loved tinkering with tractors and cars as a little girl, she has since discovered that engineering is about much more than just that. She has had several jobs in her career now, and this allowed her to get acquainted with the different areas in the field. “As a junior project manager, I am in charge of four maintenance engineers that manage high and low-voltage installations. I am also an Assistant Engineering Manager, so I’m currently managing the engineering department together with a colleague. The engineering department consists of 40 people right now. I am not doing any real engineering work at the moment, and I am focusing on my other roles. I have always worked as an engineer though, so I understand what the job entails and everything involved with it.”
It is very important to Manon that more women start working in this field, precisely because it is about so much more than most people might think nowadays. “I started my studies with 150 other students, and only one of them was another woman, such a pity! I took part in many open days because of this; I wanted to show that women can also work in engineering. My message to all the girls who are in doubt: “There are so many opportunities in Engineering, so just go for it!”.”