Stream of consciousness

Bjorn Ipermans went into management after biomedicine

5 min
Text Lise Wouters
Image Liz Dvorkina

In ‘Stream of consciousness’, we give the floor to someone from the UAntwerp community. Today Bjorn Ipermans is up. He completed the Master of Biomedical Sciences: Neurosciences and a Master in Management at Antwerp Management School. He is currently working as a project engineer at Pfizer.


What drives you?

The opportunity to keep learning and gaining experience, both professionally and personally. It can sometimes be a challenge to keep enjoying oneself; we often tend to focus on our goal, forgetting to live in the moment.


How old do you feel?

Tough question. One the hand I often feel like I’m 18 still, which doesn’t have to be a bad thing – we shouldn’t lose our inner child. On the other hand, I do feel a bit older and wiser than back then.

What trait do you admire most in your best friends?

Honesty, both with respect to themselves and other things. I appreciate it when someone answers the question ‘How are you?’ honestly and openly. This does require trust of course.


Which professor impressed you the most?

Peter Verhezen, of Organisation and Management at UAntwerp and Geopolitical Challenges at AMS. He’s an incredibly interesting person, not just professionally. But Steven Poelmans has also stuck with me, a professor of Leadership & Organizational Neuroscience at AMS. I’m actually quite honoured to have met him and collaborate with him.


Do you have any advice for prospective students?

I often cursed my studies, but studying is actually a huge privilege, just like all the freedom you get. And also, be critical of what they teach you, because that’s the only way to discover new insights.

What is your favourite memory of your student days?


The skiing holidays with the student associations: those were full of experiences I won’t be quick to forget! Or, to give a more serious answer, my year at AMS. On a personal level I went through tremendous growth there, ups and downs and all.

quote image

I often cursed my studies, but studying is actually a huge privilege, just like all the freedom you get.

Bjorn Ipermans

What would you like to study next? 

My friends won’t believe this, but: philosophy. I think the power of philosophy to structure one’s mind is underestimated, especially for people that worry a lot – like myself. Especially in combination with my neuroscience background, mind philosophy would be very interesting.


How did your family and friends react to your career choice?

After AMS, I joined Pfizer as a consulting project engineer under the flag of Science Talents. This came as a surprise to those around me, because it’s not in line with neuroscience, but I’m learning a lot. Due to Covid, some projects were prioritised, taking up months instead of years. I’m confident the neuro aspect will eventually be added!


If you could change your profession for one day, what would you want to do?

If it’s really only for one day: neurosurgeon. It would be incredible to work on a living human brain and cure a patient with my skills. I have massive respect for those surgeons!

What would you still like to achieve?

I would love to run my own neurotechnology company, without losing sight of ethical questions. And I would love to set up a school in Africa, to give other people the opportunity to continue their studies and make their dreams come true.


City or countryside?

Countryside. It can’t hurt getting out into nature some more.


Ardennes or the sea?

If this is referring to the Belgian coast, I’ll go with the Ardennes for sure. But if we’re talking about the sea in the south, that would be my pick!


Fiction or non-fiction?

Fiction. I like escaping from reality now and then.

Curious about Antwerp Management School?

Are you thinking about studying at Antwerp Management School and are you curious to know more? Come and meet us on the 17th of April, between 1 and 3 pm! You'll have the opportunity to get a tour of the campus, talk to our current students and/or program managers. Seeing the campus, and experiencing the vibe of the School is a great way to feel if AMS is right for you.

Register here

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