In 'Stream of consiousness', we give the floor to someone from the UAntwerp community. Our speaker today is Laura Scheerlinck. In 2013, Laura obtained her Bachelor in Language and Literature: Dutch-Theatre, Film and Literature Studies. Today, she works at the production company Caviar, but she is best known for the podcast she started with Silke Vandenbroeck: De Volksjury (The People’s Jury).
What drives you?
I’ve long struggled with the content of my work: making fiction and creating podcasts, am I making a difference in the world now? Wouldn’t it be better to give something back to society and study to be a social worker or work in care? Only recently have I realised that my work does mean something to people, and that is hugely motivating.
How old do you feel?
In the morning 89, after one glass of wine 23. Mostly just 30.
What trait do you admire most in your best friends?
I am fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of inspiring people. We are all part of a club of thirty-somethings, and what I admire most about them is their persistence: in terms of their career, a passion or their family. People who go full steam ahead for their dreams I find hugely attractive.
Who was your inspiration?
My grandfather and mother: two hard workers who worked for everything, but were ambitious. I really enjoy talking about them to other people, because I greatly admire what they have achieved in their lives.
What did you Google last?
‘Craziest survivors stories’ and the recipe for McDonald’s Big Mac sauce. I lead a very varied life.
What does the perfect Sunday morning look like for you?
Sleeping in, having a very long breakfast. And on a perfect Sunday, I complete the full-page Swedish puzzle in the weekend paper in one go, without cheating.
Do you have any advice for prospective students?
Make stupid choices, make mistakes and learn from that. At twenty, they still lovingly call it ‘naive’, then at thirty it suddenly becomes ‘embarrassing’.
What is the most important lesson you learnt at university?
That deadlines unfortunately can’t be moved.
What would you like to study next?
Theology. As a child, I wanted to be a priest, until my parents gently told me that as a woman, I could not do that job. So instead I became a feminist. Until the sixth year of secondary school, I heavily considered studying theology after all, but I was advised against it by... my Religion teacher. I do appreciate her honesty.
What does UAntwerp still mean to you today?
I met my best friends during my studies. When we all meet now, I can hardly believe that we found each other in a packed classroom.
How did your friends and family react to your career choice?
My family always encouraged me to go full steam ahead to chase my dreams, so I never slowed down in my career either. I did find out recently that my mum describes my job to her friends as ‘a jack-of-all-trades’.
How does your job give you satisfaction?
The (mostly positive) reactions to what we make.
If you could change your profession for a day, what would you want to do?
If I had the brains for it, I would love to be a brain surgeon. Spending hours with a team making someone better seems very satisfying. I have a lot of patience and a steady hand, only the scientific understanding is lacking.
Ardennes or the sea?
The sea, but specifically: Oostende.
Cycling or going for a walk?
Going for a walk, for my own safety. I can’t cycle – and by that I mean: I can do it, but something happens every time.
Fiction or non-fiction?
Non-fiction that makes you think: if it were a movie scenario, the viewer wouldn’t believe you.