Virginie Lacrosse


I went over to the UK and studied Mechanical Engineering. I got about two years of work under my belt before I moved over to New Zealand. I found it very hard to find mechanical engineering work and did a lot of random jobs during my first year there from tutoring to selling sushi! After the Christchurch earthquakes hit in 2010 and 2011, I used this opportunity to switch career paths and become a Natural Hazard Engineer. This involved a fair bit of reading and attending conferences to upskill. I have been working in this field for the last five years.

What is your nationality?

Belgian

What are your favourite memories of Bangkok Patana School?

Having everything on site and being able to do sports, music and art all in one day.

What was it like coming back to visit the school?

It made me appreciate how lucky I was to study here, but at the same time, it felt like an old pair of comfy shoes that don’t quite fit anymore. A lot has changed in 11 years!

What is your current career?

Natural Hazard Engineer

What was your path to that career?

I went over to the UK and studied Mechanical Engineering. I got about two years of work under my belt before I moved over to New Zealand. I found it very hard to find mechanical engineering work and did a lot of random jobs during my first year there from tutoring to selling sushi! After the Christchurch earthquakes hit in 2010 and 2011, I used this opportunity to switch career paths and become a Natural Hazard Engineer. This involved a fair bit of reading and attending conferences to upskill. I have been working in this field for the last five years.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your working life? 

Lots and lots of sports! This is partly why I moved to New Zealand. I am still playing a lot of touch rugby (although not quite as much as I was back at school!) and have since picked up tennis.

Is there anything that you experienced/learned at Bangkok Patana that has helped you in your university, personal life or career?

IB has definitely helped me be able to juggle things more efficiently. It made university more manageable, it has enabled me to be a more successful project manager at work and it helps me maintain a very busy yet balanced lifestyle.

And finally, do you have any advice to the Class of 2016?

Take a moment to sit back and realise how lucky you are to have studied at Bangkok Patana and in an international environment. Not many people can stay they had classmates from 20 other nationalities! You may not stay in touch with most of the people in this room, but when you bump into them later in life, you will always have something to talk about – more so than you realise!