Jeroen van Haaren
Which courses do you teach this year?
Real Estate Economics, and I have a small role in Quantitative Spatial Analysis
What do you like most about the course that you teach/your field of expertise?
Real Estate Economics touches the lives of everyday people. For many people the largest purchase they will ever make is their house, as such it has large consequences on their personal wealth, but also on well-being, social ties and their family. The study of housing markets, their affordability and policies (and their unintended effects!) is fascinating to me.
What did you study and where?
I studied Economics and Business at Erasmus University Rotterdam, with a bachelor specialisation in international economics and a master specialisation in Urban, Port and Transport Economics.
What kind of student were you?
To be honest, I may not have been the best example as a student. During my high school period, I was actually never really challenged, just showing up was enough, so my work ethic was low to begin with. This changed when I arrived at Erasmus University Rotterdam, a much more challenging environment. In my first year my performance was well … not very good. However, this was a moment for me to turn it around. So after having lost a year, I started to apply myself and taking my studies much more seriously. In the end I was driven and found courses that really peaked my interest. Most of these courses had elements of geography in them, and that is how I found my field of interest.
Looking back, is there anything you would do differently about your time as a student?
Well, it is easy to say I would have started to apply myself in the first year. However, to me that first year really shaped me as a person. In a way to be able to stand up, you have to fall first. So as a life lesson, that was important to me. What I would have done differently, probably is to do an international exchange. I did that later, during work, for a short period and I really learned a lot.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Right now, we have a small boy, so my initial answer would be ‘what spare time?’. However, when I do have time I like to go scuba diving and I like to build my own IoT (internet of things) projects.
What are you most proud of?
Overall, that would be my family. However, professionally, I am very happy when we can generate positive change in society. The best compliment I’ve had doing work for public clients is: ‘this is why we ask you, you really figure out how to make our city better’.
What is your advice to this year's UPT students?
Be authentic as a person and open up to people. If you’re stressed, scared, in doubt, failing, realise that happens to everyone. If you make a mistake (everyone does), own up to it, explain what happened and my experience is that people will understand.
Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?
I’ve spend more than 10.000 minutes under water, image that: about three full days.