A truly wise man never plays leapfrog with a Unicorn.

Bertrand Laborde

Bertrand is currently the Chief Commercial Officer of StudyPortals. But the love story between Bertrand and StudyPortals goes far back in time, to August 2009. As StudyPortals was then craving to add a French touch (who would not?) to her team and hence striving after reaching new heights, Bertrand miraculously landed in Eindhoven during this summer of 2009.

Why someone from this amazing (and modest) country would adventure himself beyond its borders? Bertrand was attending a double degree programme (from which he graduated in March 2011 as an Industrial Engineer), a partnership between his engineering school Grenoble Institute of Technology (Grenoble INP – Génie Industriel), and the Eindhoven University of Technology (MSc in Operations Management & Logistics). StudyPortals jumped at the chance, and Bertrand became the first non-Dutch employee of this young and ambitious start-up called MastersPortal at the time. MastersPortal has become StudyPortals, and now counts more than 25 different nationalities within its team!

In March 2011, after his graduation, the exploited part-timer Bertrand had the chance to get a full-time position of (almost-)respected Business Development Manager for France and Spain. In March 2012, Bertrand got promoted to the position of Business Development Region Manager for the ‘Latin region’, which consists of France, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Wallonia, and climbed another step of the ladder in January 2014, becoming Head of University Value for Western continental Europe. Since 2016, Bertrand is proud to be StudyPortals’ CCO, leading the wonderful and caring University Value team. He finds it a real honour and pleasure to contributing to the development of the entire world through higher education.

Key motivation

Give students all the help they need to make the best choice for their future in matter of education, no matter if they want to stay in their own country or to expand their horizons, by making the database of StudyPortals as rich as possible, and by efficiently putting these motivated students in touch with the worldwide universities. Bertrand is convinced that higher education is a powerful tool for the development of one country, an opinion strengthened by projects like the “big 100,000 initiative” in the USA, stories like the influence on the development of the Silicon Valley from Indian graduates, and experiences like the growth of the Scandinavian economy always investing in education.

Favourite StudyPortals element/experience

Bertrand has been very moved when a partnership was officialised between StudyPortals and UNICEF. This happened during the last quarter of 2013, and since then StudyPortals´ development is benefiting to the “Schools for Africa” UNICEF project in Guinea-Bissau. Scholarships on the name of each of the StudyPortals employees have been awarded to African pupils in 2013, and the creation of 2 primary schools has already been allowed thanks to this generous company.

Personal message

“I would like to sincerely thank all the great people from the Higher Education Institutes that I am working for. It is a pleasure to serve and advice people like that who are guided by the motivation of making a difference in their country and in the world through Education. This is an incredible mission and adventure, and I am proud to be part of it under the flagship of StudyPortals. I have the feeling that these last years in this field are just a beginning, and I am looking forward to the years, to the decades to come.”

Favourite activities:

Trying hard to understand Dutch humour is a very interesting activity, but unfortunately not very gratifying. Facing no improvements in almost three years, Bertrand decided to join the pony-water polo club of Eindhoven.

It consists in playing water polo but instead of swimming, you have to ride a pony. In spite of the fact that a pony cannot hold a snorkel nor swimming, this new activity is much easier than understanding a Dutch joke.

[Okay, maybe French humour is not better]