Humans of IBCoM – Anne, the #FITGIRLCODE from IBCoM

Anne's story

I first met Anne during the careers days, when attending the lecture (presented by her and her colleague) on the #FITGIRLCODE community. As soon as I found out she is an IBCoM student just as me, I asked her whether she would like to sit down for an interview. Thinking that she didn’t have an interesting enough story to tell, Anne was really surprised by my offer but still agreed to tell me more about her life – which turned out to be quite fascinating.

First of all, Anne comes from the South of Netherlands and moved to Rotterdam when she was 20 years old, ready to start the IBCoM program. As a third-year student who is almost done with her studies, these are her thoughts about the program: “Like many students out there I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do in my future. I was interested in marketing and advertising, but also liked the idea of writing articles so I thought IBCoM was the study program that suited me the most, although I was never 100% sure about it. In the end, however”, says Anne, “it turned out to be the perfect match for me and I am really glad my choice turned out to be the best one.” Anne’s advice for current first-year students who are still doubting the program, is to not quit yet – “The great thing about IBCoM is that in your second year you get to choose your courses and choose as consequence the direction in which you want to go. Have patience because greater things are definitely coming.” Another aspect Anne really enjoyed is the possibility to do an internship – and hers was one many girls would be jealous of. It all started during one of the guest lectures organized by the faculty, where Anne met one of the representative of #FITGIRLCODE – an online community for women who want to have a healthy and happy lifestyle, which started as an Instagram account. It wasn’t long before she was an official intern at #FITGIRLCODE, enjoying her internship which soon turned out to be her part-time job. “Just like I chose IBCoM without being 100% sure about it, I decided to try out whether a position in brand relations fit me, which turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life and which in the end provided me with a job I very much like and enjoy.” Anne is happy that she has made some good decision concerning her study/career so far. However, because good things in life do not come without sacrifices, Anne had to give some things up: “I decided not to go on exchange, mostly to be able to continue working there. Although I still would have loved to go abroad, in the end I am very happy with my decision”.

When asked whether you have to lead a certain lifestyle when working at #FITGIRLCODE, Anne said: “You definitely have to like and enjoy what you are talking about and promoting, but of course each one of us has different lifestyles and just does her own thing. I am vegan for example, but that doesn’t mean everyone in the team is as well.” On that note Anne shared some advice on how to feel accomplished on a fitness and nutrition level: “Find something that works for you, whether it is working out 5 times a week or only once. Find food and specific recipes that you like and don’t make eating healthy look like a struggle.” One of Anne’s favourite meals is pasta, followed by a delicious dessert – Ben & Jerry’s Vegan Ice-cream which she’s been waiting for for many years.

Ace Career Days

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They say that success doesn’t come to you, you go to it. It might be true, but this year the International Faculty Association ACE decided to spare you the fatigue and bring to you the most well-known and prominent organisations and businesses, showcasing different jobs for the three departments within Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. Every year the faculty association organises the ‘Career Days’ – a 3-day event in which the association brings students in contact with various companies and organisations and tries to broaden the students’ awareness of their future professional or academic careers, as well as broaden their knowledge about the various available companies, that could one day provide them with the job/internship of their dreams. Just in case you missed this amazing opportunity, here’s a short summary of this year’s ACE Career Days.

The official opening of the Career Days took place on Monday, 5th of January at restaurant Siena on campus, where Mr Fer de Jong Jongert (the developer of the concept Better Together) shared a few dos and don’ts when being interviewed by a potential employer. First of all, present your better self and stay strongly connected to yourself (by being confident and trusting yourself you will make the employer trust you as well). At the same time, avoid presenting yourself as the best catch the organisation needs – be courageous in telling the employer what your strengths and weaknesses are. Dress accordingly to the organisation you’re presenting to, and last but not least – have a good handshake.

Day one started with a few very interesting and helpful workshops. One of these was Job interview training and LinkedIn workshop – held by Mrs Masuma Shadid (LinkedIn Trainer and University Lecturer) who explained how to create a good online profile and make it your marketing document that will sell you. Here are some tips that Mrs Shadid shared with us:

  • Add a profile picture (profiles with profile pictures are viewed 20 times more).
  • Edit your headline by adding your location and/or the potential position you would be suitable for.
  • Have a creative summary – it will grab the attention of the reader and make him/her spend more time on your profile.
  • Mention your skills.
  • Connections. Make your network work for you.

Day two was all about companies operating in very diverse fields like ‘Abroad Internships’, a company which helps you land the best internship in not only Europe, but also in Australia or more exotic places like Hawaii; ‘Viacom’, the multinational media conglomerate which focuses mainly on cable television; ‘360 Magazine’, which filters the news from all over the world, giving the Dutch audience news not only from the inside but also from the outside; and ‘Nationaal archief’, the place where all the important information about the Dutch government is kept. In short, each of these companies gave a glimpse of what it would be like and what to expect if one were to work for them.

Whether your dream is to become a blogger, organise events or work in foreign affairs, day three and last day of Career Days might have touched upon all of these fields with organisations like the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, organisations known for electronic music festivals like ID&T and FITGIRLCODE – a worldwide community of fit and healthy women who started as a small Instagram account. The successful event ended with a networking drink where students got to get in contact with all the present companies and organisations and express their interest in a possible future job position.

Despite the limited amount of tickets available, the interfaculty association and (most importantly) the Career Committee has done an amazing job in organizing such a useful and engaging event and I hope more people will have the chance (and desire) to attend next year’s ACE Career Days. Until then, do not forget to follow them on Facebook @careerdayserasmus and Instagram @acecareerdays to keep up to date on the upcoming in-house days.

Humans of IBCoM – Emina Mulagic

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Although the weather of Rotterdam grew more grueling to endure, I had the opportunity to interview the incredibly driven Emina Mulagic. She is a BA-2 IBCoM student who is awe-inspiring, with her participation in multiple associations and her passion for them.

 
“I’m chairman of the career committee in ACE, and was in a few committees last year. I think of it as a great opportunity, especially since Erasmus University has something for everyone. I know I tend to end up being very busy, but it isn’t something I mind. I think it goes hand in hand with the IBCoM programme, perhaps maybe not as much as the first year’s concentration on theories, but a lot of hands-on application from a lot of BA-2 courses.”

 
Emina joined ACE during Eurekaweek in her first year. “I thought it was normal here, to join a, or a bunch of, associations and organizations in the first year. I always tried to do a lot of things, and while I guess leadership can be considered a personality thing, and I do think that I have that personality aspect. But being a leader isn’t always about being very lenient or very strict – it is very much based the context and the situation you’re in as a leader. I loved my team for the Career Days, but I still knew I had to be clear with what I wanted. They were great at improvising when things weren’t going exactly as planned, but they let me be more of a central part – a facilitator if you will, rather than say a dictatorial leader. I gave roles out based on their personal abilities, but still listened to them when they gave me any input or feedback. I think that is what makes a good team, and a good leader.”

 
ACE’s Career Days, in Emina’s words, created “a bridge between academics (IBCoM) and career paths – including interns and possible jobs.” She strongly believes that students only gain, not lose, from these experiences. Her experience as a chairwoman taught her a lot of things about herself and about working in a team. “I think it was a success – we did get more people than last year, and you always strive to be better than last year. I think it was essentially perfect. We got a lot of speakers, but I wish we could’ve gotten more. It was just difficult because although we started in around November or December, the agendas were already written for most companies by then for the February period. I think the speakers were wonderful, very inspiring, and in choosing them we tried to cater to our audience. We had sent out a survey asking which speakers or companies people would want to see, or what advice they would need, and we based it on that.”

 
She also is a part of the Eastern European Association. “It is a fairly new association, and we work on integrating Eastern European students with, specifically, Dutch culture. As it is new, we get to implement a lot of innovative ideas. While it is a challenge, I love it because you learn a lot of things from each project, regardless of what position you are in. As the saying goes, you can only bend the steel while it is still hot.”

 
“In my free-time, and it doesn’t seem like I have very much, I like traveling – like many IBCoM students. I also love learning languages, at the moment I speak six, and strive to learn more. For my exchange destination, I am going to a small city in Spain, and will try to soak in the culture and better my Spanish – but one of my friend’s jokes that [because I like being busy] I will be mayor within a week!”

 
“I would just like to say that Erasmus University Rotterdam provides these opportunities to take even more out of your experience than just the academics – so grasp the opportunity when you can. It will only help you.”