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.

Exchange Story: My Dream Exchange in Sydney

Unlike most other exchange students, I was officially done with all my classes and assignments here at University of New South Wales (UNSW) a few weeks ago. I couldn’t be happier or more excited to start the second part of this adventure, which in my case means TRAVELING! An exchange in Australia is just in so many ways different than anywhere else, because I had to start school here in the middle of our summer break (July), but this also means I finish so much earlier than normal. This gives me almost 3 months off to do whatever I want.

More importantly though, what makes it different, is that you’re in freaking Australia and I can promise you there is no place like this. Especially studying in Sydney is just a dream come true, because everyday literally feels like a holiday, I know the EUR staff wouldn’t be stoked to hear it, but school just doesn’t seem to exist here and you can always go on a new adventure and explore something else, within the city but also just outside of it. The weather is perfect the entire time and this city has everything you can wish for. The Central Business District (CBD), which is the heart of the city with the harbour, huge parks and sky scrapers will remind you of Manhattan, while the Eastern Suburbs with Bondi and other beautiful beaches, cliffs and nature are just 30 minutes away.ilayda

Another great thing is that the culture is very similar to ours, but then with a more laidback atmosphere and likeminded, fun people. All the people here are friendly and helpful and the fact that you’re surrounded by internationals far from home, makes you feel more at home.

I understand that the other side of the world might sound really far to some people and this could influence your choice, but I honestly haven’t felt far from home once! In the beginning, there were of course a few moments that I thought: Ilayda, what the hell are you doing, you can barely take care of yourself in Rotterdam! How will you survive Australia?! However, life is so easy here that it actually scares me to go back even more!

Just a quick example of what a regular day of mine could look like here: I wake up around 10:30 with a small hangover – this could be applicable to any day because in Sydney you can get down every day of the week – I put on my bikini underneath my regular clothes and throw a towel and sunscreen (VERY IMPORTANT) in my schoolbag. Then, I take a bus to school for my 12-13:30 class and, when I arrive at campus, I quickly get an awesome, huge sushi salmon avocado roll for 3 AU$, which is very cheap, because I was too lazy to make breakfast. Then, I listen to the teacher talk for 1,5 hours and after this, I rush to Bondi Beach to nap, swim, surf and tan for a few hours with friends. Finally, I get dressed up to go to CBD for dinner, a few drinks and I just see where the night takes us.

By Ilayda Hagens

Exchange Story: What Makes Exchange Awesome

The moment I’m writing this, I’m already half-way through my time in San Francisco. San Francisco, a city that I was not familiar with at all until three months ago, which now feels like my second home. Exchange is something that changes you in a good way: you go to a femkecompletely different and unfamiliar city, you meet new people and you learn about different cultures or ways of living. For me, meeting new people is already the most awesome thing of my whole exchange. I made friends from all over the world and this enables me later on to visit a lot of different cities all over the world with a personal guide.

Personally, I am pretty easy-going when it comes to meeting new people and making friends, but I think going on exchange is exciting for everyone. In the beginning, you will always ask yourself if you would make enough friends there, which makes it pretty scary.  However, I can assure you that this is the easiest thing ever. Everybody who’s there on exchange is in the same situation as you and their biggest concern is to make new friends, so you’ll have a ton of friends in no time.

Besides meeting new people, traveling to different areas of the world is another amazing part of your exchange. Currently, I am studying in San Francisco, but I have visited Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, a few Natural parks and, in a couple of weeks, I will be visiting San Diego and Las Vegas. Being able to see many different places during your time as an IBCoM student is just amazing. I think traveling enriches a person’s life, as it provides new knowledge that you would never be able to learn from a book. For example, I have seen the biggest tree that exists on this planet; I knew that it was relatively close to San Francisco and I did read about this natural park, but experiencing something like that is indescribable. So, I am not even going to try do that – the only thing I would say in this case, come and see for yourself!

By Femke Bijl