HOI: A Future Full of Joy – Meet Dr. Arno van der Hoeven

Thinking about my future career, I usually find myself struggling to visualize what it actually should be. How to choose the best option? Is there something that I can do to make a future work pleasant?

What if I still can’t decide my occupation after graduation?

I know, from time to time, each of us thinks in the same way. Unfortunately, there are no exact answers to these questions… But no worries! I found a person who shows, by his own experiences, that an exciting career is a reality that each of us is able to achieve!

Meet Arno van der Hoeven – an assistant professor in the Department of Media & Communication and a lecturer of the ‘Media industries and Audiences’ course in BA-1 of IBCoM, and other Master’s courses. In his interview, he shed light on his way to a job for life.

For Arno, it was only at the end of the bachelor that he understood that he wanted to do a PhD and proceed in the academic field. “I hold a master’s degree in communication studies but then got interested in sociology, which at the end became my second master program. I was studying for almost 6 years but do not regret it and now I am really happy about this decision.”

What really drives Arno in his job is the combination of teaching and research. Research is a possibility to study particular topics of interest, while at the lectures he discusses the findings with students and receives different views on the topic. This interaction gives Arno a lot of energy. Especially the international orientation of our program, which makes the interchange of knowledge fascinating both for students and for the teacher.

During the lectures, Arno usually gives a lot of examples on the topic he is definitely passionate about – music. “Music is a significant part of my own life. I listen to it a lot and often go to concerts.” Arno’s recent research is indeed also focused on it. He is currently involved in ‘POPLIVE’, a research project about trends in the live music industries. His own investigation is dedicated to the role of live music in urban development.

Many people in our course get a deep understanding of the subject in question when music-related cases were provided. “Music is a form of communication for me. I find it interesting how people connect to music and how music can be an expression of collective identities.” No surprise, it was relatively easy and always interesting to follow lectures and learn new theories within the course as they were explained by something each of us relates to in everyday life.

When I finally asked Arno about the genres of music he likes the most, he mentioned that his musical taste was quite broad. Starting from indie rock, Arno currently listens a lot to hip-hop as for him “…it’s really an urban genre which connects you to the culture of the city. And I like the storytelling and how it developed certain musical new conventions”. I was very interested in finding out about what song drives such a passionate person. Arno shared one of his personal playlists – titled ‘a city walk’ with his favorite songs.

Enjoy this inspiring music and make it happen!


Author: Varya

Internships, A Guide

With fourth term almost knocking on our doors, us second year IBCoM students are starting to get closer to the scary, but exciting internship period.

Some of you might already have a secure intern spot in your favourite company, others are yet to start applying, and then there’s people like me who check their inbox every second in hope that someone was impressed enough to reply. Whatever your situation is, here’s a guide to help you nail your internship and possibly be rewarded with a full-time job when the time comes.

Continue reading “Internships, A Guide”

Burnout, But Don’t Burn Up

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After spending years and years being educated and constantly filling out standardized tests, the idea that these quantitative attributes carry on to impact us for the rest of our lives evidently looms over our heads. Or not. Either way, as each term dawns upon us, it can get a little more difficult to remember why you choose this life in the first place. I’ve gone through burnouts time and time again, and while I haven’t yet mastered the art of preventing them, I have some tricks that help me get out it.

Realize when you’re going through a burnout versus when you’re just having ‘one of those [lazy] days’.

While burnout may differ for everyone, I know when I’m going through one when I’m exceptionally demotivated, can’t concentrate on anything, and feel like no more information will diffuse into my mind. It feels more physically challenging than just having to go to a lecture when you’re really not feeling it. Learning to realize whether its a burnout or a lazy day helps you know when you really stop overworking. Realize, accept, and then try to get out it.

Take a break.

Rotterdam, and the university, have a lot of calm spaces to recollect yourselves. You could take a scenic stroll alone or with friends, take a nap back a home, or just chill. There are great spots that I personally recommend for some serene downtime, either around Kralingse Bos for free, or in the Trompenburg Gardens for around 3 euros. Beyond partying and studying, it is very important to take time for yourself to have some ‘downtime’ where you’re in a situation where you feel most calm. This really helps in, well for lack of a better term, rebooting yourself, so that your burnout doesn’t get the best of you. The sense of calm rather than a mental obstacle you can’t get over reduces the length and even strength of the burnout.

Eat something good.

This doesn’t just mean something healthy. Taking care of yourself physically will help you take care of yourself mentally; and vice versa. However, it is important to sometimes eat for your soul rather than just your beach body. Why? Feeling happy, even momentarily, can boost your motivation to do other things. If you’re really keen on staying ‘healthy’ rather than having something really greasy, there’s always really delicious fruits (personally, I miss the guavas and mangos from back home in Thailand) that you could try to get your hands on.

Do some work, but take frequent breaks.

Being someone with immense bad luck, I have never had a burnout that was kind enough to come before a break of some kind – no, I would always have more deadlines and more tests upcoming. As much as it sucks, doing a little bit of work or study maybe in 15 minute increments with similar breaks helps. Forcing yourself to concentrate might end up being counterproductive in some cases, so when your mind wanders off, instead of feeling like you need to punish yourself and force your interest onto your assignment or reviewing, take the break your mind craves.

And even more so, try not to leave things for last minute beforehand so that you have paced yourself out and aren’t stressed the night before the exam because you haven’t studied enough. If you’re honest with yourself and try to understand yourself and adapt instead of fighting it, you’ll never let a burnout burn you up.