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.”

Summer Blues

A little over a week ago, I submitted my Bachelor’s thesis. My very last IBCoM assignment, not just for the year, but forever. No more classes, no more papers and no more exams (for IBCoM at least); it’s the moment I’ve been dreaming about since I set foot in my first IHC lecture. Weirdly enough, I didn’t feel as excited and free as I thought I would. Maybe it’s the uncertainty of waiting for that precious email stating that I’ve officially passed my thesis. Or maybe I was just having the Summer Blues.

It happens a lot during this time of the year. You’ve been working your ass off for months in a row, had a purpose for each day of the week. Even free days or evenings were scheduled in and spent catching up with friends and family, recharging for another busy week ahead. Although it can be challenging, I personally love these busy times: they keep you alert and provide a sense of accomplishment when everything is done. They also make your sparse free time a lot more rewarding. But when the long-awaited summer comes, and things finally do calm down, the sudden plentitude of time and freedom can come as quite a shock. What do you do with all that free time?

For me, my first days of freedom consisted of multiple celebratory dinners and drinks (more on that in our last IBCoMagazine issue that comes out next week!), some long overdue catching-up sessions in the sun, and, of course, some Netflix marathons. But after a week or so, when I made it through the final season of Gilmore Girls, the workhorse in me decided it had been enough. It was time to apply for summer jobs, schedule driving lessons, give my room a summer cleaning and find a place to live during my master. Time to do all the things I didn’t get to during the academic year. And suddenly I was back to where I started, with loads to do and not quite enough time to catch my breath and really enjoy the summer.  

When classes are over and you finally get to do all the fun and not-so-fun things you’ve been pushing ahead for months, it’s tempting to take up everything at once, to fill your agenda without taking a much needed and well-earned break. It’s not that surprising, either. After trying to be productive and make the most out of your days for the majority of the year, it’s weird to not have to do anything. Especially in this day and age, when Facebook asks you to share what you are doing every hour of every day, and you get to see all the awesome stuff everyone else is accomplishing in the time you’ve been sleeping in and watching Finding Dory for the third time. But hey! Finding Dory is awesome, and we all need some down time from time to time. Besides, if there’s anything I learned in my positive psychology minor, it’s that being happy and well-rested are two key ingredients of productivity, inspiration, and creativity. Keep that one in mind for when your parents start to wonder if all those hours of watching Netflix will ever pay off somehow, too. 😉

So yesterday, instead of looking for apartments, applying for jobs or doing any of the other productive stuff I planned, I took my bike and made my way to Kralingse Plas to take a walk, watch the swans (from a safe distance) and read a book. It may be due to the tropical weather or the sound of gentle waves rolling up against the rocks, but for the first time, I felt like the summer had started. It took some adjusting, but I’m finally there. Hello there, summer. Welcome back.

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