Published on: 07 May 2019
Written by: Sigur de Vries

What is your function in the board?

I am the Chief of External Affairs of CognAC. I am in contact with many companies to arrange deals for sponsoring. I call them and after waiting for a long time they respond with yes or no. If they are interested I will visit them and try to persuade them to sponsor CognAC.

But what is CognAC doing for those companies?

They want to increase their brand awareness among students, because having IT-students is a great benefit for them. Together with the companies, I organize lunch lectures or workshops, where they explain what they are doing and why students should want to work for them. CognAC will be sponsored in terms of money, but job opportunities as well.

Does the XC help you to organize those activites?

No, I organize the lunch lectures and workshops on my own, but together with the XC we organize the Career Week and Drinking on the Job. The Career Week was a success, which was a relief because it was organized for the first time.

Do you like your function?

Yes, but sometimes I get annoyed because many companies don’t respond for weeks, and when I call them they say they are not interested in a potential deal anymore. Companies are quite unpredictable. Only when the company has actually signed the agreement you can be sure they want to collaborate with us.

Do you have tips for the next Chief of External Affairs?

Besides staying proactive, not really. Unfortunately, you can’t force companies they to make a deal with us or communicate well.

What do you dislike the most about your function?

When companies are late with paying and you keep reminding them and they ignore you. I think it is quite awkward to call and ask for money.

Do you enjoy your board year in general?

Yes. It is very time-consuming with all the activities and CoBos, but now I have more free time. I think it’s fun hanging out with the other board members. Recently, we did a parents tour to Jorrit’s and my parents at home. I enjoyed meeting the parents of the others. We are also planning on continuing the parents tour to the other parents. Our board contains two Germans, so we have to travel really far to go to their homes.

If you could fill all the positions in the board with all people that ever existed, who would you choose?

The heads of Google and Youtube would be good shouts, because they are extremely intelligent, get stuff done and can easily gain networks. I will come back to this later, currently I am in a total blackout.

I heard you liked dinosaurs?

That’s right. My favourite dinosaur is the diplodocus. I also have a card game about dinosaurs with many interesting facts.

The diplodocus:

What do you do in your free time?

Every week I do ballroom dancing with my boyfriend. We practice many different styles of dancing. Soon we will have to perform in the theatre in Nijmegen. It is hard to do our dance moves synchronically with all the pairs in the group, in order to make it look nice. When I was in primary school, I used to do jazz ballet as well. And in secondary school I joined an acting club. Currently I’m doing a short kickboxing course as well, at the sports centrum. It is entertaining, but my body is really burse after.

What is your favourite food?

Broccoli! I eat many vegetables, which causes people to think I’m on a diet which I’m not. I did start to eat more vegan food. I like lasagne as well.

We started talking about many kinds of food. Eventually pasta was our topic. Fien told a shocking fact about herself, which confused me.

I don’t wait for the water to boil, but I immediately add the pasta to the water. It makes literally no differences for the result.

Now I’m interested in how you drink your tea.

I put water in the microwave.

Again I’m completely confused.

Did you already do a board year before?

Yes, I was in last years Olympus board. Their secretary stopped halfway the year and I replaced him. I liked it, but this board year is way better! I was already planning on doing a board year at CognAC, so this was a nice opportunity to already gain some experience.

Why did you want to be Chief of External Affairs?

 I did not want to be in this role, because I thought I could not handle that I had to wait for companies. But eventually it turned out fine, because now I enjoy it.

Did you learn anything from your board year?

Yes, because I have to convince companies often, I learned how to represent CognAC in a good way. My professional and social skills have improved. For the remaining time, I have to make sure all the money is received. Additionally, I have to look for new sponsor deals for the next study year.

Are you doing your master next year?

Yes, I am currently doing the Interactive Agents master and next year I’m starting the Data Science master of computing science.

What was your favourite course in the Bachelor?

I really enjoyed Neural Networks and Logic and Applications. But I do not know if it was useful to learn those courses.

I finally thought of my perfect board. As Chief of Internal Affairs I would choose Jennifer Lawrence, because she is funny and sassy. Alexandra Daddario would be the Secretary, because she is hot and I need her in my board. I want Jesse Eisenberg, acting as if he is Mark Zuckerberg, as Chief of External Affairs. I want the employee of Scrooge as Treasurer, because he is probably good with money, but unlike Scrooge, he is not a douchebag. For Chief of Education I would pick the smartest person I know with ties to the program, and that would be Appie. Finally, as Chair I would pick Drew Barrymore as I just think she can be professional, but also keep board life fun.

Any last shoutouts?

Yes, very cheesy to all the CognAC members, because without them the association would cease to exist. Keep up the good work.