Published on: 17 December 2019
Written by: Maiek Berkhof

Introduce yourself!

My name is Emma, I’m a second year AI student. I’m from Deventer, but I have been living in Nijmegen since I started studying here. I go to my parents every once in a while, but most times I just stay home during the weekends. (Maike: home or home-home?) No, I mean here! Nijmegen is my home. My parents are divorced, and I have a half-brother, who is 11 years younger than me.

…and how old are you?

…uh, I’m 19 years old. Wow, I had to think about that, haha.

What was it like to grow up in Deventer?

It was fun! Deventer is smaller than Nijmegen, but very gezellig. But after 18 years, I was kind of done with it. I knew everyone there, we all went to the same high school, and I wanted something new. All my friends went to Nijmegen as well, so that was an easy choice. People from Deventer usually go to either Nijmegen or Groningen to study (and the nerds go to Twente, haha).

Why Nijmegen? Besides all your friends going here?

I liked that AI is in English and therefore international here, and Nijmegen had the best atmosphere compared to the other university cities I visited. I really did not want to go to Groningen, because the atmosphere wasn’t that great. I also felt like it was too far away, but actually it’s just as far as Nijmegen. Nijmegen just felt right, I guess. That’s also the reason I wanted to study AI: I didn’t do a lot of research beforehand, but it just felt right.

Well, sometimes you just have to follow your heart! By the way, do you still live in Hatert?

Yes, but I am going to move soon. My best friend has found a new room in a completely new house through connections, and she arranged that I can live there as well. I’ll have a smaller room, but the house has a large garden and I’ll live with my best friend, so that’s great. It’s close to university as well.

Cool! Why did you join CognAC?

I joined in my orientation week, because CognAC seemed like a lot of fun to me directly from the start. I wasn’t very active immediately, but even then, being a member is useful for book discounts and workshops (woooh, SC!), haha. I did not join the First Year’s Committee then, which I regret, I think that would have been so much fun! But I joined the TraC after half a year, which I enjoyed so much that I joined two other committees: the SC and the CTC.

Are you planning on joining other committees?

Nooo, I’m busy enough now. However, I would like to join the OrC next year, that would be so much fun! This year, I still want to become a mentor once more, though. Last introduction, I was mentor together with Jelle and Laura, which was really nice. We also had awesome intro kids as well.

Do you do anything besides your study?

Haha, no. Nah, just kidding, I’ve been working for a restaurant for two months now. Also, I am making a module for an AI module for high school students together with three other CognAC members.

Maike: wooooah, so cool!


Yes! CognAC was approached for this last year, so now we are working on making this for students who want to do something extra. We will have to teach the module to them ourselves as well, which is going to be intense, but very awesome as well. Besides that I do not have hobbies. I try to go to my parents’ every once in a while, but most of the weekends I am too busy to visit them.

Do you have pets?

Yes! My dad has a dog, his name is Teun, a black Labrador.

Maike: oh my god! My dog is also called Teun!

Oh really? Cool. Anyway, a good friend of mine is also called Teun, and I call my dog Teuntje, so now I also call my friend Teuntje sometimes.

I also really want a cat, and I thought maybe in my new house we could have one together, but our land lord won’t let us.

Ah, that’s sad :( Maybe you should move somewhere else then, just to get a cat!
Anyway, change of subject: since you joined the TraC, are you into travelling?

Yes! I also really love organizing trips. When I’m going on a holiday with friends, I’m always the person who arranges everything. Where we are going, which hostel we are staying at, how to get to the location… I don’t like it when someone else does that, I want to do it myself.

Evelien walks in, realizes we are doing an interview, and then leaves again.

However, the committee would be too much work for one person, so there I am fine with dividing the tasks. I do the formal activities for the TraC now, so I am in contact with companies, which is cool. The other day we had a conference call with a company in Toronto, which was scary.

Jorrit walks in to get a tray of Klok beer from the board room. Then he leaves again.

By the way, are you joining the trip?

Maike: no, sadly not, I was four spots too late.

Ah, that’s sad. But oh my god, so many people signed up. I did not expect that, since it costs quite a lot of money. But 35 people in total is a nice amount for a trip like this.

Did you come up with the TraC location?

Nope. I actually wanted us to go to Dubai, but that’s not an AI hub like Dubai, so Toronto was a better choice eventually. I have already been to Toronto once. We were all really excited about Toronto, though.

Where else have you already travelled?

I went to Budapest as exam trip (which I think was when CognAC was also there!), Thailand, New York and Toronto together with my mom, oh, and we also went to Boston. I visited Harvard there.

And what is the CTC up to?

We are currently planning the Living Monopoly. We also want to do a city trip to Zoutelande! (HYPE HYPE HYPE!) That obviously means we will be listening to Zoutelande by Blof the entire bus ride, and we’ll be going to the beach.


What’s the best function within a committee?

Secretary!!!!!!! I love writing minutes.

What is your Spotify top 5?

Well, I’m not that much of a music fan. I share my Spotify with my step dad, so it contains a lot of Dutch hit songs, so don’t put those in the interview! (I won’t! Some of the songs were funny, though.)
I just always let other people pick the music. I really do like karaoke, though.

What’s your biggest achievement?

Getting my propedeuse in one year, without any resits. There was some hassle last year as well, so that’s why I’m extra proud.

I’m proud of you as well :) Have you celebrated Sinterklaas this year?

Yep, I have a little brother, so celebrating Sinterklaas is extra nice. However, we thought he still believed in Sinterklaas, but then last Thursday he told us he already knows Sinterklaas doesn’t exist. He was always skeptical, though, asking questions about why Sinterklaas is so old and stuff.

Oh no! How did you find out yourself?

Some of my friends told me in the dressing room for gym class. Then I asked my mom and she confirmed it, and my dreams shattered.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?

What I do a lot, on which I am not necessarily proud, is sleeping. I love just lying down on the couch, starting a series on the TV, and then take a nap. I also fell asleep during a date once. We were watching a movie, and I always fall asleep during movies. I was wearing 3D glasses though, so I don’t think he noticed. I was only asleep shortly, but when I woke up I was like, ‘who is this person?’

You did not recognize your date!?

Noooo, I mean a person in the movie! There was no second date, though.

Time for shout outs!

Shout out to the TraC, SC, CTC, Temptation WAIland, and Maike, for this interview. (cute)