Published on: 18 March 2021
Written by: Micha Lobbezoo

Can you tell us something about yourself? 

Well, I am Aline, I am 22 years old. I come from Delft, where I currently am. I study Artificial Intelligence and am still in my Bachelor. I have one older and one younger brother and two foster brothers, but they are a lot older than me.

How long do you live in Nijmegen already?

I lived in Nijmegen since the start of my study, so for about 3.5 years now. I still have the same room, I never moved in between. I already started looking for rooms in May, but that sucked because I had to travel all the time from Delft, which is a two-hour travel. After four or five viewings I got this room. It is in a small house the city centre, which I really like.

Do you or your parents have any pets?

No, when I was younger, I had guinea pigs, rabbits and rats.

I looked a bit disgusted hearing about having rats as a pet.

Rats are really sweet. It sounds a bit nasty, but they are nice animals, and they are also quite smart. It were small rats, not the big ones.
I unfortunately do not have any dogs or cats; my parents are not really into animals. That is why I always had horses I did look after. I had a horse that I could go to twice a week to ride and to clean the stable. I still go there sometimes to say hi and to spend some time with the horses.

Talking about horses: You are still doing a lot with horses; can you tell a bit more about that?

Weeeeeell, currently a I am not doing that much. I did do a training to be Instructor horse & behaviour, where you learn to train the behaviour of horses. I started doing that in my gap year before starting with AI and continued that during the first two years of my study. I only have to do some things to graduate, but then Covid started. My plan is now to finish it up in October, I only need to finish a portfolio.

What do you want to do with this diploma later? Are you completely going to ignore your AI bachelor and start your own horse-riding school?

I have no clue yet. I probably want to have a horse for my own later, or maybe a share horse, so I can easily go on holidays. That is very hard about having your own horse, you must go there all the time. That is why my parents did not let me have my own horse when I was younger.

A share horse sounds like a Swapfiets, but then with horses.

With a share horse you buy a horse together, so you can take care of the horse with multiple people. I also want to give some horse behaviour lessons like I did for the training. For me it is more a hobby than a fulltime thing. When I worked at a riding school during my gap year, I found out that it is pretty intense work, which is fun, but not fulltime.

What else do you do in your free time?

I am a member at Ovum Novum, so I regularly eat with my year club. That is a bit harder with Covid now, but we try to meet up in small groups to eat together. I try to do yoga a few times a week and I do a lot of walks now since we are in lockdown. I also like to watch some Netflix with roommates or meet up with friends. Studying and being in a board also takes up a lot of time.

You really help me to make this subtle bridge to the next topic, what about the board year that you are doing right now?

I am doing a board year at SOFv, that is the umbrella association of all study associations in Nijmegen. My function is political chair, which means that I am in the University Student Council and represent all the study associations in the policy of the university. One of the things I did was making a Corona roadmap for study associations, so that the rules are the same for all faculties.

Really nice, good work! Last year you also did a board year, how was that experience?

I really liked being in the CognAC board. I already knew Maike and Evelien. Jamie was my intro sister, so I also did see her before. I did not know Kim and Sven very well before, but it is nice to see how good you get to know each other in such a year. My function was Chief of External Affairs, so getting the money from companies and working with companies. I learned a lot and after a year I still wanted to do another year as board member because I liked it so much.

Next to other doing board years, some studying needs to be done of course. Why did you choose AI as your study?

I was looking at multiple studies. I checked out veterinary medicine because I liked animals. Then I realised I did not like learning a lot of theory, so that option would not be the best. I looked into psychology because I thought people were very interesting, but that also contained a lot of theory. I liked mathematics and was pretty handy with Excel, but my computer skills ended there. But my mom therefore thought I was good with computers. She visited a congress and heard about the study and she suggested it to me. I liked the idea of the combination of programming with psychology, so I signed up for AI.

What is your favourite AI course or topic?

That is a difficult question. I notice more and more that I do not find AI that interesting.  Globally I like it, but the AI specific courses are really hard sometimes. I liked Formal Reasoning for example and HCI from Hannah. When I followed Bayesian Statistics for the first time, I did not get it and quit the course because I was too busy. When I followed it for the second time and actually made the assignments and followed the lectures, it was much more fun when you keep up with the material. I would recommend following bayes for two years to really understand it ;)

I don’t know if that is the best advice, but sometimes hearing the theory for the second time indeed helps.

How did you become active within CognAC?

I think that happened during the introduction week. A lot of people where enthusiastic about CognAC but I had no clue what committee work was, so I joined the 1C. We were with a big group, so we spitted up into 2 subcommittees to organise two activities. We organized the 1Cantus with a Disney theme and the Hike and Catch activity with a Pokémon theme. Halfway through the year I joined the DAtA (really fun to organize drinks) and after that I stayed active.

You are also chair of the Lustrum Committee this year. How it is to be chair of this special committee?

It is great. It is my first time as chair, so it is nice to also gain that experience. It is really nice to organise a lustrum week, although it will be online this year. There is a lot of budget so you can think big, which makes it fun to organise. Also for the online lustrum we came up with some cool activities.

Can you give us some spoilers about the LC activities? /What is going to be your favourite activity?
 Well I recommend everyone to keep an eye on CognAC instagram, because that’s where all the activities get announced! And we have another surprise for you at the end of the week, for which clues will be released during the week.  

Are there any other committees you would still like to join?

I considered joining the WebC, but I did not have the time for it. If I ever have time left, I might join them. There is not a specific one that is on my bucket list, but I would like to be in the board application committee for a year.

What should CognAC still get what we currently do not have? A new committee, an object, a pet?

We should get the CognAuction back that we had three years ago, that activity was great. I was then in the 1C and after organising those two activities, some of us wanted to do one more activity, which was the Valentine Auction. We raised money for Heart for Children. We made a graph in Excel so we could show on the big screen how much money was already raised, but we went way over our estimation. We should also get CognAC dice and CognAC socks. The last one is part of the lustrum Merchandise (Order here). But the dice are still missing.

I agree, the socks are great, but dice would also be nice. Now it is time for some more random questions: Do you have a favourite movie?

I do not have a favourite movie. That is one of those standard questions, but I rather watch a new movie that I have never seen before. I do not have one specific movie that I want to watch multiple times. Some movies are really nice, I watched the Scent of a Woman yesterday, it got recommended by a drunk friend of a roommate and I even paid to watch it online. So I rather discover a new movie than having one favourite. There are some movies I would like to watch again to discover new things in the story or just because I forgot about it.

And is this the same case for music?

I do not even have a favourite genre, that depends on my mood and the moment. I can study with classical music on the background, but that can also be with techno. In my free time I can listen to classic rock or pop. So this answer is basically useless, I do not have a favourite song or genre.

But what you do have is a favourite late-night snack….

Yes I do, but there is a big difference between my late-night home snack and my late-night city centre snack. After going out in a bar I love a kroket on a bun with curry sauce and onion. This accidentally started when I tried to order fries with curry sauce and onion and a kroket on a bun, but that ended up being fries with curry and onion and kroket with curry and onion, which turned out to be a great combination. It was not because I had some drinks, because I ate it multiple times after it and I even found someone that also likes this. At home, I love popcorn. That is the best food for watching a movie.

So you invented your own snack combination, very nice.
We talk about a broodje spee, which is a snack invented in Nijmegen by a student. I mention that Aline could promote her kroket snack als Broodje Boels, but we came to the conclusion that it sounds pretty nasty. If this is going to happen, we keep it at a Broodje Ali. I would definitely order that.

I actually expected to hear the pita kaas somewhere in this list….

I like a pita kaas, but the song (here) is even better.

During the board weekend, which is organised by the previous board for the new board every year, this song was played a lot. Aline could not resist singing some lines after my question.

Do you have a life motto you want to share?

While I was in high school, I had “live the life you love, love the life you live” as Insta bio, which is so basic. But I do agree with the message, although it is so cheesy. I try to do things I like, and like the things I do. But at the other hand, I am also very good at complaining, so it does not always hold.

That is very deep. Then the last question: do you have any shoutouts?

Shoutout to the Lustrum Committee, shoutout to XXIX, l love my board. Shoutout to SOFv, shoutout to my intro parents, they were great. Shoutout to my parents, I love you.

Shoutout to your horse?

Shoutout to the horse that I do not own but would like to have. Shoutout to doing a board year, you should apply here.

Thank you for the interview Aline!