Published on: 02 March 2017
Written by: Daphne Lenders

Interview with the Board - Djamari                  

Tell me something about you:

My name is Djamari, and I am 20 years old. I was born and raised in Papendrecht, which is near Dordrecht. I have one brother, who is five years older than me and one sister, who is two years older than me, both do not live in Papendrecht anymore. 

Do you often go home to Papendrecht?:

Nah, not really. My sister goes home more often as she both has a job and a boyfriend there. From Nijmegen it takes 3 hours to get there so I only go back when it is necessary: For birthdays, holidays and when I want to meet some friends there.

So you are now member of the board of CognAC. When did you decide to apply for this position and why?

My interests for being a board member arose at the beginning of my second studying-year (I am now in my third year). The more I began to think about the different tasks of a board member, the more motivated I got. Somewhere in the Christmas holidays I made the choice to send an actual application. I was scared that I otherwise would wake up someday in the middle of the night, feeling sorry that I missed that opportunity. Being a board member just gives you so many new experiences.

What do you like most about being a board member?

I think the fact that all people of CognAC know me and come to ask me questions is really nice. They see me as someone who knows everything about what is going on in CognAC and due to my position in the board I do know a lot.

So what about all the CoBo’s and Parties you often attend as a board member? And the ‘bestuurspunten’*? Do you like that aspect of your board-year, too?

Well like a lot of people know, I am not really a party-type. I am very sensitive to noise, but I found out that wearing earplugs makes going into a pub much more enjoyable to me. I still cannot say that I would voluntarily leave my bed for some party, but I also don’t mind going to one.

And about the bestuurspunten: I have minus infinity points because I’m in a relationship. However CognAC is not that enthusiastic about this whole idea, so that doesn’t really matter.                           * bestuurspunten are points board members can earn, by e.g. kissing board members of other study associations

What do you like least about being a board member?

Mmmh.. (long silence) No I think the thing I like least is that I sometimes have to neglect my study to get my board-functions done. Luckily this doesn’t happen often, because I’m quite a good planner.

Only when there are some unexpected emergency meetings it gets a bit harder.

But are you still doing fine with your study?

Yes! Different than in previous years I am more okay with getting lower grades and I also have to be a bit more careful with my planning. However I expect that I will manage to graduate for my Bachelor this year (and that I therefore finish my bachelor in three years).

Okay can you tell me something about your function as Chief of Internal Affairs?

Within CognAC there are 22 committees I have ‘under my control’. This means that I have to read the minutes of all meetings and check whether each committee is doing well, i.e. whether the members do what they’re supposed to do (including activities, writing half-year reports, etc.) and whether there are not any problems within the committee.Everytime I read something in the minutes that I do not understand or that I do not agree with, I’ll get in contact with the committee.This sounds like a lot of work, but as minutes aren’t actually that long it isn’t too time-consuming. Only when there are problems around committees it gets harder.

Why did you want to become Chief of Internal Affairs?

Well actually this position wasn’t my first choice. I wanted to become chairman, but Appie got this position. I then got assigned to my second-choice: Chief of Internal Affairs, which I wasn’t really interested in back then. However I could understand the choice why Appie got chairman: He is more social than I am and being social is an important characteristic of a chairman. 

But you don’t have any regrets becoming ‘only’ Chief of Internal Affairs?

No not at all. Once I got in the board and the first tasks were assigned to me, I noticed that this function actually suits me very well. It is a more focussed function than the one of the Chairman, because the tasks I have to do are more concrete and I like that.

What is the thing you learned most about being a board member:

I guess the thing I learnt most is being more social around people. This is partly due to the earplugs I told you about, but also because of all the new people I meet. With all the CoBo’s it gets more normal to just go to people and talk to them. I used to be very bad with starting conversations with people I do not know so well, but I can imagine that this has changed at least a little because of this board year.

What do you like most about CognAC?

Definitely the people there! I feel really at home here. I noticed that most when I joined the swimming-association ‘Hydrofiel’: I just don’t connect with the people there as well as with the people from CognAC. So that is also the reason why I would always choose a CognAC activity over a Hydrofiel activity.

So besides swimming, do you have any other hobbies?

Difficult to say. There are some things I like to do occasionally, but I would not really call them a hobby. I like drawing, sometimes I like to program and there are also some videogames I like to play.

What are your plans for the next study-year?:

I want to graduate for my bachelor this year. After that I want to start a master, but I am not entirely sure which one yet. I plan to go into research after my studies, so I think I will either do the cognitive neuroscience master (which isn’t one of the AI tracks) or a double master with both cognitive neuroscience and one of the AI master-tracks. Only if I wouldn’t be chosen for the cognitive neuroscience master (there is some application procedure around that one) I would consider doing ‘just’ an AI master.

What is the last thing you want to say to all your fans?

Oh I did not know I had fans. Mmmh, I don’t want to be too cliché. I guess I want to advise everyone not to worry too much about graduating for their bachelor in three years. During your study-period there are so many other things you can do than just ‘studying’ (think of a board-year) so try to develop yourself personally as much as possible.

Written by Daphne Lenders