Published on: 04 March 2018
Written by: Lucian Badarau

I am sitting with Lennart. Lennart, for the one pearson in CognAC that does not know who you are and is reading this can you please introduce yourself?
I am Lennart, third year bachelor student. I'm currently Chief of External Affairs for Cognac. Which means my main focus is contact with our sponsors but I also do general board stuff.
Im from a small town near Utrecht, Woerden, where I grew up. But people probably will not know it.

How did you pick AI?
After I finished highschool I did a gap year.I wanted to do something in the economics field but came across AI accidentally. Getting back to studying after I mainly worked in my gap year was hard. But all the stuff revolving around CognAC was really helpful.

I am sure CognAC helped you,but did the organisation change over the years? Do you feel like some of that family feeling is missing from CognAC with the expansion of the programme and the organisation?
When I started with CognAC we where noticeably smaller. In my year I had the feeling I could talk to anyone. Now that it's growing, you have the opportunity to meet more people but also it is harder to bring everyone close. There are so many students now and it is a challenge for the board to keep them all together.

When CognAC was smaller,it was easier to manage. Now it might feel like a bigger machine to handle. Do you feel like a board year is harder now?
If we have more students then that means that we have more sponsor opportunities, and that takes more time as well. Although I feel like the we as a board had a lot of help from the last board in the beginning. This creates another important thing for the board, structure. A good foundation for a good organisation.

"A good foundation for a good organisation".What did the last board teach you?
Lars was the Chief of External Affairs before me and he was really my mentor,he wanted to give me freedom to work independently but he also placed a safety net and that was something that helped me a lot.

*Lars came in at the right time*
Yeah Lars.Tell me about the happy times you were together.
*Lars:* (Lennart) was very enthusiastic. It was fun sharing knowledge and experience and see him succeed. He had a "sky is the limit" attitude which needed to be toned down a bit.

What do you mean "sky is the limit"?
When you start a board year you want to do everything and achieve everything.You learn you should be ambitious but not lose focus when things don't work out as you expect them too.

*Lars:* That's some knowledge.That's some truth.

What do you do for fun?
I really love coming home at 8-9,putting some music on and kicking my feet up.Just chill,you know?

Tell me more about the gap year?
It was not a spectacular year. It mainly taught me that not doing a lot of stuff is not fun. That is why now I am looking for things to fill my time.

Is the board year worth it?
You learn a lot which you would not necessarily learn during the study, for example about team work. In most cases it means you will finish the programme in 4 years instead of 3 but I think it is definitely worth it.

I think the best thing about this function might be going to a lot of grown up events.
Yeah you get thrown into a different world. I also like the fact that I have my own space and do things like I want to do them while at the same time working together with the rest of the board towards a bigger goal.

Shoutout to the board, great ride. Shoutout to Lars for supporting me. Shoutout to the rest of the 26th for everything. Shoutout to the Kronkelniggus (because we are white and we can't say the word).