“Playing an active role in university life gives you an edge”

“I can really recommend being actively involved in student life alongside your studies. It’s great to make your voice heard and to work as a team to devise and organize something for others. That gives me a real sense of pride. And, of course, you learn so much at the same time.” Fourth year Advanced Technology student Annelotte Derkink, age 22, tells us about her active role in university life. Annelotte is currently taking a year-long break from her degree programme to be a full-time member of the Student Union Board. 

Organizing events

“At the University of Twente there are so many activities you can do alongside your studies. I started by organizing the Parents’ Day for my programme’s study association. It gave me such a good feeling when I saw how well it went and how enthusiastic the parents were. I then joined the lustrum committee for student association Taste. We organized a total of twelve activities in three weeks. After that, I took on a fun and educational position as an open day coordinator. We spent a lot of time preparing, especially in the week leading up to the open days. We practically locked ourselves in the project room for 80 hours that week. It was hard work, but we had fun. We came up with a new route system to guide visitors from the central reception area to the various programmes. It was great to see how well our system worked on the open days. There were so many people - I think there were around 1,400 visitors. It gave us such a good feeling to see everyone heading in the right direction!”

Board Member

“When I felt I had mastered the art of organization, I became a part-time member of the Enactus board. Enactus is a global non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life and living standards of people in need through entrepreneurial action. The organization provides a platform for university students in 36 countries to work with businesses and academic leaders to develop projects that transform challenges and ideas into sustainable solutions. Together with others, I established a completely new board. That was an interesting challenge!”

Developing skills

“I am currently a full-time board member at the Student Union. This will look good on my CV, especially as I’m taking an exact sciences programme. This function shows that I have experience in organizing events and that I enjoy working as part of a team. I have learnt so much from being active in university life. Not only have I developed my organizational, leadership, teamwork and managerial skills, I have also learnt to define a vision and work towards achieving it. However, I’m also aware that you sometimes have to start working without knowing exactly where you’re heading. My active role has also helped me realize what I enjoy doing. I consider myself as somebody who connects people. I enjoy bringing people into contact with one another to help them.”

Advanced Technology

As a female student of Advanced Technology, Annelotte is in the minority. “The fact that few women choose to study exact sciences was an extra motivation for me, as I like to be different. I’ve always been interested in the exact sciences. I enjoy logical thinking. I’m fascinated by topics such as how the universe came into being and where we come from. You can search for the answers to those questions using mathematics and physics. Advanced Technology is a very broad-based programme in which you learn to use engineering and technology to develop multidisciplinary solutions to complex problems. It gives you so many career options.”