“I just enjoy it all”

Vitto Bonnemayers, age 21, is a third-year Industrial Design student. “I have a tendency to do too many extracurricular activities, even though I also enjoy studying. I maybe a bit of a geek, but I just enjoy all the things I do,” Vitto says, laughing. This year, Vitto is chairman of the Green Team Twente. He also works as a student assistant and runs his own business. Despite his busy schedule, he still manages to make time for his hobbies, cycling and climbing.

Secondary School

“I had an active role at secondary school too. The school no longer organized a leavers’ stunt, which we thought was a real shame. So a group of us set up a committee. We organized a really cool day with fun activities such as paintballing in the school playground. I was a member of the Participation Council and the Financial Council too. I enjoyed doing extracurricular activities.”

Photography Committee

“As soon as I started studying at the University of Twente, I became an active member of Daedalus, my programme’s study association. I organized a lot of parties and a number of more serious activities, such as Parents’ Day. I also set up the photography committee. I thought it was strange that a programme like Industrial Design didn’t have a photography committee, as photography ties in really well the programme, and most of the students enjoy taking photos with a single-lens reflex camera in their spare time. I mentioned this, and other students agreed that it would be a good idea. They suggested I set up the committee myself. And so I did. The committee is now well established and other students have taken over. It’s great to see that it’s all going so well. Everyone was so enthusiastic and positive and willing to help. There is no city in the Netherlands where students are more active alongside their studies than in Enschede.”

Business

Together with two of his friends, Vitto set up his own webshop: www.kipsterclothing.nl. “We started our company purely to gain experience. We aren’t bothered about making lots of money from it. We sell clothing that we have designed ourselves, and all our designs are related to chicken. It began as a bit of a joke, because we always ate chicken when we were studying together. When one of the guys went to Hungary, we had a T-shirt printed for him with a chicken leg on it. People in Hungary thought the T-shirt was from an official brand. That gave us the idea to start our own clothing line and webshop.”

Green Team Twente

After two years studying, Vitto decided it was time was a break: “I decided to take a year out to fully commit to being chairman of the Green Team Twente. This position is wide-ranging, as is my degree programme, Industrial Design. This broad basis makes me well suited to being a chairman and team manager. I have good knowledge of all fields, but I’m not a specialist. I know a fair bit about marketing and PR, but I’m also a member of the mechanics team. I know enough about electronics too. I am well suited to a supervisory role, as I have the knowledge to contribute ideas and to keep track of the tasks at hand.”

“I chose the Green Team because I want to help build a car that is fit for the future. The Green Team is smaller than the Solar Team, which means I have more freedom. The Green Team is more experimental so you get to choose how you do things. I could also have chosen to become a member of the Solar Boat Team or the RoboTeam, but I’m really fascinated by cars. It’s really exciting to work on the car of the future. I truly believe that hydrogen can help us achieve sustainable mobility. Universities need to have a pioneering role in developing effective, sustainable solutions for the world.”

University of Twente

“One of the things I really like about Twente is that the various teams collaborate so well together. In Delft, for example, there is a lot of fierce internal competition. In Twente, there is a sense of harmony - we help each other. I really enjoy studying in Twente. I am determined to keep both my feet firmly on the ground, no matter what the future holds. At the University of Twente, I have learnt to work as part of a team and to stay level-headed, whether things are going well or not. It’s nice to work in such a friendly, open and pleasant environment. Not many universities are like that. The friendly atmosphere and the level-headed take on things tend to be overlooked, but I think they’re really important. Twente ought to be proud of them. I think we should do more to tell people about how fun and honest we are here in Twente.”

Student Assistant

Vitto also works as a student assistant for design courses: “I am now a student assistant for four courses, both in the Industrial Design programme and in the Creative Technology programme. I am also the coordinator of the Industrial Design information team. We organize events such as open days, workshops and individual orientation days.”

Future

“I’ve wanted to become a car designer since I was just six years old. That’s the reason I’m studying Industrial Design. All of the other activities I do are not just to make my CV look impressive. I know it’s important to have an impressive CV, but I’m convinced that your personality is the determining factor when you apply for a job. I believe that all the activities I do alongside my studies reflect who I am as a person. They have helped me grow professionally. For example, I have learnt to work well with other people. But most importantly, I really enjoy what I do. All the activities I do have even led me to question whether or not I still want to become a car designer. I’ve found so many other things I’m enthusiastic about.”