Lisa, Class of 2021, is currently in her third year. This means she is working on fine-tuning her specialisation which in her case is ‘Applied Behavioural Psychology and Human-Centred Design ’ the process of which she wants to follow through from research stages to application. Elective courses she chose during her first two years which really helped shape this profile were ‘Design for Behavioural Change, Human-centered design and Design of Persuasive Technology’.

As with most ATLAS students, academics are one of her top priorities, but we can agree there is so much more to being a student than simply courses. So instead of diving into her academic path and profile, today’s focus will be on all the other ways Lisa is engaged in the university’s community, also outside of the college. Hopefully, this gives you an impression of what else you can get up to when you come to the ATLAS and UT.

Lisa personally has an interest in education, not only her own though, she seeks to better education for all on campus. To help her do this she joined the University Innovation Fellows (UIF) programme offered here at the UT and became part of the 6th cohort. UIF aims at improving education on and around campus using design thinking and an open project approach. With a strong internal community and connections throughout the UT, they have been able to make a great impact so far and Lisa wanted to be part of that change. Something she finds special about the UT was how the university offers a safe space to further develop yourself, where it is okay and encouraged to make mistakes as long as you learn from them.

“I enjoyed going from an ATLAS to a University of Twente student, in an environment with endless possibilities.”

Aside from UIF, Lisa was active in the University Council, following in the footsteps of previous ATLAS student and paving the way for new ones. Her position did not come overnight. She began in the Educational Committee of ATLAS, talking with older years and aiming to improve the education in her own programme, then she had a position in the programme committee bridging into the policy side of education, to lastly apply and be voted into her university council faction.

“If you want to do more, that just means you sometimes need to step out of your comfort zone. You are always in the position to decide what you want to do.”

The crux of self-directed learning expanding to self-directed personal development. She talked about how being in the council broadened her outlook but also put things into perspective when working with the executive board, gaining valuable experience and a key learning take away.

“It is interesting to understand how the system works. Instead of just verbalising frustration, it is important to understand how the system works and then address the problem from there.”

It actually helped Lisa realise it was not the policy she was interested in most, instead, the financial and applicational/practical side of her experience really spoke to her, which she looks forward to exploring more in the future.

Speaking of the future, what might it look like to Lisa?

“I would like to work in New York City with a leadership role, and in the future be a CEO. Walking through all the skyscrapers I could just imagine working and living there, surrounded by possibilities and options.”

She knows this dream will probably not be actualised in the next few years, but every choice she makes is getting her one step closer; finishing ATLAS, a masters abroad, multinational company, and then perhaps a position in New York? Who knows where we will be seeing Lisa in the future. The CEO part of this dream was actually ATLAS inspired. The programme got her acquainted with charing, leadership and management roles, combined with a long-term strategic outlook she can imagine this as being a great career. 

“Learning about other people, how they work, what they need and how to bring the best out of them is the best personal learning experience as well.”

By making conscious small decisions now she hopes to place herself in a prime position for the future and we wish her all the best for her future endeavours.

University College Twente offers a unique bachelor’s programme, Technology, Liberal, Arts and Sciences, to top students. Visit the University College Twente website for more information about the college and Technology, Liberal, Arts and Sciences website for more information about the bachelor program. Or visit us during the open day, a student-for-a-day or an insight-day.

Grace Wachter
Writer, Class of 2021
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