Thinking out of the box to make the most out of your study time

Advanced Technology student Sevim Aktas considers the University of Twente not just a place where you follow courses and get a degree. “At the campus you can discover yourself and get involved in all kinds of study, cultural or sports associations, and projects. Whatever your heart desires.” Sevim is the living proof that you can take your study time to the next level by getting engaged in extracurricular activities.

Sevim’s busy life

Sevim participated in an Honours Programme which is an extracurricular excellence programme. She worked together with 15 students of different disciplines on topics related to change on an individual and organizational level that went beyond the scope of her studies. Sevim: “It was a really great experience. I learned how to be a designer, organizer, and researcher.” She went to Stanford University because she was nominated for the University Innovation Fellows Programme. Sevim: “I went to Stanford to learn about Entrepreneurship & Innovation and got educated in being a change leader. It was very interesting to see how they coped with change on their campus. I was of course honoured to be selected as a University Innovation Fellow.” As a member of Green Team Twente she worked on a hydrogen car and became European Champion with the most fuel efficient vehicle.  Sevim is not only busy with engineering but she gets involved in organizing activities as well. Her involvement in Dream Team deals with day to day affairs in the DesignLab at our university. At the moment Sevim is coordinating ‘Living Smart Campus’, the living lab initiative of the University. Sevim says, “Between the limitless development of technology and our fear of innovation, I see one middle way: a living lab, where you can try out to find out what the limits and regulations of new technologies are. I am glad that the University of Twente is aware of exactly this and wants to tackle it in a responsible manner. By using the campus as a living lab, new technologies can be evaluated in a regulated environment with the Living Smart Campus initiative! I got to learn so much while working together on this initiative with the scientific director of the Digital Society institute and the Managing Director of the DesignLab!”

These are just a few examples she got to experience besides her study. But the list goes on and on, and on. In short, she is a very busy, enthusiastic, and ambitious lady.

How did you end up at the University of Twente (UT)?

“When I was finishing my education at the Burg-Gymnasium in Bad Bentheim I was looking for a programme which combined creativity and technology. That is why I started my UT life at the Bachelor’s programme Creative Technology in 2015. I loved it, enjoyed the people I worked with and was successful as well. However, I felt that my interest in technology was not met to its full extend. So after one year I switched to the programme Advanced Technology”, Sevim explains. “This programme does not only provide me with the full perspective of engineering but also covers entrepreneurial courses like e.g. Societal Embedding of Innovation, or Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Management.“

What is so fun about Advanced Technology (AT)?

Advanced Technology is a broad technical programme that is finely tuned to society’s needs. Its multidisciplinary approach combines different engineering and natural science disciplines. Sevim: “Because of its broad nature I can explore my interest in a lot of fields. As well as many of my peer students, I am a real ‘Advanced Technologist’. Advanced Technologists are found all over the campus, they not only have a broad interest in technology but also in what is going on in the world. We want to discover as much as we can and maybe even better the world with our education and plans for the future. So what is fun about AT? Its multidisciplinary character, its students and teachers, the atmosphere at the campus and of course the many possibilities the programme provides you with. In April we went with all second year AT students & assistants to CERN in Switzerland. Realizing the immense dimensions of science and connecting particle physics to the big bang is crazy. Main takeaway? Science is indeed fun! I learned a lot about theory, its applications, and the risks of innovations. We got to know the story behind science. Electromagnetism was not really my cup of tea before, but now I have been to CERN, I am surely more interested!” Sevim smiles.

Advanced Technologists’ are found all over the place, they have a broad interest in not only technology but also what is going on in the world. We want to discover as much as we can and maybe even better the world with our education and plans for the future.Sevim Aktas

What’s next?

Momentarily, Sevim is in her second year Bachelor and is choosing courses for modules 9-11. These modules prepare her to get ready for a Master’s programme. Sevim: “I am in the orientation phase about my future Master's programme. My plan is to specialize in Automotive Technology. Therefore, I chose mechanical engineering courses to enhance my knowledge of motors.  After my Bachelor’s degree I probably will continue my education in Germany and hopefully, after some years in industry, will return back to the University of Twente. But first things first I have to round off my current programme at this great university. I still have one year more to go and way more to learn.”

If you like to read some more about Sevim, check out the interview she did with UToday:

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