Page 1

AUCAA magazine

December 2012

Dear AUC alumnus/alumna,

Content 2

Event invitation


Life at AUC


Faculty at AUC


Life after AUC


Seasons greetings!

We are proud to present to you the first edition of the AUC Alumni Magazine! It’s been quite a year. We, the founding class of AUC, have graduated. We have left our home of the past three years at the Carolina MacGillavrylaan, and started a new chapter. You are probably studying, travelling, working, or just relaxing. At the same time, though, I hope you still think back to your time at AUC every now and then. After all, you are now part of the AUC Alumni Community! With this magazine, the AUCAA board hopes to keep you updated on what your fellow alumni are doing as well as what’s happening at AUC right now. I hope you enjoy reading the magazine! Best, Martijn Hagoort President of the AUC Alumni Association Board 1


”It’s not a graduation!” FEBRUARY 4TH 2013


Despite their official graduation only taking place in June, the AUC Alumni Association would like to celebrate the achievements of the graduating class of 2012.5 on February 4th 2013. It will be a casual event just for alumni, those graduating and their friends. Please save the date; more information will follow!


Life at AUC It might be strange to realize that also the life of AUC goes on, although the founding class has spread its wings. AUC has moved to a brand new building, which is even open on Sunday so you can study all week. There are now 300 new freshmen, in your former rooms, who are still partying (even during finals) every night of the week.

Interview with Jaap The real question that must be on everyone’s mind is how Jaap is experiencing AUC without the founding class, the class of 2012 present. Jaap lit up when talking about the Class of 2012. He remembers there being no students at all when he started at AUC, two weeks before the students arrived, and that it was difficult to predict what would happen once AUC would officially exist—with students. The group was diverse, yet excellence needed to be proven. The Class of 2012 is a special class to Jaap: he predicts he’ll never remember that many names of a particular class as with the Class of 2012, and closes the interview with the words: “Class of 2012, my class, my year, together with them—and others—we built AUC”.

The new building has made AUC students even lazier in many ways: Whereas the Plantage Muidergracht forced you to stop at the Albert Heijn, the new canteen that serves dinners at night and a small supermarket on the other side next to the Academic Building has made AUC students even lazier. Furthermore, AUC students parking their bikes still remains a problem for most AUC students, according to AUC. Although we practically live next to the place we take our classes, there are many bikes parked in front of the school every single day. By issuing folders and creating a lottery (with which you could win, ironically, a voucher from a bike shop), students are encouraged to walk to school. For AUCSA, the new building offers plenty of opportunities to increase the visibility of the student association. More and more students are participating in the activities organized by students or committees, and new committees, such as Screen and CareerTalk, are set up. Furthermore, AUCSA has introduced goodie bags, handed out over finals, to support the students during their finals. This package included energy drink, earplugs (the piano in the new building can be quite loud), and a motivational mantra.


Faculty at AUC

During the month of "Movember", AUC Hands On organized a fundraising effort in support of prostate cancer research. To raise awareness and encourage donations, mustaches were grown by AUC students and also by a few faculty and staff members. Specifically, Jaap Boertje, Forrest Bradbury, Gerrol Hoogvliets, and Ramon Puras (aka the “Dignified and Illustrious Gentlemen”, Team DIG) represented the AUC Faculty & Staff. After a month of entertaining facial hair, and even a few fauxstaches, Hands On threw a party and competition for best mustache, and announced that € 950 was collected for research on prostate cancer at the VU Medical Center! More Movember photos can be found here. Vessela Chakarova has just published a new book, Oil Supply Crises: Cooperation and Discord in the West. The book “offers the most comprehensive, up-to-date analysis of consumer countries’ policies and reactions to oil supply shortages. In addition to being a valuable source of information on oil market dynamics, it provides a deep theoretical understanding of one of the most critical issues in international relations: inter-state cooperation.” For more information click here. Emma Cohen de Lara and Marco de Waard are currently working to put together a new course, Political Shakespeare, that will be cross-listed SSC/HUM and offered for the first time next semester. In the course, students will study the political dimensions of Shakespeare’s work by bringing them into dialogue with insights from political theory, intellectual history, and comparative literature. Hilla Dayan recently travelled to Morocco to take part in Ecole de Gouvernance et D’Economie de Rabat’s Fall School on “The Arab World in the Global Geopolitics: The Palestinian Problem.” While there, she presented on the topic of How stable is Israel’s Regime of Separation? and also took park in a panel discussion on the impact of the Arab Spring on Palestine. For more information click here. Jonathan Gill recently started writing a food column for The Holland Times called "Borscht and the Universe." Click here for a taste. Sebastian de Haro published a special issue of Foundations of Physics on "Forty Years of String Theory. Reflecting on the Foundations", including contributions from leading string


theorists, philosophers of science, experts in quantum gravity, and critics. The January 2013 issue of Foundations of Physics, eds. Sebastian de Haro, Gerard Hooft, Erik Verlinde, Dennnis Dieks can be found here. On November 23rd, Maurits de Klepper donned his chef’s attire and cooked Thanksgiving dinner for AUC’s faculty and staff. The dinner was held in the Academic Building and, with about 35 people in attendance, was a huge (and delicious) success! Rebecca Lindner will be in New York City next semester, using the opportunity to finish some research on the early modern Republic of Letters and political fiction. Daan van Schalkwijk, at the request of his BRMS I students, wrote a poem called “Confidence Interval – An Epic Poem.” It’s the story of a medieval king who faces a crisis of confidence. The poem contains a poetic explanation of confidence intervals, but also a reflection on the limits of quantitative reasoning in the relationships between people. Daan published the poem as a short ebook, all the proceeds of which will go to Harambee USA (a volunteer-staffed NGO that supports educational activities in Africa), as part of a 'crowdfunding drive'. The text is freely available online but you can also buy the ebook (you decide the price) and support Harambee. Olaf Tans has developed a new 300 level course, cross-listed as both SSC/ACC, entitled Legal and Social Philosophy. The course, which was taught for the first time this semester, offers a philosophical exploration of the use of law in society, from both an historical and a thematic perspective. Marco de Waard’s edited book, Imagining Global Amsterdam: History, Culture, and Geography in a World City, was published by Amsterdam University Press in October of 2012, representing the launch of AUP’s new "Cities and Cultures" book series. Click here for more information on Marco’s book. AUC biologist Cor Zonneveld recently discovered a new fly for the Dutch fauna. He first photographed the fly in August of 2011, when it was only partially recognized by the experts. In August of 2012 he returned to the same location, now to capture it. One male was caught, which resulted in an identification of a species so far not known in the Netherlands, namely Spilogona marginifera. Though roughly ten new species are added to the Dutch list every year, it remains something special to be the first to find a new species in the Netherlands. Even a humble creature like a fly can thus be the source of great joy!


Life after AUC

Life after AUC

Preliminary Data 60

50 Number of Alumni 40

Studying Internship Gapyear






Class Notes It is only six months ago that AUC’s first ever alumni threw their caps in the air on the steps of the VU foyer and yet so much has already happened since then. Most extraordinary is Hallie’s name change from ‘Miss Engel’ to ‘Mrs. Engel’, as she married Craig Pilling in New York at the end of October. On a related note is Timo Gerritsen’s decision to, during their summer trip to Namibia, ask his German girlfriend, Patricia Köhler, to marry him – she said yes! Both couples are currently living in London, along with Djuna Croon (King’s College London), Saskia Watts (Greenwich University), Anneclaire van Not (Imperial College London), Lisa Brouwer (University College London), Marie Wachinger (London School of Economics), and Stella Toonen (King’s College London). Living not so far from there, in Bath, Marianna van der Stel occasionally takes a bus to visit some of her former classmates. Steven de Grauw also recently crossed the county – all the way from Edinburgh – to attend a small Sinterklaas-themed AUC-reunion in the English capital. Steven is part of the small ex-AUC community in Scotland, which has most of its members living in Edinburgh. Apart from him, Cleo Verkuijl, Alex Verbeek and Elisa Salemink live in the city. Lianda Meijer also lives close by, in Stirling, where she is doing a Master’s in public relations and communication management. Something that strikes her as being different from AUC is the programme’s focus on only one field of study and its practical approach, which she feels prepares her for the job market very well.


Class Notes AUC’s alumni have spread to other countries too. Nora Vrieler, for instance, has been living in Jerusalem during the past few months, designing a study to assess how people process musical pitch. Another example is Nynke Moelijker, who moved to Sweden, where she is enrolled in the Applied Biotechnology programme in Uppsala. Both enjoy discovering the strange, new cities they are in, but while the first does so with warm sun rays on her back, the latter needed to buy studded tires for her bike as early as October! In related news, Emma Taselaar has been accepted as an intern at the European Union Delegation to the USA in Washington DC and will be interning at the research, technology, and innovation section of the delegation for five months, starting in January. Milan Bloem and Donna Stolwijk left the Netherlands this summer for exciting, foreign adventures. Milan has returned to Jakarta (where he went to high school) and got an internship with Helen Keller International, an NGO focused on eye health and nutrition. Donna volunteered in a social project for children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Cusco, Peru, and climbed the Machu Picchu in her spare time. Another great achievement was Alexandra Beunders having her paper published in the Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. The article was an extension of her Capstone thesis, written in collaboration with researchers from the Alzheimer Centre at the VU Medical Centre in Amsterdam. While at the VU, she may very well bump into Angela Arsova, who is there pursuing her master’s degree in drug discovery and safety-molecular target finding.

Class Notes

Something that many alumni agree on is that the workload of their current courses or jobs turned out to be much lower than the amount of work they were used to doing at AUC. Sanne Hettinga, studying Energy Science in Utrecht as part of a class with only two females in it, says that “the level of the classes is not lower, but the stress-level definitely is”, and many others agree. Those who started working this year have reported the same thing. Jesse Hettema, for instance, works for Oskomera Home Solar, along with Frank Politiek, and admits that selling solar panels to individual households is less exciting that studying at AUC. There are also other alumni who found jobs in Amsterdam. Sigita Jurkynaite, for example, helped to organize the ‘Balkan Snapshots’ and ‘Cinekid’ film festivals, but in order to also make some money she dedicated some time to making coffee and serving beer at Cafe Koosje. Ilona Domanska is interning at Kult & Ace Marketing PR, but also continued her job at the USC Sports Centre. Reinier Prosée is working as a research assistant at the psychiatry department of the Amsterdam Medical Centre. Karlijn Hoyer has a job at the ‘Kleine Consultant’, which she is doing alongside her MPhil in Economics and Econometrics at the Tinbergen Institute. Emma Winkels shares her time between tutoring high school pupils in maths, physics and chemistry, and helping out a small company that specializes in agricultural products. Some of her spare hours are spent in the company of Stefano Lorini, who is sharing his flat with Sander Couch and his Theoretical Physics classes with Onno Huygen. It is a small world, and it seems that our founding class alumni are enjoying every aspect of it. If you have any news to share with your fellow AUC alumni, please contact the Class of 2012 Representative, Stella Toonen, via


Interview with Alumni Name Steven Major Science Where Edinburgh What are you up to? Currently I am doing a master of science in ecological economics which is the discipline that says that neoclassical economics is wrong to assume that economy can grow forever because it is limited by the environment. It doesn’t offer any concrete solutions but its suggest that economics should be more interdisciplinary in order to solve complex economic an environmental issues. Do you experience the benefits of your AUC background? I've only had 4 essays over the entire term, 1 exam and no presentations. Comparing it to AUC I have much more spare time (and time to do my readings). I do think that AUC has prepared us very well: In planning, doing things last minute, doing 7 things at the same time and being efficient.


How do you look back at AUC? I miss it a lot. I miss building, I miss the everyone. But then on; move to a more

living with all my friends in one small classes where you know again, it is also good to move mature environment.

What are you up to this year? Next semester I have three courses and in April Im going to Tanzania for one of my courses. We are going to Lake Victoria where we will visit farms, fisheries, and some development projects and we end in Zanzibar ( where Im going to lay on the beach). When I get back I have to work on my dissertation, which I have to hand in in August. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? I want to go back to Amsterdam in September. In 5 years I think I will be working in Holland maybe in some top position in a ministry or a non profit organisation like Hivos.


Interview with Alumni

Name Lisa Major Social Science Where London What are you up to? MSc management at UCL. How is the workload? Its more work than AUC, but not more difficult because it is mostly practical.. My study combines assignments with events so every week I have to go somehwere; mock interview at Ernst & Young, or a network event at Mckinsey or an office tour at Deloit. Do you experience the benefits of your AUC background? I pick up things really easily, I read really fast and I also really experience the benefits of my level of English. Its such a benefit to be able to write really fast, I do not need so much time to finish a propar essay. People stress about 500 words essays that have to be handed in in three weeks, while im way more relaxed about it. Moreover, I can cope with stress much better than my peers. While everyone is running around because they have to hand in this paper , im like 'chill people' its going to be fine.


How do you look back at your time at AUC? I had such a fun time, I mean we had ups and downs but I really do like the people who went there especially our year, which was pretty awesome. Can we expect to see you back in Amsterdam one day? I would like to go back to Amsterdam, I love to live in a city where everything is so accessible. . But on the other hand I also want to stay in London as there is so much to do here. It will depend on my internship next year, we'll see where I end up. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? I would probably be working for one of the top 10 consultancy firms, making a career there.


Interview with Alumni Name Milan Major Social Science Where West TImor, Indonesia What are you up to? Helping out with a HKI led homestead food production program (home gardening) to improve the nutritional status of the Timor Tengah Selatan (south central Timor) district through the introduction of vitamin A rich fruits and vegetables into the diets of villagers. How is Post AUC life treating you? I am living in Jakarta for the most part on my internship with Helen Keller International (HKI), and I'm falling in love with the city all over again. Seeing Timor is just a bonus. I talk to a few AUC people still, though not many as the time difference doesn't help. Next year I'm still going to be gaining work experience, before hopefully starting my masters in public health in September 2014.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? hopefully working at a development NGO on nutrition or women's rights


Interview with Alumni Name Dora Major Social Science Where Osaka what are you up to? Working, indulging in local delicacies, philosophizing in public, discovering the "real world," and deciding on my grad school direction. how is post AUC life treating you? Great :) I think the AUC experience has really prepared me for the real world in so many ways. From the academics to navigating social intricacies and also just managing my life at AUC as an international student have all been valuable experiences that enabled worthwhile academic and life skills. I tend to think of AUC as a great preparation for the journey ahead. The most valuable thing I got out of my 3 years (and there are many) may just be becoming an independent, self-directed learner. It humbled me in the appreciation of the scope of human inquiry, taught me the value of disciplined work, and made me evermore hungry for learning and understanding the complexities of this world.


Now that I've got quite a bit more free time (yes, with full-time work :-) ), I have continued exploring many of the same interests further, and also started exploring some new ones along the way. Within this and next year I plan to pursue my interest in cognition further and prepare my application for grad school. I am happily in touch with my AUC friends - it is not only really uplifting, but also necessary, to cheer each other on pursuing our dreams. Especially when finding myself in yet another new environment, the forever embedded memories of our triumphs, doubts, discoveries, confusions and joys sealed in our interactions give me the strength and carry me over into the new chapter of our lives.


Interview with Alumni Name Bas Major Science Where Amsterdam What are you up to? Currently I'm doing a master's programme at the Duisenberg School of Finance, which I really enjoy. It has a great location, there are many international students and many inspiring professors. Its hard work, but it doesn't feel as much work as AUC. I think I now enjoy more what Im doing. Its stuff that I really like. Although it is a lot, its really up to the student how much you want to invest in it. And as I really like the courses, I do not mind spending more hours on my assignments.

Do you experience the befenefits of your AUC background? Yes I do, I feel like I am a very active participant. I was taught at AUC to ask the right questions. Moreover, the fact that we have learned to see things from different perspectives enables me to ask very interesting questions which professors often like. Asso, I had a very good statistics course in my third year which really helps me as I currently take many econometrics courses.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? I got the exact same question when I had an interview at Barclays last week (Bas will have his second interview with Barclays in December). Well, I see my self probably working in London and probably at an investment bank, but it could also be at another finance related institution like a Hedge FUnd



Interview with Alumni Name Milan Major Humanities Where Just returned to Amsterdam from several months in Mexico what are you up to? Currently working for a medical publishing company near Utrecht and self-studying digital game design how is post AUC life treating you? Working life sucks ass! I should have just done a Master’s... On a more serious note: AUC is a thing of the past for me, but certainly not a bad thing. Besides for having this shiny piece of beautifully embossed paper that will hopefully open at least some doors for me in the future when needed, the few good friends I’ve made that I still see on a regular basis (it’s amazing in a sad way how fast contact deteriorates with people you’ve spent three years with) and a vague memory of the material that various courses have attempted to plant in my head, I will not be using much of the knowledge I’ve learnt here. At least not the theories and other course-related knowledge; the many other things I’ve learnt regarding university life and basically the transition from a dumb highschooler to a remotely less dumb postgraduate student will stick with my for life. I have decided to not go back to studying at an institution for a while until I figure out which directions I want to go (preferably precisely which direction, yet that doesn’t seem very realistic as of yet) due to several factors, mainly not wanting to sculpt myself for something that I won’t like doing. Thus I chose to move in the direction of video game design, which I’m experimenting with when I’m not working (ups and downs in concentration and dedication, alas) in order to determine whether I’m willing to dedicate myself to this for the few years it would take to properly master/study this. Let’s see where I end up..


Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Preferably leading my own small indie game development company, however knowing my determination/luck I’ll probably be selling newspapers. Or cleaning floors. Or...


Interview with Alumni Name Gabrielle Major Social Science Where Haarlem/Amsterdam What are you up to? Currently I am studying at University of Amsterdam, doing the priority programme/research master in brain and cognitive science. I was looking for a master programme that could get me into the right PhD Programme; I would really like to continue in human neuroscience. My main interest is to use neuroscience in order to understand how consumers make decisions on the things they buy. End ofJanuary I will do my research internship in Rotterdam with a professor who is specialised in so called 'brand loyalty'. Here I can continue with the research i conducted for my Capstone. But before I will start on my internship, Im going to India for a month :). How do you experience the benefits of AUC?


When you’re at AUC, you get so many opportunities. You have personal contact with your professors, you have the freedom to work on your own research projects and you receive so many support! I noticed I already had so much more research experiences than my class mates at my current master programme. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? I hope in a Phd position. In 5 years I wish to be at Stanford University to study brand loyalty.


Interview with Alumni Name Kevin Major Social Science Where Nairobi What are you up to? Working for an NGO called Sarakasi Trust doing events management and DJing at a wide variety of events and clubs as well, also getting into acting and photography some more as well 5)Life is good, I'm glad I'm no longer in The Netherlands thats for sure, though I miss a lot of the people I met there. I've just been real busy with work and family so keeping in touch with many has been difficult to say the least. Kenya is great, its good to be home and doing stuff I love, next year I want to maybe spend a few months getting into wildlife conservation and doing stuff on safari because I basically still don't really know the direction I'm headed in. So yea, AUC was somewhat useless in the sense of a single definite direction, but I did learn a lot and feel a lot smarter, plus its a brilliant backup and a degree that still allows me to go into any direction. I want to study events management as my masters come August though that may change and I'm always looking to further my DJing and deciding if thats just a hobby or my profession. When I look back at AUC I see it as a fond period of my life with lots of growth and life experiences that I wont ever regret, I still try to contact some people in AUC though i guess everyone is just as busy as me these days.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Haha not really sure, I have big dreams for Kenya though if I'll be here in 5 years is a mystery. I know I want to stay involved with people or perhaps even animals, for sure I will be doing something active and almost just as certainly I'll be in the entertainment industry in one way or another. All I know is that the future looks good and I also look forward to meeting up again with old friends from Uni before that 5 year mark is reached. 17

Merry Christmas and a happy new year! We’ll keep you posted about our events and hope to see you in 2013! Love, The AUCAA Board


AUCAA Magazine  

The first edition of the Alumni Association Magazine of the Amsterdam University College. December 2012.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you