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JAARGANG 31 > JULY 2011 > NUMMER

5

XaV^gZ TAKING RISKS BREAKING

BAR-

THE RISE OF ZARA

RIERS

SPORTS TECHNOLOGIES

THE NEW BOARD


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INDEX

&

C OLOFON

Index

Colofon Editorial address: Burgemeester Oudlaan 50 3062 PA Rotterdam, Kamer CB-03 Tel. 010 408 1146/47 Fax. 010 408 9021 E-mail: eclaire@efr.nl

04

šEDITOR IN CHIEF LETTER >

Editor in Chief: Timothy Langstraat

Writers: Youvale van Dijk Vanessa Abeyawardena Nadia Zafirah Madina Ismailova Katharina Dees Johan Schoone Want to be a freelance writer? Mail eclaire@efr.nl

05

šPRESIDENTIAL >

06 >07 > 08 >10

šSTOP LYING, THE TRUTH WORKS >

šDUBAI’S LANDMARKED LANDSCAPE

Marketing officer: Hubert W. de Nie, marketing@efr.nl

OCC dehoog media partners www.occ-dehoog.nl

Circulation: 5.500 units

12 >13

šTRAVERSING THE UNCANNY VALLEY >

EFR Membership: Maarten Groen, secretary.vp@efr.nl

šZARA: FASHION-WORLD CONQUEROR

Subscription: Price: ` 29.Contact EFR-Eclaire at eclaire@efr.nl

Frequency: Sent six times a year to all students of the Economic Faculty at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, including the one time special edition: the EFR-Eclaire Special with a circulation of 35.000 units. Copyright ©2011, EFR

šBATHING SUITS THROUGHOUT THE AGES

šWELCOMING THE NEW BOARD

JAARGANG 31 > JULY 2011 > NUMMER

5

XaV^gZ

šPERFORMANCE-ENHANCING TECHNOLOGY šTHE GAY DIVIDE >

TAKING RISKS BREAKING

BAR-

THE RISE OF ZARA

RIERS

14 >16 >17 >18

šANY CHANCE YOU’RE A RISK-TAKER? >

19 >20

š EFR PHOTO COLLAGE

24 >26

A UNIQUE AND UNFORGETTABLE > š EXPERIENCE IN TURKEY

SPORTS TECHNOLOGIES

INTERVIEW: B&R BEURS: ERASMUS š INVESTMENT SOCIETY

26

šTEN THINGS… >

THE NEW BOARD

3 2 0 1 1

šCREATING YOUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME

Visual styling and printing:

JULY

Bart van Heeswijk, commercial@efr.nl

EC LAIRE

š;#:Wj_d]L[hikiH[]kbWh:Wj_d]

Commercial officer:


INTROD U CT ION

People in Holland have a saying. It’s an annoying saying that makes my hairs stand on edge. It’s one that makes me want to reach into their heads, and see if there’s actually a single bit of common sense in there. It makes me want to shake them about and yell at them. It is one of the things that shames me the most about being Dutch. What is this saying? Freely translated, it’s “Just act normal, and you’re acting out enough.”

JULY

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Timothy Langstraat

EC LAIRE

This makes me very happy to say that this issue of the Eclaire is not for those people who adhere to that. Instead, this issue is a celebration of acting out. Of people transcending their barriers, breaking them, of new technologies and the wondrous things they allow us to do, of everyone who has ever taken a risk, and became a better person because of it.

Editor-in-Chief

So, what do we have on offer for you today? Well, there’s a lot. For the sporty people, we’ve got Youvale’s article on the changing technologies in sports. Katharina’s written an introduction into online dating, and Nadia has taken a look at a new approach in advertising. The story of Zara is told in Madina’s article, and for the intellectually-inclined people, Vanessa’s written a piece on the psychology of risk. We’ve even got a guest piece from Johan, one of the committee members of the Eurotour, telling us all about what happened, both here and in Turkey. Of course, there are a lot more articles inside, all worth the read. Finally, as some of you might have noticed, this is indeed the final issue of the Eclaire for this year. That means that some thanks are in order. First and foremost, I’d like to thank Kim van Adrichem, the editor-in-chief for most of the year, for doing a great job at managing all of us. We’re a rowdy lot, and I can imagine she’s had her fair share of stress trying to make sure all articles were handed in on time, and that we all responded on time to her emails. A heartfelt thanks to our writers as well, both permanent and freelance. Katharina Dees, Madina Ismailova, Nadia Zafirah, Vanessa Abeyawardena, and Youvale van Dijk. In alphabetical order, because all of them have worked hard at filling the Eclaire with content, and making sure that it was good. Lastly, a thanks to Hubert de Nie, our marketing officer, who also wrote for us, and made sure that all communications between us and the board went well, and a thank you to the 47th board of the EFR. On that note, I wish all of you the most excellent of summers. I hope that you do well, both in university, in work, and in life. Enjoy. Timothy Langstraat


INT R O D U CT I O N

Besides the accomplishments mentioned above, all the activities of EFR have improved this year. All these amazing things wouldn’t have been possible without our fantastic active members. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them, on behalf of the entire board, for all their hard work and devotion. They have made this an unforgettable year for all of us! I hope you all stay involved in EFR’s activities, committees or board. Furthermore, I would like to wish the new board a lot of success the coming year. It will definitely be a year in which you will learn a lot about yourself and others, and have the opportunity to do amazing things. You will have memories to cherish for many, many years. And of course: don’t forget to break your own barriers! Meet your ambition! Myrthe van Dieijen

EC LAIRE

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Presidential

JULY

One of the things we all intended to do, was to break barriers. EFR is a fantastic organisation, but every organisation needs to develop further and innovate. That’s why it’s so great to welcome a new board every year, since every board has its own desires and strengths, which will again and again, bring the organisation to a higher level. Each year has its own memorable accomplishments. When I think of our year the accomplishments that immediately come to mind are: fantastic speakers with fascinating stories, such as Nick Clegg (Pre-Event Business Week), NATO Secretary General Rasmussen (Business Week) President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, dr. Kellenberger (Business Week) and Rijkman Groenink (guest lecture); a soaring popularity of the EFR Facebook; an ERD with a record amount of participants, and of course, not to forget: the C-PARTY with 2000 students!

Myrthe van Dieijen

This is already the last presidential of this year, but it seems like yesterday that I was writing the first one. This year in the board of EFR has passed so quickly, it is hard to believe that we have accomplished all these amazing things in just 12 months. The theme of this last presidential is characteristic for a board year at EFR: Breaking Barriers. When we started in June last year we all were extremely enthusiastic and honoured to be in the board. One of the main drivers of my decision to apply for the board of EFR was the desire to push my own boundaries. Up until then I had learned that my best experiences in life were the ones of which I didn’t entirely knew what was ahead of me and when I really experienced something new. EFR is a fantastic way to get to know more about yourself; about your strengths and weaknesses, about your desires in life and your true passions. It’s one of the few opportunities in your student life to find out what it would be like to lead an organisation. Therefore I believe it is one of the best experiences during your time in Rotterdam, since it is entirely up to you what you make of it.


1 . A DVERTI SI NG

Stop Lying, the Truth Works! By Nadia Zafirah

O EC LAIRE

VER CENTURIES, WE HAVE GROWN ACCUSTOMED TO ADVERTISEMENTS TELLING LIES. EXAGGERATED SELF-PROCLAIMED SPEECH THAT WE CHOOSE TO BELIEVE DESPITE KNOWING THAT THEY ARE MOST LIKELY LIES. INSTEAD OF REBELLING AGAINST IT, WE ACTUALLY DEEM PEOPLE SILLY WHEN THEY COMPLAIN ABOUT THE IRONY OF THE ADS. WE THINK THAT IT IS RATHER NAIVE TO THINK THAT THE STATEMENTS MADE ABOUT THE PRODUCTS ARE TRUE.

JULY

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Throughout the years, the evolution of advertisement was based on selling false information to customers. The sugarcoating method has worked well for years, so why would anyone change that? Maybe some company that is desperate to sell their products, and met a dead end with their traditional promotion campaigns. Meet Domino’s CEO, Patrick Doyle. He admitted that he was actually nervous when the groundbreaking honest advertising was released by his company. It went against all basic marketing techniques, and as we all know, the truth hurt. Domino’s started their advertising campaign by blasting slanderous words, such as that their pizza’s tasted like cardboard, and sentences from the complaints of customers in their television commercials. This may sound like a suicide mission. However, it might just work, and here is why.

Consumers are so used to being told of the sweet and positive values of the products that seeing self-derogatory phrases used in the ads would catch their attention. It is something that probably has never been seen before and it brings out curiosity, as consumers are wondering, “what is the deal behind this?” Quite obviously, the degrading statements of the products are of no use if used alone, since nobody would want to buy bad products. Instead, these statements are complemented by saying that the new products are improved. The “new and improved” phrase may be a cliché, but preceded by the uncomplimentary, sometimes downright mean, statements, it evokes a different feeling with costumers. The fact that the company admits its mistake, producing low quality pizza’s, is something new and big and it leads to the consumers giving them a second chance. It projects the sentiment that the company is really trying to increase its customers’ satisfaction and not merely making empty promises. Unexpectedly, truth advertising has a pretty significant result for something that is self-deprecating. Domino enjoyed a 10.6% increase in net income after applying this kind of advertisement. Needless to say, the benefit doesn’t come solely because of the facts stated in the ad, but also because the company delivers on its promise by improving its products. Without actually improved products, the brutally honest advertising would be self-destructive, as the company would lose its credibility in all aspects, old and new products. Regardless, without true advertising, even if the new products are in fact improved, the consumers would not buy the promotion campaign because it would appear to be another empty promise.


WORLD

Dubai’s Landmarked Landscape BIG, BIGGER, BIGGEST. IT SEEMS TO BE DUBAI’S CREED. DUBAI IS AN EMIRATE NOT ONLY KNOWN FOR ITS GREAT SOURCE OF WEALTH, OIL, BUT ALSO FOR ITS RECORD-BREAKING BUILDINGS AND PROJECTS. IN CONTRAST TO PARIS WITH THE EIFFEL TOWER, LONDON WITH THE BIG BEN OR SYDNEY AND ITS OPERA HOUSE, DUBAI HAS A WEALTH OF LANDMARKS. THEY HAVE GOT THE BURJ AL ARAB, THE SEVEN-STAR HOTEL IN THE SHAPE OF A SAILBOAT; THE PALM AND WORLD ISLANDS, MAN-MADE ISLANDS, MADE FOR MORE SPACE; AND A SKI RESORT (REMEMBER, YOU ARE STILL IN THE MIDDLE OF A DESERT). ADD TO THAT THE BEAUTIFUL BEACHES, NIGHTLIFE, AND ALL THOSE OTHER GROUNDBREAKING BUILDINGS, MALLS AND CULTURAL EVENTS AND YOU OUGHT TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL FORMULA FOR THE HOME ECONOMY.

By Youvale van Dijk

Driving force Dubai, as many other countries and emirates in the Middle East, discovered a source of wealth in the form of petroleum and natural gas. With the great demand for oil over the last decades it would have been a logical course of action to use this as the driving force behind Dubai’s economy. However, Dubai

Tough path But in the last couple of years this incredible emirate has been at the bottom of a well, with an amount of debt that breaks and overshadows all their other records. In 2009 the New York Times stated that Dubai’s investment arm and state-backed company, Dubai World, had a debt of $59 billion. With help from an unexpected competitor, namely Abu Dhabi, they created a path back to ‘the top’. The help of Abu Dhabi, a fellow emirate - but mostly a competitor - was a surprising move, even though the financial troubles of Dubai

could have a negative impact on their own economy.

Futuristic Competition between Abu Dhabi and Dubai is ever present, and with every innovation they try to outperform each other. One of the latest projects of Abu Dhabi is the development of one of the most sustainable cities, Masdar City. A city that uses renewable energy and sustainable technology to create a place where 40.000 residents can live and hundreds of businesses can operate. Dubai on the other hand has opted the idea of building a solar powered, carbon neutral pyramid, which could house 1 million people. Futuristic? Yes, for sure, but remember that all other innovations seemed just as unbelievable and unrealistic at first. So, Dubai wants to innovate, change and lure us all to their little paradise. And their actions pay off, because Dubai changed from a – little desert city into one of the most popular holiday destinations. They seem to make the impossible possible, no matter the price.

EC LAIRE

is now focusing more on other areas to drive their economy. As the emirate from the UAE with the smallest share of petroleum revenue to GDP, Dubai gets a large GDP stream from tourism. In order to attract tourism, a country or city needs to change and innovate, diversify itself from other tourism destinations. Dubai has just done that. They have created innovative buildings, the highest building and malls, the last even bigger and more impressive than the one before, new land in the sea, and hosted great sports and cultural events.

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Dubai has the largest population out of the seven emirates that form the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Furthermore, it is the most popular one together with the capital, Abu Dhabi. As it borders the Persian Gulf, Dubai has played - and still plays - an important role in trading, having established an impressive port. Until the 1930’s Dubai was mostly known for its trade in pearls, and foreigners, often Asians, settled in Dubai to profit from the flourishing trade. Today, the largest share of the inhabitants is not the original Emirati, but other nationals who have come there for work, be it temporary or permanent. The location and the successful trade led Dubai to already be an international and flourishing place years before the discovery and production of oil.

JULY

The Persian Gulf


P E O P LE

EC LAIRE

E-dating Versus Regular Dating

JULY

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8

By Katharina Dees

A

LONG TIME AGO, WHEN OUR GRANDPARENTS WERE YOUNG, MOST OF THEM HAD ALREADY MARRIED AND STARTED A FAMILY BY THE TIME THEY REACHED OUR AGE. IN CONTRAST TO THE RATHER PREDETERMINED LIFE THAT MOST OF OUR GRANDPARENTS LIVED, THINGS HAVE CHANGED DRAMATICALLY SINCE THEN. TODAY, WE CANNOT EVEN DECIDE WHAT SHOES TO WEAR IN THE MORNING, LET ALONE MAKE AN IMPORTANT DECISION LIKE A LIFE PARTNER. BEFORE, PEOPLE USED TO MEET THEIR PARTNER IN THEIR VILLAGE OR AT WORK. NOWADAYS DATING IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, AS MORE POSSIBILITIES, LIKE THE INTERNET, ARE AVAILABLE. THIS CONFRONTS US WITH AN ALMOST UNLIMITED CHOICE, CREATING THE ILLUSION TO BE ABLE TO FIND THE “PERFECT” MATCH. ON THE OTHER HAND, THE STRENGTHENED POSITION OF WOMEN IN THE SOCIETY GAINED BY FEMALE EMANCIPATION AND EMPOWERMENT ALSO INFLUENCED DATING BEHAVIOR.


P EOP LE

Dating Expanded It is a basic human need to be with someone and share each other’s lives. That is the reason why many singles explore so many different ways to find a partner. And so, they turn to the internet. In their search for love, people try many different ways to meet potential partners online, like specialized dating websites, social networks and even online games. It’s much easier to join those, than to date in the traditional way. Online dating also makes dating easier for people who are shy, too ner-

vous or introverted. Furthermore, the time constraint due to work or studying are also reasons for e-dating, as regular dating requires time and effort, something that many people just don’t have. But not only shy, introverted people use online dating. Many people do, regardless of social class and integration in society.

It comes as no surprise that, with revenues of about $4 Billion and 30% of all people online as their users, e-dating has become a booming business. It works like this: in order to become a member you have to register on the website, usually at a fee. You fill in form after form of personal information, based on the kind of website and its purpose. The personal information is necessary in order to run the programs that match people according to prespecified criteria. Or, you can do it the old-fashioned way and search for interesting people yourself by posting your own ad and wait for people to respond.

The Dark Side of the Internet When creating their profile, the daters have to provide a picture of themselves. As it is easy to fake characteristics, and especially pictures, the created illusion might burst at the first real life date. Since there are dating sites for almost anything, like heavy-metal fans or religious singles, it is advisable to carefully read the idea behind the site before subscribing.

The 21st century has more singles than any century before

Other downsides are that the internet offers the possibility to hide

one´s identity, and with it possible criminal records or dubious intentions. For that reason one should be cautious about giving away too much personal information and choosing a meeting point. Good advice is to always stick to open, public spaces, so that any strange creeps can be lost without a fuss. Some people might wonder if e-dating is more successful than regular dating. Thankfully, we have an answer. For instance, there is data available on marriages of couples who met online. Marriages that were the result of e-dating only lasted for a total of 18 months on average, while regular marriages managed to last for a whole 42 months in the United States. As these numbers illustrate, relationships of couples who got to know each other in the traditional way are more persistent in the long-run. Although e-dating helps break barriers between people and even though it is much easier to meet potential partners online, the traditional way of dating still seems to be more successful.

Keep your eyes open Sometimes, people don´t notice the other people around them. One of the reasons might be that communication via the internet is easier and less personal than actually talking to the neighbors. Maybe, people simply have to open up more to real life and then they might just meet the right partner without ever having one e-date. There might be some truth in the saying “love will only find you when you’re truly not looking for it”.

EC LAIRE

“1 in 5 relationships start online”

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The concept of romantic love has become prominent, as opposed to the archaic arranged marriages, and especially finding true love has become important. In combination with this idea we put an emphasis on feelings and emotions. However, the focus on artificial characteristics, like a certain style and look, which are portrayed by the media, have also gained importance, alongside with a general tendency towards rapidly changing partners. Also, there are more singles now than at any other time before. This might be due to the fact that women have gained independence, and long-term commitment does not fit into those plans. Moreover, the media heavily influences our ideals and might have created the illusion that there will always be someone better. The fact that a relationship is not always fun and games is ignored and as a result many relationships end quickly.

JULY

A Mathematical Love


P E O P LE

Creating Your Home Away From Home. By Nadia Zafirah

T

HE INVENTION OF THE INTERNET HAS BEEN MORE THAN A SIMPLE ELECTRONIC AID FOR MANY OF US. IT HAS BECOME OUR LIFE AND AFFECTS OUR LIFESTYLE. TALKING ABOUT THE VAST IMPROVEMENTS BROUGHT TO OUR LIVES BY THE INTERNET WOULD BE ENDLESS. LOOKING AT ONE ASPECT CLOSE TO OUR HEARTS, WE CAN SEE THAT THE INTERNET HAS MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS TO BRING HOME TO THEIR OTHERWISE FOREIGN ROOMS.

EC LAIRE

“I can see you!”

JULY

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Before the Internet era, people had to be content with phone calls and snail mail to communicate. Back then, it was much tougher for people living abroad, such as international students, as standard snail mail took at least a week to arrive and international phone calls were expensive. Students, mostly trying to make every penny count, often did not have enough money to make international phone calls and had to make do with regular post. Walls and desks filled with recent pictures sent from home were some of the best efforts that could be done to give new lodgings the home atmosphere.

Gone are the days when we could only hear their voices.

When the Internet advanced, we got accustomed to communicating through instant messages. First there was mIRC, where we chat with strangers, and then it developed into other services such as Yahoo Messenger and MSN messenger, where chatting became more personal. After a few years, such services provided a video chat function, which allowed you to see the other person. Even though we could not communicate verbally, we could still see each other’s faces and see the real expression instead of those limited emoticons. Finally, in 2005, video telephony was introduced. When Skype reached its 100 millionth user in 2006, video calls became the alternative to conventional phone calls. We can be present at home through the Internet, viewing our parents’ anniversary, sibling’s birthday celebration or festive season dinners. With the Internet, our family and us can each have a slice of cake together, just not from the same bakery.

Bringing the home atmosphere But that’s not all. In recent years, sites for streaming videos and TV-channels have been flourishing on the World Wide

Web. Getting lazy on the couch watching TV in your home clothes after days of endless assignments and hard partying can be an easy way to unwind. Luckily, we can watch our local shows these days with streaming TV-channel websites. Be it a shallow soap opera, hilarious comedy or game show, or the live speech of the president, you can watch it online from your room here in a foreign land. When you see your friends’ tweets about it, you no longer have to feel outdated. More importantly, in the event of critical incidents, we can also watch the local news live online. International news broadcasters may be reliable but we would still want to hear it from our countries’ point of view.

With the Internet, you can have more than a little piece of home with you. Our beloved ones can become virtually present, we can be connected live whenever we want to and the cheaper Internet phone calls make us communicate better. Wherever you live, your home is just a laptop screen away. It may be snowing outside, but you can be looking at your families complain about the heat back home.

Whatever the occasion is, we can partake in it thousands of miles away.


Duisenberg school of finance New thinking in finance IZmi/BZa^hhVGj\\aZh

The story behind Duisenberg school of finance (DSF) is an exceptional one. DSF is venturing a new path in financial education, bringing both real world pragmatism and top intellectual insights to its students through an unprecedented synergy between industry and academia. DSF is an educational institution that focuses on producing tomorrow’s top echelon of financial experts. Experts who are financial masterminds, but also grounded, dynamic leaders. Experts who are readily prepared to move from the classroom to the boardroom. Experts who can apply ‘new thinking in finance’ to discover innovative real market solutions for real market issues.

Founding partners

Admitting Only the Best

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EC LAIRE

Traversing the Uncanny Valley

JULY

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By Timothy Langstraat

W

HO DOESN’T REMEMBER THE JETSONS, A CARTOON ABOUT A SPACEAGE FAMILY, IN WHICH THE ROBOT HOUSEKEEPER KEPT THE HOUSE CLEAN? BACK THEN, IT SEEMED ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. IT WAS A FAR-OFF DREAM, A ROBOT ZIPPING ABOUT THE HOUSE, A MAID, PERSONAL ASSISTANT AND NANNY, ALL ROLLED INTO ONE. IN 1962, WE ALL THOUGHT THAT WAS AT LEAST A HUNDRED YEARS AWAY..

And then, in 2005, the world got a real surprise. After the craze of the robot dog, Aibo, the automated vacuum cleaner, the Roomba, and loads of programs pitting robot against robot in combat, in (for example) Robot Wars, the geminoid was revealed: an electronic android twin of a real person. And with that, humanity plunged head-first into the uncanny valley. By now, it’s only decent to explain what the uncanny valley is. The uncanny valley is a concept from robotics, with a particular focus on androids. It is true that as androids get more sophisticated, they start to resemble humans closer and closer. We all know that at first, androids were nothing more than white plastic boxes with arms, legs and something that looked like a head, though it might’ve also been an adapted football. With the geminoid, this changed.

"As they get more human, they start to freak us out more"

They had a skin, hair, and eyes, they responded like humans, and looked eerily like us too. However, they lacked something. The humanity which defines us, which makes us who we are, was lacking. Scientists had not yet developed androids who looked enough like us to fool us, but they were so close that we were freaked out by them. And that exactly is the uncanny valley: the period in which androids are almost alive, but not life-like enough for us to be comfortable with them, instead freaking us out.

But there are some signs that we are even going through this valley, and emerging on the other side. In an experiment at Manchester Airport, they decided to replace the traditional customs officers informing you of safety regulations, with holograms. They spoke a certain text, and even seemed to move. While they were not true holograms, but merely images projected onto a specially-prepared screen, they did manage to trick the travellers. Some even started talking to them, thinking that they were real customs officers. Whether the holograms were that lifelike, or that airport employees are just that robotic and one-dimensional, is as of yet still unknown.

The question that remains is where we will end up once we’ve passed through this valley. For now, the only things on the other side of the uncanny valley are human beings. In holograms, where verbal inflections, movements and looks are exactly copied from an original, this is fine. But how does this work for androids, whose programming will have to keep improving to match a human response? The answer to that question is still unknown. Some say that artificial intelligence is the key, while others propose elaborate motoric contraptions meant to emulate facial muscles. Critics might even claim that, judging by our track record over the past millennia, we haven’t been able to put humanity in ourselves, let alone androids. Scientists, however, will always barrel headlong into unknown territory, trying to work it out as they go along. One thing, above all, is sure: one day, we will cross the uncanny valley. And maybe, as we climb out of that valley, putting humanity into androids, robots, and geminoids, we’ll find a bit of humanity for ourselves as well.


C OMMERC E

Zara: Fashion-World Conqueror By Madina Ismailova

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SECRET OF SUCCESS Unusual and attractive stores are located in the main streets of the biggest cities in the world, attracting customers with their large variety of clothing, cosmetics and accessories. Zara produces small collections very

often – up to 11 000 distinct items annually. In comparison with their key competitors, who produce 2000-3000 items, they clearly have an advantage, encouraging Zara fans to make repeat visits to the store. The company states that it takes only two weeks to develop a new design, and it is supplied to the stores immediately afterwards. By comparison, for other large brands and designers, it takes about half of a year

Zara is a promising brand name making high fashion possible or its customers. It is a fast-growing company that is a real-life example how one person can make his dream come true through a lot of hard work, persistence, and just a bit of luck.

EC LAIRE

The story of this brand name is both extraordinary and interesting. This successful company was founded by the sharp-minded Amancio Ortega Gaona. When he was just 14 years old, in 1949, he started working as a delivery boy for a large clothes retailer. Then, when Amancio was about thirty years old, he had enough savings, knowledge and experience to start his own business, producing pajamas and underwear. In the early nineties the successful entrepreneur opened his first stores in Paris and New York under “Zara” brand name, quickly growing out to be one of the largest clothing retailers in the world. Now there are more than fifteen hundred stores in sixty eight countries, with over 500 in Spain already. As a hardworking, persistent and talented businessman, Amancio created a holding company called “Inditex”. This holding company now owns different brands: Zara, Pull & Bear, Kiddy's Class, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home, and Uterqüe y Tempe. The name “Zara”, gold, was prophetic. For Amancio Ortega it truly became gold, since he is now the richest person in Spain.

The philosophy of the development of Zara Company is to minimize the advertisement since the brand name is known worldwide for its reasonable prices, good sense of style and big range of choice in lower garment, upper garment, cosmetics and complements.

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HISTORY OF A BRAND

on average from creation of the design to the mass production stage.

JULY

HE FASHION WORLD IS RAPIDLY CHANGING, AND FOR MANY PEOPLE IT IS DIFFICULT TO FIND STYLISH CLOTHING AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE. AMANCIO ORTEGA OFFERS A SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM IN HIS “ZARA” STORES. THIS SPANISH CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES RETAILER GAINED WORLDWIDE SUCCESS BECAUSE OF ITS ABILITY TO SATISFY THE DEMANDS OF THE CUSTOMERS. BUSINESSWORLD MAGAZINE CALLS IT “A FASHION IMITATOR”, BECAUSE UNLIKE THE OTHER BRANDS THAT FOCUS ON PROMOTING SEASONAL TRENDS VIA FASHION SHOWS, ZARA TRIES TO UNDERSTAND THE FASHION ITEMS THAT ITS CUSTOMERS WANT, AND DELIVERS THEM.

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P E O P LE

Any chance you’re a risk-taker? EC LAIRE

By Vanessa Abeyawardena

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HAT WITH THE AMOUNT OF PSYCHOLOGY TOPICS PERTAINING TO BREAKING BOUNDARIES, IT WAS DIFFICULT TO CHOOSE JUST ONE TO DISCUSS IN THIS ISSUE. WHEN “RISK” WAS SUGGESTED, I TURNED IT DOWN AT FIRST. I DIDN’T THINK I KNEW ENOUGH TO FEEL CONFIDENT DOING AN ENTIRE ARTICLE ABOUT HOW WE’RE WIRED TO TAKE RISKS. THEN I REALIZED THE IRONY OF THE SITUATION, AND WENT AHEAD AND DID IT ANYWAY. To do, or not to do? You can take risks in your relationships, education, work, family… the list is endless. Every time you have to make a choice, two opposing systems kick in: your behavioral activation and inhibition systems (BAS/BIS). They’re fancy jargon, but simply mean your mind and body react to a situation through moving ahead (approach), or stepping back (withdrawal). So your BAS kicks in when you’re at the open door of a plane waiting to jump out with a parachute. Your BIS gives you the nudging doubt whether there’s really a parachute in your sack.

Your personality moderates these systems. With regards to risk, psychologists divide your personality up into six components: 1. Honesty/Humility If you’re low on honesty, rules and laws are trivial things. You might pick up that Body Shop chapstick and slip it in your bag. 2. Emotionality If you’re high on this one, you probably aren’t a huge risk-taker. You think everything is a big deal and focus on what you could lose instead of gain. Hello, BIS. 3. Extraversion You’re the easygoing, sociable type? Then you’re more likely to take risks like attending a party with no one you know. 4. Agreeableness Ironically, research doesn’t agree on this one. However, one study links disagreeableness to taking health, sexual and criminal risks – although to me, that simply describes the typical college student. 5. Conscientiousness Are you good at school? Organized, disciplined, punctual? You’re the types that judge everything and exercise appropriate caution. Well done! If you’re low on it though, you might be into the risks of sexual behavior, smoking and substance abuse. 6. Openness If you’re open to new experiences, you’re probably more likely to take risks: you’ve got curiosity, intellect and creativity going for you. Curiosity, which, they say, kills the cat. Then again, they also say cats have nine lives. Use them wisely.

Some studies show that if you’re a member of the fairer sex, you’re less likely to take risks. This is explained with evolutionary theory: women are less likely to be aggressive than men, since in the past it was more likely to hurt their chances of survival. Men, however, could always afford to engage in risky behavior, since their genes could still be passed on if they caught some kind of infection. But remember from the list above: there are so many different types of risks out there – financial, health-related, criminal, sexual… the list goes on – that this “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” approach is dubious at best, since it falls into the trap of generalizing gender differences across every circumstance. It’s possible that depending on the decision (financial, sexual, health-related), women are more careful than men, but this may not always be the case. The personality breakdown explanation may be more plausible. It’s much more likely we all evolved in such a way that you’re somewhere on a scale from “chicken” to “skydiver” as determined by your own unique personality, than the primitive hunter-gatherer theory behind the gender-based explanation. And if you’ve suddenly realized you’re a safe-zone person, don’t feel too bad. Being less adventurous doesn’t mean you’re boring. Countless generations before you used that mechanism to ensure you’re standing where you are now. Just remember there are two sides to the coin. It’s important to be cautious and protect yourself, but it’s also important to move ahead, adapt, and grow.


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Bathing Suits Throughout the Ages By Madina Ismailova

I

EC LAIRE

T IS A COMMON SENSE NOWADAYS THAT THE BEST WAY TO SPEND HOT SUMMER DAYS IS ON THE BEACH, ENJOYING SUN AND SHOWING OFF THE PERFECT FORMS YOU HAVE BEEN WORKING ON FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR IN THE GYM. IT IS TIME TO SWITCH FROM ARTIFICIAL TO NATURAL BRONZE COLOR OF THE SKIN THAT MAKES ONE LOOK BEAUTIFUL. EXPOSURE TO THE SUN LEADS TO THE PRODUCTION OF THE “PLEASURE HORMONES”, ENDORPHINS. HOWEVER, PEOPLE STARTED ENJOYING BEACHES AT THE END OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY ONLY.

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The first signs of real swimwear came only in the late 17th century. The thinkers of the Enlightenment didn’t only spend their time musing about democracy, human rights and the world, but also about what people should wear when they went for a swim. Since the previous choice of ‘absolutely nothing’ was too harrowing an idea to consider, they came up with something new: swimwear. In order to protect the modesty of both men and women, restrictive rules were set out, in order to make sure that no one’s modesty was harmed. With a full gown, a cap, stockings and shoes for women, they indeed made sure that if a woman was harmed, it was more likely to be by a heat stroke rather than a man. Men were spared such horrors, and were allowed to wear a wool wetsuit, looking more like long underwear than anything else.

Thankfully, Annette Kellerman came along and changed all of that. Her invention of a bathing suit, a tight-fitting swimsuit that revealed her legs and arms, took the first step towards modern swimwear. However, her clothing was still made of wool, swelling up with water as soon as she got in the pool. Almost 40 years after Kellerman’s invention in 1907, 1946 finally brought the world the one thing they were waiting for: bikinis. Louis Reard invented them, creating a narrow bra combined with short trunks, the first real twopair swimsuit. Naming it the bikini, after the Bikini Atoll where the U.S. Army was conducting nuclear tests, he predicted it would explode onto the world scene, just like an atom bomb. Finally, in 1959, the company Dupont invented a fiber called spandex, bringing bathers literal and figurative relief. In almost 300 years, beach clothing went from nothing, to full dresses, back to almost nothing. Since then, swimwear has decreased in size once again. Thongs were invented, creating even smaller bottoms, and bikini tops were sometimes just left at home, because they weren’t needed. For centuries, people had enjoyed swimming naked. It seems like the modern youth is accepting that once again, and have decided it’s the most comfortable way to swim. Maybe, in another hundred years, we’ll all be running about the beach naked, thinking back to those silly people in the 20th century who still wore clothing while swimming.


S TUDENT

LIFE

Welcoming the New Board By Timothy Langstraat

A

After that evening, as is custom, they went on a road trip throughout Europe, to meet up with the 47th board at an unknown location. Armed with their wits, a vague route guide, and a pounding hangover from the night before, they were set on their way to anywhere. It’s teambuilding for the new board, a

The new board has a very varied background. Not only the economics programs business-economics, and its international sibling IBEB, are represented, but even IBA, traditionally the fishing ground of STAR, is present in the current board. Some members are part of fraternities, and have gained most of their experience there, while others spent all their time within the EFR. However, one thing is clear: they are all dedicated to making the EFR a

better organization during their year. Finally, all that is left to do is to wish the current board best of luck to sound at running the EFR this coming year. They’ll lead an organization with a large variety of committees, and an even larger variety of active members, all of whom have their own ideas of how to run things. But they will be able to do it; they don’t have any choice. But in one year we will be able to tell if the board made the right choice, and to see in what ways the coming board has improved the EFR. So, congratulations to Thomas, Alyssa, Bart, Sten, Diede, Laura, Rik and Joris. We look forward to working with you.

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chance to get to know each other a bit better before the real handover of power happens. They should take that chance, because from August onwards, they’re in charge of the EFR for an entire year, until a new board takes over from them, starting the entire cycle again.

JULY

The current (47th) board spent a few long weeks interviewing the potential candidates. Whittling down the list from the first dozens of candidates to the final eight took two interview rounds, and much deliberation. But in the end, they had to make a decision. They started calling the new board at 6 pm, congratulating them on their position, and inviting them to come on down in preparation for that evening’s event.

EC LAIRE

ND FINALLY, THE WORD IS OUT. THE NEW BOARD OF THE EFR HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED, AND THEY GOT A PROPER WELCOME THURSDAY, THE 9TH OF JUNE. IN TYPICAL FASHION, THE NEW BOARD WAS DRESSED UP (THIS TIME IN AN ORANGE FEATHER BOA, AND MATCHING COWBOY HATS) AND PRESENTED TO THE ACTIVE MEMBERS, AFTER WHICH THE AUDIENCE GOT A CHAMPAGNE SHOWER. AFTER THAT, THE FREE BEER STARTED FLOWING AGAIN, AND A LONG EVENING STARTED.


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Performance-Enha By Youvale van Dijk

T

EC LAIRE

HERE IS A MIX OF TALENT, TRAINING AND DETERMINATION THAT CAN TURN A PROMISING YOUNGSTER INTO A SUPERSTAR ATHLETE. EXTENSIVE RESEARCH HAS BEEN DONE ON THE RIGHT MIX, HOW TO MAKE STARS FROM TALENT. BUT IT IS STILL NOT CLEAR; THERE IS STILL NO FORMULA, WHICH CAN GUARANTEE SUCCESS. WHAT IS THE MISSING LINK THAT GIVES SOME YOUNGSTERS AN ADVANTAGE OVER OTHERS IN CHASING THEIR DREAMS? WE PROBABLY WILL NOT FIND OUT IN THE NEAR FUTURE. HOWEVER, THERE IS SOMETHING, OFTEN OVERLOOKED, THAT CAN INCREASE THE CHANCES OF SUCCESS AND CAN IMPROVE RESULTS: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY!

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An evolution There are two sides to technology linked to sport. One is the (future) use of technology to make competition fairer, such as hawk-eye in tennis, replay in hockey, and a camera on the goal line for football. This side of technology is a well-debated topic at international sports federations, in the media and at the local club. However, there is another side to technology linked to sports. The one where technology, together with science, can improve achievements on all levels. Technology is an important factor in sports. When comparing sports of a few decades ago with today, it is mainly technology that has started an evolution. Technology has changed the ma-

terials used, the fields and courts, the equipment and the clothing. A familiar example is the swimsuits of professional swimmers. After the introduction of the fastest-yet swimsuit, records were constantly being broken. The FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation), the governing body of professional swimming, decided to prohibit these ‘worldrecord-breakers’. Another example of an evolution in sports brought on by technology can be seen in tennis: the constant improvement of the tennis racket. It is lighter than it used to be, as it is no longer made of wood. The consequence is an increase in speed and change in style of playing.

Bridge the gap Thus technology has made an impact on sports, by change and innovation in materials and more. Nevertheless, it could, and probably should, have an even bigger impact. Players and coaches could use science and technology to be better prepared for competitors, but also for a better understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses. Universities work together with sports federations and clubs to bridge the gap between science and practice in the world of sports. Yet, as said, this is hardly exploited by players, coaches and federations.

Moneyball A famous example of a sport that uses science is baseball. The Oakland Ath-


WORLD

EC LAIRE

ncing Technology

Football and translation Many other sports follow baseballs’ lead. One sport that makes especially good use of data and science is football. In the Netherlands Innosport labs is a company that analyses data in football, such as passes, movements on the fields, and penalty analysis. It all comes down to models that predict movements, passing, and shots. By GPS and the use of sensors in football

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shoes analysts can track line movements of players and distances.

One way to use the data to an athlete’s advantage is controlling the amount and intensity of training. Technology can measure the intensity and performance of training and matches. Translating this into the right training schedule can have major influences on performing at the important moments: peak performance. So technology might not be the missing link to definitely succeed at the highest level, but it is an important component that is often overlooked. Technology is not only there to make the game fairer or to improve the materials, it also creates a better understanding

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Despite the advantages of technology, data and statistics, it is not used to its’ fullest extend. Critics often wonder whether sport is something that can be predicted. Data can be used to analyze, but how can it be translated into achievement improving tools? It throws up a barrier, one that is still hard to break.

JULY

letics baseball team was the first baseball team to use data and statistics of players to their advantage. With these data the general manager of the Athletics, Billy Bean, tried to create a team that would be able to compete with teams composed out of higher budgets, something the Oakland Athletics lacked at the time. The decisions were not only based on the conventional data, such as batting average and stolen bases, but also on more empirical performance data. The story is interesting, and many other (team) sports wondered, and wonder, whether the same concept is also applicable to their field. Michael M. Lewis published a book about this unconventional scouting method named Moneyball: the art of winning an unfair game. The story has also been brought to the white screen (Moneyball), which will be released by the end of this year, starring Brad Pitt. The commercialization of this story shows what kind of impact it has had on sports, baseball in particular.

of competitors and personal strengths and weaknesses. Baseball was one of the first sports to use data and science to create the best teams at the lowest price. Football, and other sports, followed. Although the use of technology is still in its’ infancy, it is on the verge of breaking a barrier that could lead to an evolution of sports as we know it.


LG BT

EC LAIRE

By Timothy Langstraat

JULY

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The Gay Divide

From the time we are young, we are bombarded by the media with visions of the idyllic marriage. Two people, madly in love, get hitched and live happily ever after. It’s a dream for most, and what we imagine our future to be. But what happens if that dream is dreamt by a gay couple?

regardless of sexual orientation. It is such a deeply controversial topic, that no presidential candidate would ever speak out in favour of gay marriage, as it would cost them the election immediately.

Homosexuality has been accepted throughout history in varying degrees. From ancient Greece, where it was said by some to be the highest form of love, to the first Christian emperors of Rome, who outlawed homosexuality, every opinion possible was held. Some cultures outlawed the practice, while others encouraged it, and saw it as a way of developing young men. However, no culture ever allowed gay couples to marry: they were tolerated, but never considered equals to ‘normal’ couples.

Not only the United States is hesitant to adopt new policies. All around the world, there is a great resistance to homosexuality, and giving them equal rights. Countries such as Singapore, which states that no discrimination exists, Russia, where coming out of the closet is the easiest way to commit suicide, or even France, where the liberal bastion is being Quatorze-Juilleted, all use the same arguments against gay marriage: the population is not ready, it is immoral or, the most brilliant of all, “It does not fit with the traditional values of our country.”

This all changed in the year 2001, when the Netherlands became the first modern country to allow homosexuals to get married. Soon after, countries like Belgium, Canada and South-Africa joined in, as more countries tried to do away with any form of discrimination. Soon, gay marriage turned into something common, as little by little, more countries adopted equality laws. Even the United Nations, the representation of the world, has adopted a resolution banning discrimination against homosexuals. But for some countries, it is harder to make these changes. In the United States, this divide is clearest, as two camps drift apart a bit more every day. Gay rights activists become increasingly frustrated at every attempt to define marriage as between a man and a woman, while traditionalists claim that their way of life is being encroached by those who believe equality should exist,

The resistance is understandable. A lot of people do feel offended in their personal beliefs when what they believe marriage should be, is not what marriage is. They feel that other people’s beliefs should not be imposed on them. However, that reasoning is faulty: while they are not being forced to marry a same-sex person, they do impose their beliefs on someone else by not allowing them to marry. And what sanctity, a wholly religious idea, has to do with a marriage before the state, is another question entirely. Unfortunately, the slippery slopes to gay marriage are yet to be scaled by many countries. Until then, the dream of getting married is still a pipe dream for most, in a world where even just being homosexual is enough to be executed. We can only hope that with the UN’s newest resolution, that dream has come a bit closer for those still discriminated against.


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P H OTO S


S T U DENT

LI FE

EC LAIRE

A Unique and Unforgettable Experience in Turkey

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UROTOUR HAS BEEN A PROVEN CONCEPT FOR YEARS NOW, BUT LAST EDITION EXCEEDED ALL EXPECTATIONS. 20 STUDENTS OF THE ERASMUS UNIVERSITY AND 20 STUDENTS OF THE TURKISH KOÇ UNIVERSITY HAD THE HONOUR TO BE PART OF ONE OF THE GREATEST EUROTOURS EVER, WHICH TOOK THEM FROM ROTTERDAM TO AMSTERDAM TO ISTANBUL. BESIDES CULTURAL ACTIVITIES AND SIGHT-SEEING IN THESE CITIES, THE PROGRAM ALSO CONSISTED OF ACADEMIC, BUSINESS AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES TO GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER’S CITY, CULTURE, STUDENT LIFE AND UNIVERSITY. THIS PROGRAM COULD, HOWEVER, NOT GO ON WITHOUT OUR MAIN SPONSOR KOPENHAGEN FUR.


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After the full group arrived on Wednesday evening, we started the Turkish program on Thursday with the second visit to Kopenhagen Fur. In the Netherlands the first step, breeding the animals, was introduced, and the second step, treatment of the fur, was shown during this second visit. The visit started with a tour through the manufacturing facility. Then, we had another delicious, rich lunch provided by Kopenhagen Fur, ending the visit with a presentation and a small case study about the operating activities of Kopenhagen Fur in Turkey and the rest of the world. On Friday, we started our day with some guest lectures on Koç University. In the afternoon, there was some time for sports, like ice skating and football. Of course, the football match between Turkey and Holland was won by the Dutch! We ended the day with a traditional dinner and a lot of traditional raki. After a heavy Friday night, the Saturday program started with a decent Turkish breakfast. A walk along the Bosporus river brought us to Ortaköy, where there were possibilities to visit a Turkish mosque, smoke some nargile (water pipe) or eat some tasty, traditional food. The day ended with a lovely boat tour on the Bosporus river including a barbeque and a couple of drinks provided by Kopenhagen Fur. Sunday was the day of the visits to the big touristy places. First, we visited the impressive Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. After this big cultural injection, one of the many Turkish bazaars was visited at which our newly learned Turkish negotiation skills proved very useful. Sooner than hoped and expected, it was already Monday, the last day of EuroTour. After having a nice breakfast together for the last time and packing the luggage, it was time to say goodbye to our new friends. Looking back to the trip, we can conclude that those days were one of the best days of our lives. We made new friends, experienced new cultures and discovered another university! And for those who missed this amazing and intensive trip, there is only one advice: join next year! Yours sincerely, Abhinav, Iris, Ivo, Jacqueline, Johan, Marije, Niek, Niek

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Turkey

After a small opening drink at the Erasmus University, the program started with one of the greatest things in Dutch culture: Queen’s Night in The Hague. The next day was completely reserved to show the beauty of Rotterdam. A walk along the Maas River and through the Park led us to the Euromast, where everyone took the chance to take the best photos of Rotterdam. After the sight-seeing, we first visited the old brewery before going partying at one of the Queen’s Day festivals in Rotterdam: Oranjebitter. When foreigners visit the Netherlands, they are however more interested in Amsterdam than in Rotterdam. On Sunday, their wishes came true and a visit to Amsterdam took place, including a boat tour and a guided tour through the Red Light District. On Monday, our academic day took place with two guest lectures at our own Erasmus Unversity. Afterwards, a harbour tour gave everyone a deeper knowledge of one of the main distribution points of the Netherlands and the rest of Europe: the Port of Rotterdam. On Tuesday morning, the world's largest auction house for fur, Kopenhagen Fur, welcomed us on a Dutch mink farm. First, they introduced the fur industry with an interesting presentation and, after that, they gave us the opportunity to see the mink farm itself. The visit ended with an extensive lunch provided for by Kopenhagen Fur. The visit gave a clearer view about the fur industry in general, and of about the position of the Netherlands in the industry. They showed that the industry has a turn-over of around €150 million in the Netherlands, and that Dutch mink regulations towards animal welfare and environment are very strict, especially compared to other industries and countries. We ended our last day of the Dutch part of the EuroTour nicely with a Turkish dinner at Nazar and a Vibes party. The Turkish part of the EuroTour started officially Wednesday at 16.15 when we headed to Istanbul.

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The Netherlands

EC LAIRE

The EuroTour program started officially on the 29th of April in the Netherlands when the Turkish participants landed at Schiphol Airport, the same day the Dutch participants finished their last exam of the fourth block.


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B&R Beurs: Erasmus Investment Society EC LAIRE

By Katharina Dees

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B

&R (BELEGGEN EN RENDEMENT) FUSED WITH BEURS IN 1995, TO BECOME B&R BEURS. SINCE THEN THIS IS THE 15TH BOARD. IN ORDER TO RECEIVE SOME INSIDE INFORMATION ABOUT THE SOCIETY, I INTERVIEWED MAARTEN, THE CHAIRMAN, AND AAD, THE SECRETARY. How is B&R financed? What is the idea behind B&R Beurs? B&R is an investment society which unites students with a common interest in investing. It gives them the possibility to share their knowledge with other students or receive guidance, help and information about the field of investing. But it’s not pure business; there is also a social side to B&R.

How is the organization run? It is managed by the board which consists of 5 different people each year. This year we are Maarten Bellaard, the chairman; Aad Polak, the secretary; Philip van Buuren, the external commissioner; Arnout van der Houwen, the treasurer and Christian de Groot, the activities commissioner. We, the board, run the organization like a company is run, but with far fewer levels in between.

Who makes the rules for the organization? The field of every board member is defined, but it is up to him, to fulfill his position in the way he thinks is best or how he was advised by his predecessor. In principle, the whole organization’s management is based on trust. The rules are made by the members who have the chance to propose their ideas at one of the two general member assemblies where we set up a framework.

Our external commissioner is responsible for finding partners like merchant banks, fund managers or other companies in the financial sector who not only support us financially, but also offer lectures, in-house days, and help us organize events. We acquire new partners every year which gives the organization financial independence. As we are not bound to a faculty we do not receive any financing from the university.

What activities does B&R offer to students? What kind of events are there during the year? We have a combination of educational and social activities. As for the educational side, our aim is to educate our members by offering seminars e.g. on technical analysis, lectures on financial instruments, and once every year we organize the Symposium which is our biggest event and is comparable with a congress at which 4-5 speakers from different fields and backgrounds present their own view on the coming year on the stock market. As for the social side, we have a biweekly social drink at Sus & Co, beer tastings, a poker tournament, and an active member’s weekend at the beginning of the academic year. The disputes also organize their own events within their group. Important to know is that there are no obligations for the members to attend these events; they can choose freely how much they wish to participate in the society.


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25 No, not at all. Any student who has an interest in trading and the willingness to learn about it is welcome to join our society.

What is the background (type of study) of most students who are in B&R? Is it necessary to study at one of the university faculties? About 90% of our members are from business or economic studies. But there is no requirement concerning the type of study. Actually, there are also some members who are studying at HBO-level.

What kind of people can one expect to meet at B&R? (Are your members cigar smoking, suit wearing guys who fit the stock broker cliché?) No, the cliché does not apply to our members. They are actually an average group of students who share the common interest in trading and are also slightly more interested in other economic issues. They specifically choose to join B&R, since there is no incentive to join it, other than their interest in trading. We are also open to international students and their numbers have increased in recent years.

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Is it necessary to have a profound knowledge of finance to join B&R? How do the disputes operate? The disputes are the most important part of the structure. Such a group usually consists of 10-15 people who mostly meet biweekly at one member´s house or at a restaurant to have dinner together and discuss new proposals related to the portfolios current position, but also do not neglect the social aspect there. After the meeting the dispute typically goes to the social drink together. Currently, we have 6 active disputes.

What does the investment process look like? Usually, the members make proposals which are based on a current issue in the news and then the group votes democratically on the proposed investment. Every dispute can choose their own portfolio and also the markets they wish to invest in. Each group has its own treasurer who is responsible for the dispute’s account and buys/sells the positions.

In what kind of financial instruments is the money invested? It depends on the group, but generally we invest in turbos, speeders, and sprinters. Each dispute has about 3-4 positions at any given time.

What where the returns of the investments in the previous years? Last year the group with the highest return was Borsa Valori with 51%. Usually, more than 50% of the disputes make positive returns. But investing is not only about making money, also about the learning experience and trying out new things.

Do many of the B&R members follow a career in trading later on? This is hard to say. B&R connects the students with companies which operate in the trading sector by organizing inhouse days and other events. Generally, most members keep on trading privately later on.


E N T E RTAI NMENT

10 ways to…

EC LAIRE

Ten records you don’t want to have...

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1. Most often found in a bathroom at a party 2. Most visits to the rehab clinic 3. Most hours clocked into World of Warcraft 4. Most falls off a bike – while sober 5. Most likely to set the house on fire if left alone 6. Most likely to believe Moscow is the capital of China 7. Highest number of Facebook friends that you’ve never met 8. Most appearances on Jersey Shore 9. Most people dozing off during your presentations 10. Most well-developed dominant arm


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Eclaire June 2011