Myouska Zwijnenburg– President – 2022/2023
Hi everyone! My name is Myouska Zwijnenburg. I graduated IBA and am now finishing my double degree in Philosophy! Even though I’m born and raised in the rainy Nederlanden, I lived in South Africa and Indonesia for a good while. That is where I learned to surf big waves and hike through very sketchy mountains, which turned out to be my two favourite activities! Furthermore, I love organizing stuff. A Christmas Beer Cantus in 3 weeks? No worries! ESN Football League? Sign me up! I thrive when I can connect with people, especially through (sports) activities! I further love to give presentations and workshops which you have probably seen me doing in your (exchange) semester opening :). If you would like to really see me in my comfort zone, you can find me on the dance floor on almost every ESN Tuesday or Exchange Party ^^, being out and about, and always striving to do better:
Ever tried, ever failed, no matter what. Try again, fail again, and even better.
Why a board year?
Joining the board of ESN Rotterdam is a great opportunity for someone who has a passion for the international community, enjoys organizing events, and wants to make a positive impact in the lives of international and Dutch students. And as an outgoing IBA and Philosophy student, I wanted to do just that! As a board member, you have the chance to be the glue between students and the university, creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone. ESN Rotterdam provides the perfect platform for organizing events that bring people together, creating a sense of community and belonging.
As the President of ESN Rotterdam, I oversee overlooking a rapidly growing international foundation. I am the face of ESN Rotterdam, as well as the leader of a very ambitious and dynamic team. I mostly have a coordinating role and ensure the overall well-functioning of the organization. By doing so, we can contribute to the long-term internationalization of Erasmus University, the city of Rotterdam, and create an impact that will linger for many years.
I provide support to my board members when needed and I lead the weekly board meetings as well as several other internal meetings. As the president, I also give presentations and speeches to audiences varying from 20 to 800 students. In addition, I represent ESN Rotterdam in several meetings with higher education institutes, the municipality of Rotterdam and on different national and international levels within the ESN network.
Apart from the things mentioned above, the work of a president is not very specific nor stable, as a major part of your work is to deal with unforeseen challenges. You never know what might come up! In addition, you are constantly looking for ways to improve the organization as a whole. The best way to do this varies over the years and within different boards. It also depends for a large part on your own vision and abilities, there is no one size fits all solution. Pro-activity, solution-based thinking, intercultural communication and motivational skills therefore play a key role in fulfilling this position. Also, a large part of the board and the active members will be from different countries, with different cultural backgrounds.
Life after ESN // Michiel Kuhlmann // 9th board
I still clearly remember the first time I stood in the ESN office with the keys in my hand, the office that would be my home base for the whole year. I went from being a student to being a board member and the campus changed from a place to study to a place to reach students, organize events, have meetings and much more. Being given the responsibility for an organisation and the task of helping hundreds of (international) students feel at home in Rotterdam is something you dive into and which becomes part of your identity.
I’m still amazed by the energy and engagement the (international) students brought, lifting each event up to unique experiences for the students but also for the board and the committees. The international structure of ESN allowed me to attend ESN events abroad which were great learning opportunities, and fun as well! Meeting ESN board members from all over Europe is unique because all of them approach the same tasks differently due to their experiences and cultures.
There’s something irreplaceable about working with your board which creates so many memorable and fun moments together. The satisfaction of looking back at each event fuelled with the energy the students, seeing the organisation grow, the many accomplishments, the gained experience and level of team building makes being an ESN board member a once in a lifetime experience.