Rolland Masebu – President – 2021/2022
Hola! My name is Rolland Masebu. I was born and raised in the tropical Tanzania. I moved to the bike-riding Netherlands when I was 13! I have received a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration this year after three amazing years. My hobbies include socializing and dancing. I believe people can vibe with anyone in this world. I love dancing salsa, bachata, afro and kizomba. I feel even more alive when I am dancing and non-verbally connecting with a dance partner. I have grown up in the Netherlands in a multicultural family and society which has had an immense impact on me. The fact that I have grown up between two drastically different cultures has shaped me into the extroverted human that I am today. Also, I have gained a greater fascination of international relations and how different people from diverse cultures interact with each other. I feel ESN is exactly where I fit in perfectly regarding my aspirations to understand and enhance multiculturality. Also, I am the first ESN Rotterdam president of African descent which certainly makes my mom proud.
Why a board year?
I personally appreciate the Erasmus Student Network for making it easier for people like me to have a home far from home. I feel welcome and accepted in the ESN community, and I, as president, would love and aim to give this same pleasant ‘home-feeling’ to Rotterdam students! This coming year the board will face even more challenges regarding COVID-19. I would love to face these challenges with the amazing and motivated 14th board in a leadership and management role. These unforeseen challenges offer me a personal development arch I would audaciously like to experience.
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 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, because a large part of the board and active member 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.