Sophia Vogel

Sophia Vogel – Events Manager – 2018/2019

About me

Hey! My name is Sophia Vogel and I’m the Events Manager of ESN Rotterdam this year. I’m 22 years old and born and raised in the beautiful Middelburg. Besides being a real Dutchie, I’m half Danish and I spend most of my vacations over there. Last year, I finished my bachelor Econometrics and Operations Research at the Erasmus University and this year, I’m dedicating all my time to my ESN board year. Next year, I will most likely start my masters in Econometrics (BAQM), so I’m currently enjoying my social life while it lasts. In my free time, I like to go to the gym or catch up with my friends (while shopping and sipping away too expensive coffee).

Why a board year?

I always kind of knew that I wanted to take a gap year between my bachelor and master, since I didn’t see myself working at 22 already. There are of course several things to do during your gap year, and I definitely considered all the options. Since travelling for a whole year is so expensive, and I didn’t have the money, a board year sounded pretty interesting to me. I was never a part of ESN Rotterdam, and I actually never really know we existed. My bachelor was Dutch so I only met a couple of internationals through my study association. When I returned from my exchange, I realized that Rotterdam had so many more international students than I initially thought. One day, I saw an advertisement of the new board recruitment of ESN, and I decided to look into it. This was exactly what I was looking for, so I chose to apply for the 11th ESN board. This was a big step for me, as I literally knew no one from ESN, and I never really went to one of our events either. The first weeks were a lot of reading and getting to know the organization, but now I really feel at home. I’m super happy with my decision.

Why Events Manager

The Events Manager position immediately interested me. I enjoy travelling around and being busy, which is why this position is perfect for me. I really enjoy organizing events in general, and I love seeing the participants having fun during an event I organized (or helped organizing). Also, as the events manager you are involved in the majority of the ESN events. You will get to know a lot of people, and a lot of people will know you. Besides that, I am very organized and I am good at managing my time, which is very helpful in organizing events and managing teams. A thing that I’ve learned during this year is that events hardly go exactly as planned, and you might need to adjust things during the event. I believe this is a great skill to learn, especially if you are slightly perfectionistic like I am.

Function description

As the Event Manager of ESN Rotterdam I’m in charge of the social events, the SocialErasmus events and the city trips. This means that I have to organize and attend around six events per month. For this, I have the help of three committees. This means that I also have to manage these committees and make sure that they can do their work. Other events I organize are for example parts of the ESN introduction days (both summer and winter) and the after party of the official welcome ceremony. Especially the first months, when I didn’t have any committees yet, were extremely busy (since we still had the same amount of events). As I mentioned before, time management is very important in these busy periods.

Attending the events is something that is fun, but also takes up a lot of time. Therefore, it’s difficult to say how many hours per week I spend on my function. Some weeks are very busy, while other weeks (exam periods for example) are less busy for me. Since I am a full time board member, I am able to be in charge of three committees. Besides this, I am also in contact with third parties with whom we work together. This also calls for communication and negotiation skills.

During the events itself, it’s possible that things do not go as planned. In these situations, an events manager needs to be flexible and stay clear minded. It’s important that problems are quickly solved and most importantly, that participants don’t suffer. You are working in the students best interest, which is something to always keep in mind. I am very detail oriented, which can stress me out quickly since details easily don’t go as planned. In the end, participants usually don’t see the details, and the most important thing is that they have a great time during our events. As the events manager, you will learn a little more at each event!

Looking for more information? Don’t hesitate to contact me by sending an email to

Life after ESN // Emil Kichukov // 9th Board

A board year at ESN is what YOU make out of it! My name is Emil Kichukov; part of the 9thESN Rotterdam board as an events manager. While my ESN board year made my CV stand out when I started applying for jobs after my studies, for me most valuable were the personal growth, the friendships I created, the amazing memories I made, and the skills I learned. The fun side of this experience is that ESN is a hub for international students and every day you will have the chance to meet up, have fun, and make friendships with people from all over the world. Developing the integration of international students also gives a strong inner sense of satisfaction. Any role in the ESN board comes with a lot of responsibilities and there are challenges around every corner. They could be conflict within the board, problems with a third party, or personal condition within a committee. These are the moments when you can learn, when you can grow and when you develop yourself. If you decide to put in the hours, embrace those challenges! Also, don’t forget to have fun. Your board year at ESN will become one of the most valuable and memorable experiences in your life. Oh, and next time when they ask you behavioral questions on a job interview, you will definitely have plenty of ESN situations to talk about and impress the interviewer by explaining how you handled them.