Elsze van den Wittenboer

Testimonial Elsze van den Wittenboer
I’ve really grown as a person by actively participating in student life!
Elsze van den Wittenboer
Current role
Active member of study association Babylon

Elsze van den Wittenboer is a student of the International Business Communication programme and active in the student life of Nijmegen.

'Being an active member of a student association means that you join a committee. I am an active member of study association Babylon. A student association is an association linked to your Bachelor- or Master programme and organizes both formal and informal activities. During my first year of studying I already joined the Committee of Formal Activities. With this committee we organized a visit to a relevant company, amongst other things.'

At the start of my study programme

'After my introduction week I instantly knew that I wanted to be an active member of my study association. This is the best way to get to know other students of your programme, especially students from different years. It’s not only an upgrade to your social life but also important for your personal development, because you learn how to organize activities. In the second, third and fourth year of my studies I have joined the Publication Committee, Graphic Design Committee and Career Committee. I have gained a lot of useful experience on different subjects because of these committees.'

Looking for an extra challenge

'I really enjoyed being a member of different committees, but at the same time I was also looking for an extra challenge. This is why I decided to do a board year for Stichting RAGweek Nijmegen. I took on the function of Chair of the board, and together we have organized the RAGweek. During this week we raised money and awareness for two different charities. We did this in collaboration with a lot of students and entrepreneurs in Nijmegen. As you have to work together with many different parties and partners, you have to be very structured and good at planning to make sure that everything is taken care of in great detail. This board year has definitely improved my skills when it comes to working together with many partners, maintaining a formal network and organizing events.

RAGweek has introduced me to many other student organisations: not only study associations such as Babylon, but also sports clubs and associations from the HAN. I noticed I really enjoyed meeting students from other study programmes, so I decided to apply for a board year with SOFv. This is an umbrella association for all study associations related to Radboud University. I am currently the treasurer of the board. This means that I am responsible for the general financial health of the association and the subsidies for member associations such as Babylon. I decided to take the step from being an active member of Babylon to doing two board years because I saw it as a great chance to learn more about myself, working together with others, organizing events and the general responsibilities of being a board member.'

Personal growth

'It’s so much fun to get to know people from all parts of student life. This helps you get out of your own bubble. And of course it’s cool to organize big activities such as the RAGweek and the ‘lustrum gala’. The connection you have with the other board members is also really special: you spend a lot of time with these people for a year and really get to know them. I’ve really grown as a person thanks to these board years, and I have definitely made friends for life.

Of course there are some things that you have to keep in mind when you want to become an active student. You do have to find a way to combine all your activities with your study programme. This is definitely manageable if you are a member of a committee, but doing a board year does take more time. All the great experiences are definitely worth it though!'