NSM Focus | Anna van Rooijen, ismus chair: ‘Study associations expand your network and your perspective’

Date of news: 23 April 2021

Anna van Rooijen (19) is the chair of ismus, Political Science's study association. Her year in office was completely different compared to her predecessors, but despite the preventative measures she looks back on a special and beautiful year.

“It feels odd that we are now once again looking for new ismus board members. The year flew by. I would have liked to continue on for some time. I have learned so very much, gotten to know many people, also from other study associations, and I am proud of what we were able to achieve in this corona year.”


“I was 17 when I started studying in Nijmegen. I joined ismus rather quickly and although I thought it was pretty exciting to enter the meeting room for the first time, I felt at ease immediately. There was a relaxed, cosy atmosphere and as a first-year student I was just as welcome as senior students. That experience spurred me on to apply for the position of chair, to contribute to it and pass it on to new first-years.”

The Queen's Gambit

“Outside of a few exceptions, almost all our activities this year were organised online. We have had to heavily depend on the creative abilities of our committees and ourselves. One of the unexpected highlights was the ismus online chess tournament. We knew that everyone watched ‘The Queen's Gambit’ but to attract that many participants and spectators was entirely outside of our expectations. It was incredibly fun to see so much enthusiasm.”


“Something I am very happy about is that even during this corona year, we succeeded at offering first-years a place where they can meet and get to know each other. As an association, we think it is important that they know what ismus stands for and that they feel welcome among us both at the faculty and at the University, especially now. Our first-years committee organised all kinds of things: a game night, a pub quiz, information meetings and – all the way at the start of the year – one physical meeting. It is nice to see and hear that this helped students start friendships. It is also beautiful that despite everything, many first-years still joined ismus. One of our great concerns was that they would isolate themselves in their rooms.”


“A study association is a valuable addition to student life. It is nice to meet people with whom you share a great many interests. Furthermore, because of the variety of activities you undertake together – lectures, sports days, socials, networking meetings, parties, you name it – you really get to know each other well. On top of that, you get to know alumni, lecturers, students from other courses and Political Science students from other universities. Together you can have a lot of fun and you can consult them while choosing a minor or master, looking for an internship or when you are taking your first steps on the job market. This way, you expand your network and with it your perspective. Definitely a recommendation!”

2022: anniversary year

“As ismus chair, I have learned a lot about collaboration, communication and organisation. I have experienced how it is to work in a team, supervise my fellow board members in their tasks and maintain oversight  on the whole association. Despite the great impact of corona, I wouldn't have wanted to miss this year for the world. The title of our policy plan was ‘Making do with what you have’. This turned out to more appropriate then expected and I am proud that we were able to achieve just that. Next year, ismus will turn 20. Our anniversary committee has just started and I hope that our successors make a fine year of it. I greatly look forward to a grand celebration. We are also definitely planning an activity for alumni. This will most likely be a reunion.