Events

Christmas 2018

Hi readers,

I wish you all a merry Christmas for 2018!

I hope you’ve had lovely days and more to come in this period between Christmas and New Year 2019!

Life of an IT student for October, November and December will be up soon and my wishes for 2019!

Lovely greetings by Sophie

Blog · Challenge · Computer Science

Life of an IT student | July 2018

Hello readers,

It’s been a little while since I have written about Life as an IT student. And this month has had two extremes.

Life goes on and a new challenge! Oh happy day …

The last two weeks of July

July was finally halfway. I challenged myself. Figuring out the different disciplines I came in touch with during the past three years of studying. Figuring out a bit what I like and probably will like even more. I crossed paths with a company and they challenged me! I had my first, real, IT-related interview and a short while after even an assessment. WOW! I feel thrilled again that this challenge crossed my path and that I have been given an opportunity to help with what I know so far and getting the opportunity to expand my knowledge and help then even more! That’s what motivates me every single day. Helping others a little bit as a behind the curtains person and being proud of the product and the work you do and the people you work with. And I finally think…I started walking more precisely in the right direction on the right path. This feels so good!

The month of July in less happier days

The first two weeks

The month of July started with the leftover studyrubbish of June. And I am not looking fondly back to the first two weeks of this month. What an internship documenting for the university of applied sciences rollercoaster. So I am sorry for the disappointed tone of voice in the last part of this blog post which rarely happens, but so this event was unique. Life is hard now and then and life is as it is, so is my story. But it starts in the middle with something more happy and a thing I am proud of.

The internship document, a dreadful pain

The month of July started with finalizing my report/assignment of my internship and later on adjusted it, shortened it with a better guideline and thus I handed it in twice. Accepted? No… “too long”. I am sorry for that, I have written precisely about every process of learning during the internships that lasted together for ten months. Tried to prove everything.

I keep asking myself: why? Why feel I like if I am being punished for writing too long. Being punished for trying to do too good, trying to prove myself. Trying to learn and acquire every competence and subcompetence. I do not like to write a short brief story as if it is not real because where is the proof then? They would ask according to the guideline. “Kill your darlings” is a famous saying for writers. And I know I have to do that this weekend. My internships period lasted for 10 months, 5 more than usual. More than 1000 hours of work on location, more than 260 hours of traveling and another 80-100 hours of work in the documentation and gathering all the proof. I am sorry my internship document last around ~80 pages, but that’s my real story. That’s been me during this experience in study.

The summary, what I learned

We are all just human beings, we make good things and we make mistakes. And we are trying to be as truthfully as possible even in the most difficult conversations. But all parties should try their best. Covering things up is useless because it is no feedback so you can not learn from it.

And for students: no matter the company big or small, should fire you from your internship behind your backYour company manager should always at least try to speak to you and discuss your work before mailing behind your back your internship lecturer. And they should be honest in the final meeting or conversation. I learned that I should say honestly as well that I heard the previous conversation and that I felt like being lied too, right in my face. The trust was lost. Truth is the hardest thing but at least it’s the truth.

And the university should – as they mention in their regulations – always help you when you are in trouble. And if they don’t or a lecturer / coördinator neglects or has a lack of time – which is common now with a shortage of lecturers – fight for it! Never let you being pushed down by something you are not a cause of nor can help with it. 

In my case the university did not take their responsibility, it even costs me at least a full semester!! A full year right now even!! But I can understand it with a lack of teachers and a rare situation… I fixed the new internship myself and I am thankful – as mentioned in an earlier blog post – for the opportunity I got from my last internship company thanks to a study friend and the support of my family and closest people. It took me 4 days to organise it! And it took me three weeks to get a decent feedback and approval by the lecturer/coördinator of the university. Saying “Yes” on Monday and preventing a delay and saying “No” on Tuesday and that for three weeks in a row caused the delay of a full semester! My mentrix? She had sadly no voting right in this situation, I thought she had but it seemed only one person had and our trust in each other is gone for now.

It is what it is, but every person has its responsibility! 

Do I look back joyfully on the internship? In terms of looking back at working at and learning from that last company, yes. In terms of the university who says “It’s gonna be the most joyfully part of your study”? Well…obviously no. The worst middle and after-situation I ever experienced and still experiencing since I have to hand it in for the third time…. It’s the most saddest part of my life in study and where I have been fighting for and still am. And I am thankful for the strong support around me of close family and friends because I could not imagine to reach the finish line of this most dreadful experience in study life without their support.

How has been your month of July?

This has been the most sad blog post I have ever written. I am sorry if you had a lovely happy evening or day and made you a bit sad by writing a part of my lifestory. Never forget I am smiling again thanks to the challenges that crossed my path the second half of July. A day only lasts for 24 hours and a week only lasts for 7 days. Sleeping through it or being exhausted of the effort you have put in something, helps. And most of all: appreciating the small little things in life. I love animals and I love the way they appreciate every single day they are alive and live their lives.

So exactly halfway of July I went to the zoo. And a photo says more than a thousand words.

Greetings by Sophie

Blog · Computer Science · Travel

Life of an IT student | June 2018

Hello readers,

The month of June was a month of scattered pieces of lead.

The final days of my internship had started after I started there in december. That was the physical part because I also had to write on the final report. The first week of June was my last week of my internship. I loved working there and in some way I miss it and in the other way…I am just tired of traveling hours a day, walking a few miles a day, keep up the social life, be there for family matters, running a household and studying besides it.

It’s not like going to work all week, come home in the evening and running your household and social life and family in the weekends. You also need to take some rest now and then otherwise you will be exhausted.

I often saw the same people sleeping in the metro in the morning, just a twenty-minute nap. Feeling tired, looking a bit slobby in a suit and just right before they arrive at their destination looking as if they are completely energized for a day of work. — yeah right. Nah. My style is to feel energized for work and excited the moment you leave your house. And if you have not enough sleep so often, well, try to change something in your life because that way of living is not healthy.

The month started for me in the weekend with The Flying Dutch festival in Rotterdam. Supernice! I really loved the lineup the evening started with. First ‘Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano’ followed by ‘Tiësto’, ‘Fedde Le Grand’, ‘Afrojack’ and the final spot was for ‘Armin van Buuren’ and it was incredible! The jubilee edition and a decor which was very Dutch but I loved the music and dancing with friends and having fun.

The rest of the month was quite silent for me as an explorer of events or little things to do. Halfway the month I went to the Rotterdam Zoo and saw a newborn Californian Sea Lion! Again, for the third time within 18 months haha. And I love strolling through the big park. The rest of the month I am occupied with writing my internship report, studying, family, organizing partly two events which all takes place in the first week of July, or to say: in a couple of days from now. Stress? Yes partly, but I am not really a stressful person. I just like to prepare things right and be a bit organized for all the events that take place.

And the weather is luring me to go outside and live life! But first things first: finishing this year of study before I can enjoy this wonderful start of summer! Walking daily a few miles in the afternoon and with a match of soccer in the evening during the FIFA World Cup 2018, my writings days are not always exactly the same.

How has been your month of June?

Greetings by Sophie

Blog · Culture · Travel

July 2017 | Life of an IT Student

Hello readers!

This evening a recap of my life in the month of July! The month beheld the last weeks of study before the summer break and it beheld the first days of my holiday in Edinburgh.

As I have written in the previous recap of the month of June 2017, the first weeks of July were pretty stressful. The last exams of the year, the last weeks of a semester project of the year and I called it in short: the last chances of whatever-needed-to-be-finished of the year.

This month – except for my holiday – I have not visited a lot of events. Just let go the stress, enjoy the piece and sunshine in the few days between the last days of study of the year and my holiday.

Now and then I walked to the Cruise Terminal area, Hotel New York and the little park at the point of the pier. Watched the Queen Elizabeth cruiseship leaving the city. Twice this month in fact haha. The first time I just made a bunch of photos also because of the beautiful sunset. I was way too early before the ship left so had a drink from Hotel New York at the pier and waited, just enjoyed the quietness and the breeze at the point. The second time this cruiseship was visiting the city for a day and was leaving again, I made a little video. How lovely to see how many people, families, acquaintances or just interested people wave goodbyes to all the persons on board. With a ‘See you soon again!’ accompanied of course.

Halfway the month I received bookmail as well and reviewed it shortly afterwards. The book is written by Max Rippe and this is the third novel in a series but you can read it as a standalone book too. You can read the full review here –> A Deadly Run-Off – Max Rippe. Have you read this book? What do you think of the story?

Only one week left before my study break would finally start and a little less than two weeks left before I went on holiday. Ooh now the study stress was turning into a holiday excitement.

Right before I went on holiday to Edinburgh, I had to visit the zoo again. Walking through the park and discover the wonderful habits of the animals. On this day I posted on Instagram a film of the littlest of the elephants who started to practice his trumpet skills and played with water on a brightful sunny day.

A few days later I went on holiday to Edinburgh, Scotland. About my experience there you can read in my special blog series about this travel:

How has been your month of July?

Greetings by Sophie

Animals

Diergaarde Blijdorp | Indian Elephant Playing

In June I have been for another afternoon walk in the Diergaarde Blijdorp / Rotterdam Zoo. In the last hours of the day I walked the path past the elephant area and I saw a little one playing near the water. I captured it on video and made a little compilation to share it with you!

The Indian elephant group in the Rotterdam Zoo exists now of seven animals of three generations. Throughout the past thirty-three years, sixteen little Indian elephants have been born already. The first was Bernhardine, born in 1984 and she was the first elephant ever born in a Dutch Zoo. I think – not sure – that this little elephant is ‘Sunay’, son of Timber and Bangka. He is born on 20 August 2015.

What is your favourite animal?

Greetings by Sophie

Blog · Events · Music

June 2017 | Life of an IT student

Hello readers!

This evening the recap of how my life has been in June! Yesterday I have written about the my life in the month of May – May 2017 | Life of an IT student. June – until half of July – has been quite a stressful month. The last exams of the year, the last weeks of the project of the year, in short: the last chances of whatever-needs-to-be-finished of the year. But nonetheless I enjoy the little things I can enjoy and feel greatfull for the time I get to enjoy those little things.

This month I have worked at several events and visited just as a visitor as well.

The happiness list of the month:

  • The 48th Poetry International Festival Rotterdam – crew
  • The 3rd Flying Dutch Rotterdam – festival guest
  • The 26th Roparun Rotterdam – crew
  • Jazzfestival Hillegersberg – festival guest

Those four big events and also my little afternoon walks through the zoo gave me the moments of joy and rest to keep going on strong during the last weeks of study for the year. I have been studying nearly without a couple of days off since half of August 2016. My mind was focused on achieving my Propedeuse in Software Engineering, fixing a nice internship where I will work hard but will enjoy every day as well. And yes! Looking forward to it to start after my holiday.

Ok one last time a photo of a adorable moment with the animals in the zoo: A group of Asian elephants playing with their fresh leaf-full branches. I also captured a little elephant playing in the water, trying to play it’s trumpet haha and splashing around.

How has been your month of June?

Greetings by Sophie

Blog · Events

April 2017 | Life of an IT student

Time flies when you are…

… busy

… having fun

… living life

… studying hard

… working on your career

… improving and expanding knowledge

… being active and sporting

… and take some rest now and then of course

— ‘April 4th, 2017, written by Sophie van den Akker’

Life of an IT student

Hello readers!

Time really flies between the end of winter and the beginning of spring. The last couple of weeks have been busy and inspiring, motivating by living life and having fun as well, and studying hard to improve my skills and expand my knowledge. Tomorrow is a big day – maybe I achieve my second Propedeuse at a University of Applied Sciences. This time in Software Engineering and I have already a Propedeuse degree in Media & Entertainment Management.

Today started a new project about making a Proof of Concept of an idea in ‘The Internet of Things’ sector. 
Have you ever heard of, or been in touch with, ‘The Internet of Things’ ?
. It seems like not even 50% of people worldwide have really heard about what it is – except for the terminology – and not even 25% has seen or experienced something – knowingly – about it. I will write about this project later on but I will not spoil the idea we have as a project group because we are also making this Proof of Concept for a real company. Tomorrow a final check of workshops before Girlsday. The day we promote coding among young girls a give a little workshop. I do this in the name of the organisation Dresscode Rotterdam, shortly Dresscode. Dresscode is a network of students that promote coding among young women and girls in high or primary or secondary school. We learn to give workshops as well and we design them. It is always a different experience and thursday on April 13th 2017 Girlsday is coming up throughout The Netherlands. Together with some fellow students we give some workshops from different parts of technical studies.

Let’s have a recap about the past two months:

February

In February the previous project was still part of that month. I did not like the project without frameworks, I have written about it in: January 2017 update | Life of an IT student .

The second week of February started with a new semester. This third trimester of the year that is still going on, started with Development Statistics with R and Analysis with Cyber Security. Both subjects are very interesting and different in learning and implementing.
I have also been a lot to the zoo these months because I had more free time and love to visit the zoo now and then when it is not too busy. I have also followed a tour ‘Behind the scenes of the Oceanium‘ in Diergaarde Blijdorp Zoo, Rotterdam. Another blog post will be written about this special tour. Meanwhile I was getting busier with study again but have also visited finally the musical ‘The Lion King’. Yes the Dutch version in the AFAS Circustheatre Scheveningen. But it was lovely and a really really good show! Another blog post especially about this musical visit will come up soon.

The video I made about a Polar Bear in the zoo. Copyright by Sophie van den Akker

The photo of the entrance of the circus theatre in Scheveningen. Copyright by Sophie van den Akker

The Ferris Wheel on the famous pier at the boulevard in Scheveningen. Copyright by Sophie van den Akker

March

In march I have been to a concert in the famous ‘Concertgebouw’ , classic music hall, in Amsterdam. A special concert about not many times performed pieces composed by the composer Mahler and other pieces composed by the composer Elgar. The conductor was Sir Elliot Gardiner and the mezzo soprano was Ann Hallenberg. What a beautiful concert! Classical music is not reviewed before on my blog though I play the piano and the soprano and alto saxophone. I will write a blog post about this as well. The experience of the concert, some investigation about the composers, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the conductor and last but not least the mezzo soprano.

The concert in ‘Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam’. Copyright by Sophie van den Akker

Further on in March I have had some big deadlines for study and another exam week, but that is something that is – until I am doing an internship – always the matter. As a new experience I have given a workshop for teacher training students and I have had several meetings with students and teachers about Dresscode. And last but not least, during the last week of March the Dutch Book Week started! I have been to two talks, one with writer Marcel Möring interviewing writer Connie Palmen. And the talk following up was the talk again hosted by bookshop Donner, writer Marcel Möring interviewing Sonja Barend – a Dutch famous former television personality. It was both lovely and inspiring and a blog post will be coming up.

The two book talks in bookshop Donner, Rotterdam. Copyright by Sophie van den Akker

And as you see I have posted several photos on Instagram and share them now on my blog to have some visuals with my little updates.

How have been your February and March?

Greetings by Sophie