affiliate · Amazon · Blog · · Coolblue · Marketing · Social Media

The Affiliate Experience | The Start

Hello readers! An important update on my blog about my motivation for blogging and for the almost four-year anniversary of this blog and much longer in blogging itself…, starting with affiliate marketing! Whut? What is that? Well, hereby my motivation and explanation. A very personal written blog post.

The term ‘affiliate’

Last week I learned about the term ‘affiliate marketing’ and from Sunday until today (Wednesday night) I have been busy with setting it up for my blog and also explaining it immediately in a blog page – which can now be found in the menu named ‘Affiliate’. Because since I know about the term and I recognise it’s use, a lot of bloggers and website owners or other social media users, use it. But it is not often mentioned and seems now and then even a taboo to talk about it. I don’t like that, transparency is very important in blogging – no in life in general already in this digital era – so I just start-off with this blog post with a motivation and explanation of it all. And I keep you updated because this is gonna be a series blog post about my experience of being an affiliate now while blogging and if it works or not.

The boxed expectations of being a blogger

When I started with my blog I had no intention to make a little bit of money with it. I love to write and I love to talk so why not combine it so you don’t have to repeat your stories and things you find interesting over and over again? And when I told my story about blogging to others, most people thought I am making money with it and they have this dream vision of that I’ll be as rich as most popular YouTubers nowadays. No, please! I don’t like to hear that! Nor to hear and discover that they expect you to make money out of blogging.

Blogging does not make your rich nor must not be you big intent of writing. Write out of the love for it! I don’t know where the expectation of every blogger or vlogger making money with their stuff comes from. If I’m lucky to experience this once in my life, I’ll write another story about how did it happen. But for now I don’t assume it will happen.

I blog because I love to talk and I love to write! And when I talk I can talk for a few minutes to an hour and when I write I can write from a few hundred words to thousands of words. But in my blog posts I try to keep it limited to less than <1500 words per blog post. And I love being a (digital) creative. Design a website, design an application, code it and go from simple structures to more complex ones. Create some mini macramé bracelets, draw something and so on… I like a challenge and this feels like a challenge and improvement in efficiency.


(Book)Stores provide more information about their books than I do in my review. I write about the feeling and the experience of reading it and the how’s so and so. Not about a fact like price or quantity or shipment or originated (except from language). Those are variables that can change. Not stated facts. But from now on you can see that extra information in your favourite store through the link. And if you want, purchase it. Easy right? So, enough talk about motivation?


Transparency is very important with blogging so the moment I started with an affiliate program, halfway February 2019, is the moment I started writing this Affiliate page. Most of it I repeat in this blog post because this blog post is the start of a new series of blogs: ‘The Affiliate Experience’ to give insights in what it is and how it works and if it truly works in my case. I review books, films and series and now and then I write about travelling, events or products and tools I stumbled upon. So in short… I write about the feeling of an experience and the tools that are useful for such experiences.

How affiliate marketing works

By writing about my experiences and those tools and products, I already promote them a bit. Why not make it easier for you as a reader to give a link: where you can borrow or subscribe or buy or find more information about the product too?

So how it works is as follows: now and then I provide a link within the text I write.
Such as this: Sophie’s Blog | Home Page.
If this is an affiliate link and is in such a paragraph not immediate clear, I will make it clear in the name.
Such as this: Amazon US | Home Page.
Otherwise I provide below the paragraph or below the whole blog post, a clear list with the links provided for every kind of affiliate program I am part of so you have a lot to choose between!


This means that if you for example live in The Netherlands and are used to order stuff at or, you can still do that! If I provide a link for those stores, you know – the same or otherwise mentioned – the product can be bought there too. So it is not shop restricted.

The commission

For every product that is bought through the link I provide – without Google interference or a time span of more than 14 days – I get a few % commission. This varies per shop and varies per product. It ranges from 1% – 10% (very rare). Most common is a commission rate between 2% – 6% per product. Every product category and every product has it’s own commission % specified for most affiliate programs. So it is complex for an affiliate. But for you as reader of my blog it is simple! It’s even a win win!

Another true (US) example

Do you want to try one month free Kindle Unlimited and enjoy the freedom where you can explore over one million titles of books and can explore thousands of titles of audio books? Unlimited reading, unlimited listening and suitable for every (common) device!
Try it out here: Kindle Unlimited
Also available for other countries; it is just another link. See the list below.

A little explanation which companies and why I am an affiliate for those and a list of countries / geography.

Amazon is the nearly worldwide for most consumer products in the daily life you can think of. No cars though… but a lot of other stuff. Now and then I have to order for example some IT study books at amazon or specific camera lenses. Also Goodreads is part of Amazon and I keep track of my reading habits through Goodreads.

Because it is worldwide and originated in USA, it is easy for my US citizen readers, and all the other country citizens of the list below, to buy their stuff there. A list of the Amazon Affiliate program(s) I’m part of:

Full Amazon product list through my blogs can be found here (in creation).

My personal links per affiliated country:

Amazon is not situated in The Netherlands nor Belgium nor Luxembourg, so… there is an website but it is distributed from somewhere outside The Netherlands (one of the above mentioned programs). So please order through

Full product list through my blogs can be found here (in creation). is one of the Dutchies biggest consumer small product suppliers. At you can e.g. buy little presents, clothes, beverages, animal supplies, toys and of course books! And they have an ebook / reading program with Kobo.

My personal link:

Full product list through my blogs can be found here (in creation).

Coolblue is the shop where everything is a little bit bigger. And they have real shops to visit and test the products too! No books but stuff like bicycle parts, kitchen, television and so on… Partly a competitor of but not completely if you compare the above mentioned! So I wanted that to make sure. 

My personal link:

Donner bookstore

Full Donner booklist through my blogs can be found here (in creation).

The Donner bookstore, located in Rotterdam, The Netherlands; is my all time favourite bookstore! I’m visiting this bookstore regularly, came there already since I was little or probably before I was born as well. And throughout my life, I bought most of my books there. For already 25+ years! So because I like this store so much and because it has a special place in my heart… every time when I write a bookreview, I will include a link to the book at this bookstore as well (if available). For my fellow Rotterdam area or travel distance citizens: you know then which books to find there too when I write about it :).

Thank you!

Thank you for taking time to read this long blog post. I hope you learned a bit more about what affiliate marketing is and maybe you recognise it on other sites from now on as well. And if you already knew, I hope you like my approach and like what I’m now trying.

If you have any advice or any questions regarding this blog posts and the shops related, feel free to ask by replying with a comment or Contact Me page.

Loves from Sophie


Happy New Year 2019!

Hello readers,

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

A video of the New Years Eve show I have been watching in Rotterdam. Enjoy watching!

View this post on Instagram

Happy New Year 2019! 🍾🥂📸🎆🎉 It was a marvelous show, for eight full minutes fireworks from the Erasmusbridge programmed on music! 🎶 The first video: A minute halfway with lovely colors Swipe for video 2: The last minute with the end part and lots and lots of fireworks! 🎆 Wish you al the best, healthy, happy and supporting strength for those wishes to come true! 🍾🎉🥂 Loves from Sophie Fireworks by @hetnationalevuurwerk Beautiful music composed and performed by @rdamphil #happynewyear #2019 #Rotterdam #nationalfireworks #TheNetherlands #brightnight #brightcolors #marvelousshow #fireworks #photography #music #fireworksfilm #photographynight #blogger #sophievda #gelukkignieuwjaar #2019hasstarted #rotterdamphilharmonic #nationalevuurwerk

A post shared by Sophie (@sophie.vda) on


Best wishes and love for 2019 from Sophie


Blog · Challenge · Events

Life of an IT student | October 2018

Hello readers,

The month October was a very busy month full with study, city trips and short travels related to study and an amazing magazine project where I had the opportunity to interview ambitious women in the tech world.

I’ve had several jubilee activities and festivities from the company I work at. Loved it! Teambuilding, the things we achieved so far, milestones, as a big team working together… life lessons you learn. It’s always a challenge and therefore always fun!

Halfway the month I traveled a lot. To Utrecht, The Hague and the High Tech Campus at Eindhoven for the magazine CURIOUS / IT. I had the opportunity to interview together with colleague Melanie Lopes Andrade the ambitious women:

CURIOUS / IT Magazine

Thanks to the CURIOUS / IT magazine project I had the chance to interview several ambitious women about their experience in IT and their advice for young girls and other women. What was it an amazing journey! The magazine is published on October 29th, 2018

My LinkedIn post about it in Dutch, the translation of the text to English:

CURIOUS / IT! The magazine where I, together with a great team, in the past five weeks, worked extremely hard for to achieve this amazing result.


Thanks to the entire team and the support for this super experience! Together with Melanie Lopes Andrade I’ve had four nice interviews with inspiring women and seen the tech behind the scenes of several companies.


“The magazine of Hogeschool Rotterdam / Institute for Communication, Media and Information Technology to make girls enthusiastic about the IT world. Read or download it via the link below! ”


Curious/IT download –> below the article is a PDF version, all in Dutch.

At the end of the month I’ve been in Gouda to a theatre college talk given by Joris Luyendijk: “Het zijn net mensen 2.0″. It gave me a lot of media insight, a view on journalism and how small things can turn into big stories and how big things can turn into small stories. To summarize it, my opinion: The world is a matter of each individuals’ perception. It is all just a matter of perception.

How has been your month of October?

Greetings by Sophie


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


Profiel | Alexander Pechtold

This blog is a guestblog in Dutch to exchange ideas and expertises with my colleague writers of the minor Crossmedia Journalism at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.
Use for English the Google Translate plugin in the footer of this website. Enjoy reading!

Babette Sutter, 17 november 2018

Afgelopen zaterdag, 6 oktober 2018, heeft Pechtold zijn aftreden als fractievoorzitter van D66 bekendgemaakt. Pechtold had altijd een goed imago in de politiek, tot er een tijd geleden allemaal verhalen naar buiten kwamen over zijn privéleven. Tijd voor een kijkje in zijn leven en politieke carrière.


Alexander Pechtold is geboren op 16 december 1965 te Delft.

Pechtold begon als student rechten aan de Universiteit Leiden. Hij heeft deze studie niet afgemaakt, maar is gewisseld naar en afgestudeerd in kunstgeschiedenis en archeologie. Na zijn afstuderen is hij een aantal jaar veilingmeester geweest in Den haag, wat natuurlijk goed aansloot bij zijn studie.

Pechtold woonde met zijn vrouw, twee kinderen en hun kat Lieffie in Wageningen. Inmiddels zijn de twee gescheiden. In zijn vrije tijd trekt hij graag met een bijl het bos in om hout te hakken. ”Heel ontspannen. Het praat ook niet terug, dat hout.” Zegt hij in een interview met Eigen Huis en Tuin.

Hij is dol op katten en heeft een hele muur vol met kattenkunst, allemaal vernoemd naar politici.

In december 2016 bracht Pechtold zijn boek uit, genaamd “Optimist in de Politiek”. Volgens de achterflap gaat het over zijn achtergrond, zijn jeugd en zijn opvoeding. Ook schrijft hij voer zijn ideeën voor de toekomst van de Nederlandse samenleving.

Hij bracht in 2012 al eerder een boek uit: “Henk, Ingrid en Alexander” waarin hij met PVV-kiezers in gesprek gaat.

Politieke loopbaan:

In 1994 werd Pechtold raadslid van D66 in Leiden, de partij waar hij sinds 1989 al lid van was. Drie jaar later, in 1997, werd hij wethouder.

In 2003 werd hij ook burgemeester van Wageningen, waar hij tot op heden woont.

In 2005 werd Pechtold benoemd tot minister van koninkrijksrelaties en bestuurlijke vernieuwing. In 2006, een jaar later, volgde Pechtold Thom de Graaf op als fractievoorzitter en partijleider, wat hij tot deze maand is geweest, bijna 12,5 jaar.

Toen hij net begon kreeg D66 een flinke nederlaag te verduren tijdens de verkiezingen, die hen maar drie zetels opleverde. In de jaren dat Pechtold aan het hoofd heeft gestaan van de partij is deze flink gegroeid. De verkiezingen van 2017 hebben D66 maar liefst 19 zetels opgeleverd: een winst van 7 zetels.

In 2013 was Pechtold bijna burgemeester van Utrecht geweest, aldus hemzelf in een interview met Vrij Nederland. Dit is niet doorgegaan, mede omdat zijn partijgenoten het niet zagen zitten. “Je partij heeft je nodig” waren de woorden die tegen hem werden gezegd.


Afgelopen jaar was er veel kritiek op Pechtold. Volgens Trouw had hij een appartement in Scheveningen gekregen van een ex-diplomaat uit Canada, maar dit niet gemeld in het geschenkenregister van de Tweede Kamer (Markus, 2018). De waarde van dit appartement bleek maar liefst € 135.000 te zijn. Corruptie was niet te bewijzen, maar dit riep wel verdenkingen op.

Na zijn scheiding kreeg Pechtold een relatie met D66-raadslid Anne Lok. Toen dit uitging, kwam zij met allerlei sappige verhalen over hun relatie. Hij zou haar hebben gedwongen een abortus te plegen. Zelf ontkent hij dit met klem en zegt zich totaal niet in het beeld wat zij van hem heeft geschetst te herkennen, volgens Hart van Nederland.


Zaterdag 6 oktober heeft Pechtold bekend gemaakt dat hij aftreedt als partijleider van D66. Voor de meesten kwam dit niet als een grote verrassing, er werd al langer over gespeculeerd. Volgens Pechtold zelf speelden de berichten over zijn affaire geen rol bij zijn aftreden. Mark Rutte noemt het vertrek van Pechtold “een groot verlies voor zijn partij en voor de Nederlandse politiek.”.

Art · Blog · Events

Achtergrond & Sfeerverslag | Kinetische kunst viert 100 jaar

This blog is a guestblog in Dutch to exchange ideas and expertises with my colleague writers of the minor Crossmedia Journalism at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.
Use for English the Google Translate plugin in the footer of this website. Enjoy reading!

Kinetische kunst viert 100 jaar

Kinetische kunst is een unieke kunstvorm, omdat bij deze kunststroom beweging centraal staat. Terwijl je naar meeste kunstmusea gaat en naar een beeld of schilderij staart, is kinetische kunst een andere ervaring omdat het meer interactief is. Dit jaar viert kinetische kunst 100 jaar en om dat te vieren is er vanaf 22 september 2018 tot en met 20 januari 2019 in de Kunsthal Rotterdam de tentoonstelling ‘Actie <-> Reactie’ te vinden van deze kunststroom.

Natisha Engel | 12 november 2018

Met de naam ‘Actie <-> Reactie’ wil Kunsthal Rotterdam het duidelijk maken dat de bezoekers tijdens deze tentoonstelling niet alleen kunnen zien hoe bepaalde kunstwerken in beweging komen, maar dat ze ook mee kunnen doen met sommige stukken. De expositie bevat ongeveer 80 kunstwerken van verschillende artiesten. De expositie is verdeeld in twaalf thema’s, waarin verschillende aspecten van waarneming en ervaring naar voren komen. Licht, beweging, ritme, structuur, vibratie, ruimte, radiatie, immaterialiteit en draaiing zijn allemaal verschillende onderwerpen die tevoorschijn komen tijdens deze tentoonstelling. De kunstwerken zijn bestemd om verschillende zintuigen te prikkelen en door participatie het een unieke ervaring te maken voor de bezoekers.


De kinetische kunstbeweging begon vanaf de 20e eeuw. Maar pas na de Tweede Wereldoorlog is kinetische kunst een belangrijk onderdeel geworden van de kunstwereld. Kunst werd op dat moment minder materialistisch en iets werd pas kunst beschouwd als de toeschouwer dat waarneemt of ervaart. Dankzij de tentoonstelling ‘Le Mouvement’ die in Parijs in 1955 heeft plaatsgevonden, ontwikkelde kinetische kunst verder. In de tentoonstelling van Kunsthal Rotterdam worden er zowel oude als nieuwere kunstwerken gedemonstreerd.


Adilon, B. (z.d.) Jesús Rafael Soto, Pénétrable de Lyon, 1988, collectie Musée d’Art.

Aan het begin van de ‘Actie <-> Reactie’ tentoonstelling word je gelijk tot actie gezet. Het kunstwerk ‘Pénétrable de Lyon’ van Jesús Rafael Soto trekt gelijk je aandacht. Dit kunstwerk is een oranje gordijn van buizen waar je doorheen kan lopen. Terwijl je doorheen loopt, voel je alsof je de normale wereld verlaat en een nieuwe binnenstapt. Om je heen vind je verschillende kunstwerken die gelijk je aandacht trekken en weet je als bezoeker niet waar je als eerst heen moet. Bij elk kunstwerk voelt elk bezoeker zich verbonden met het kunstwerk op een of ander manier, omdat elke toeschouwer elk kunstwerk anders ervaart.

Wat ik ook erg bijzonder vond tijdens mijn bezoek, was de ‘Blaues Segel’ van Hans Haacke. Dit kunstwerk is eigenlijk een blauw kleed dat in beweging wordt gebracht door een fan die eronder aanstaat.

Neeb, W. (z.d.) Hans Haacke, Blaues Segel, 1964-1965, Collectie FRAC Grand Large – Hauts-de-France, Duinkerke.
Neeb, W. (z.d.) Hans Haacke, Blaues Segel, 1964-1965, Collectie FRAC Grand Large – Hauts-de-France, Duinkerke.

Hierdoor maakt het kleed de bewegingen van golven na. Dit stuk was voor mij een highlight van de expositie, omdat het eigenlijk heel simpel is en dit kunstwerk niet veel componenten heeft. Maar door de beweging van golven die Hans had weten te creëren, laat de artiest duidelijk het concept van ‘less is more’ zien.

‘Le Prisme’ van Nicolas Schöffer heeft beweging op een ander manier aangepakt. De kunstenaar debuteerde dit stuk in 1965 voor het eerst en verschijnt opnieuw tijdens de tentoonstelling.

De Kunstmeisjes (z.d.) Nicolas Schöffer, ‘Le Prisme’, 1965, Collectie Éléonore Lavandyra Schöffer, Parijs
De Kunstmeisjes (z.d.) Nicolas Schöffer, ‘Le Prisme’, 1965, Collectie Éléonore Lavandyra Schöffer, Parijs

Het werk van Schöffer trekt gelijk je aandacht door de verschillende lichten die er aanwezig zijn. Hij heeft een prisma gemaakt door spiegels in een driehoek te plaatsen en te experimenteren met laser- en lichteffecten. Dit kunstwerk brengt beweging in het licht door je zintuigen van zien aan te tasten en blijf je automatisch een tijdje betoverend naar het werk staren.

Tijdens de tentoonstelling zijn er genoeg kunstwerken die de aandacht van de toeschouwers trekken. Tijdens het bezoeken van de expositie is het belangrijk voor de bezoekers om hun tijd te nemen en elk stuk te appreciëren. Het is makkelijk om je overweldigd te voelen omdat er zoveel om je heen gebeurt. Maar er is geen tijdslimiet of haast bij het bezoeken van deze tentoonstelling. Voor mij was deze expositie echt wat anders dan normaal en hopelijk heb ik jou nieuwsgierig en enthousiast gemaakt om deze kunstroom een kans te geven met de foto’s en de hierboven beschreven highlights.

Blog · Events · Music

Recensie | Musical The Lion King terecht al meer dan twee jaar kippenvelbezorger

This blog is a guestblog in Dutch to exchange ideas and expertises with my colleague writers of the minor Crossmedia Journalism at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.
Use for English the Google Translate plugin in the footer of this website. Enjoy reading!

Musical The Lion King terecht al meer dan twee jaar kippenvelbezorger

De Disneymusical The Lion king: ook wel de koning der musicals, zoals gepresenteerd door Stage Entertainment. En terecht, want na de première op 30 oktober 2016 in het AFAS Circustheater in Scheveningen staat deze musical nog steeds als een huis. Het prachtige en snel wisselende decor, de adembenemende kostuums en de zuivere samenzang bezorgen drie uur lang kippenvel bij het publiek.

Jill de Jong | 7 november 2018

The Lion King | Foto © Deen van Meer
The Lion King | Foto © Deen van Meer

De aftrap van de musical is al indrukwekkend. Vanuit meerdere kanten in de zaal betreden dansers en beesten, zoals reusachtige giraffen- en olifantenkostuums het podium. Vanaf dat moment waan je je in Afrika en de productie zorgt ervoor dat je dit gevoel tot het einde vast houdt.

Muziek van Tim Rice en Elton John worden wederom ter horen gebracht en karakters als Nala, Simba, Timon en Pumbaa nemen het publiek weer mee door een junglereis van emoties. De reis begint bij de geboorte van Simba. De Jonge Simba vlucht nadat hij gelooft dat hij de oorzaak is van het overlijden van zijn vader Mufasa (David Concalves). Hoewel Simba de troon van zijn vader zou overnemen, wordt dit nu gedaan door de broer van Mufasa, de slechterik Scar (Jorrit Ruijs). Het publiek ziet hoe Simba (Naidjim Severina) opgroeit in het gezelschap van Timon (Steve Beirnaert) en Pumbaa (Mike Wauters) en van hen de wijsheid ‘Hakuna Matata’ als levensmotto overneemt. Na enkele tijd loopt Simba Nala (Gaia Aikman) weer tegen het lijf, die dacht dat Simba dood was. De liefde bloeit op en samen veroveren ze de troon van zijn slechte oom Scar terug.

De musical The Lion King is in Nederland al eerder op de planken geweest tussen 2004 en 2006. Toch lijkt deze versie een modern tintje te hebben gekregen. Vooral de rol van vogel Zazu (Barry Beijer) draagt hier op een grappige manier aan bij door bijvoorbeeld het zingen van het Disneynummer Frozen of het uit zijn rol stappen om zich te realiseren dat de theaterdoeken lijken op Hemagordijnen.

Helaas kondigt Stage Entertainment aan dat er volgend jaar een einde komt aan dit spektakel. De laatste voorstelling van The Lion King wordt gespeeld op zondag 21 juli 2019. Jong, oud, musical- en Disneyliefhebber of niet, hier wil je bij zijn geweest. Dus voor wie de musical nog niet heeft gezien: komt dat zien!

Blog · Computer Science · Travel

Life of an IT student | August 2018

Hello readers,

Time flies! The month of August had a lot of sunshine literally and figuratively and since then everything goes with a quick flow.


August started with a new accepted challenge: working as a junior software tester at an international company. And because it was my study summer holiday, I worked a lot, getting training, getting into a work rhythm, taking part in several company events and so on. It feels like I have found the right place. Meanwhile I still hadn’t been on holiday. And work wasn’t the only challenge. I was already a bit preparing for the minor ‘Crossmedia Journalism’ I am currently following in my studies. What does it have to with my software engineering studies? Well uhm, a more unique combination? Explaining IT to a non-IT’study’ing person? Help other people by explaining stuff? And this way I am creating a combination of my previous studies with my current study and when I graduate I have a creative and technical bunch of knowledge and experience.


Summer holiday and due to the previous months, taking rest and move on with new life experiences was the highest priority. Halfway August I started looking for a nice destination for my summer holiday. Where would I go to? What would I like to visit? Many countries and their cities crossed my mind. So much on my travel list, so much on my to-do list and I still don’t call it a bucketlist. Last-minute I decided to visit London! A city way bigger than any in The Netherlands, a history that even goes back to the Roman times. The past couple of months I have watched most documentaries about Britain. ‘The Secrets of…’ series, all seasons of ‘Great British Castles’ narrated by Dan Jones, the great historian who has written wonderful detailed books about subjects such as Magna Carta and The Templars. Can’t wait for new historical series. And during my holiday and when I am travelling anyways, I am addicted to sunrises, sunsets or light-inspired photograph moments. How many airplanes are in this photo?


Last time I have been in London was over a decade ago, back in 2007 at an international music competition with the school orchestra. Three days of London and we won the Silver Award of the orchestra’s and the Spirit of London award. This time I would go for a week, the year of ‘Paddington Bear’. Who doesn’t know this lost bear from Peru with always a marmalade sandwich hidden under his hat? And of course London and the Royals and politics. There is so much culture in London, more then I expected or ever imagined. Amazing!  But I won’t tell too much about London in this blog post. Special blog posts with all my notes and experiences from this holiday will come up. A series about London, just like the series I have written about Edinburgh.

End of the month

The last preparations of the new study year were made, my house got a thorough summer clean and upgrade as I always call it. Buying some improvements for my furniture, some reorganization and some stuff to help to plan things through. Because this study year and next one combining with work, social life and some sports and keeping space for blogging and challenges. Will be a challenge to plan and to manage everything. Keeping enough rest in mind and moments to read because besides news and informational reading, I have a reading challenge ahead to finish before the end of the year. The Goodreads Reading Challenge and the Hebban Reading Challenge. Twenty-five books total and at the moment I am a bit too far behind.

How has been your month of August?

Have you been on holiday?

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