The end of the March is almost here! Time for another Get To Know Me(mbers) and for this edition of getting to know your fellow EOS members, we interviewed Francesca Rongoni! Francesca has been active at EOS for quite some time and has been part of multiple committees and activities. With so many different experiences at EOS, we were looking forward to hearing about them and more about Francesca herself!
Hi Francesca! How are you feeling from one to 10?
11! Okay. That’s fair enough. Let’s start the inteview. So you have been here for three years at the university, right?
And for three years you have been in EOS, right?
For how many years have you been in EOS then?
“I’ve been in EOS for 2 years now, so I started in my second year.”
Ah, okay. First question then, what made you join the association in the first place?
“So, a good friend of mine who was on the board last year, we kind of bumped into each other at this ending party, and he was like ‘oh yeah, I’m in the board of EOS now. This is such a cool organization. You should join!’ and I was like ‘I don’t really know many people, so I should probably start opening up because it started going down a little bit’ and so I thought that this is a great opportunity to meet new people. So because of that friend I joined it. Yeah. And have been here ever since.”
Nice! What qualities do you think you have implemented during your time at EOS? Do you feel like you have changed throughout this time?
“Oh, definitely. Yeah. I feel like Covid has made me more introverted and I was basically not talking to anyone and I didn’t have a lot of friends. Plus it kind of coincided with me coming to the Netherlands, so it was harder to make friends and I became very introverted. And I feel like during these two years at EOS, I found my extroverted self again, and I’m finally finding myself after two years of very hard times. So I feel like, yeah, I became more extroverted. I’m meeting new people, I became more friendly and open-minded as well, because I was a bit more I wanna say conservative, a bit close-minded. Yeah. But now I feel like I’m more open to everything and I’m just generally happier with life. Very happy and more positive.”
That’s great to hear! Okay, so let’s talk about then your committee! Or committees in general. Which committees have you tried through EOS?
“My first committee was the Ambiance Committee. I was there with Laurens who’s now External Affairs in the board. That was very fun! We organized two great events. It was the Members Weekend and Beer Cantus last year, and they were one of the best events last year. So it was a nice committee. I think it was the best way for me to actually go and start with EOS because it felt like those events are the ones that make EOS members bond. And now I’m in the Network Committee, that’s my first committee this year, and then I joined the Bachelor Committee.”
How did you choose your committees in general? Like how you see the list, how do you choose the one that you think is right for you?
“Well, I chose Ambiance just because it was honestly a random pick because I saw that the deadline was coming up. But with the Network Committee, I was really passionate about joining the committee because I feel like as an international, I really, really wanted to give opportunities to internationals through the committee, like career opportunities, right? So, um, I thought the best way to bring the change is to be the change. So I joined the Network Committee to just find some opportunities for myself, but also to give those opportunities not only to dutch students but also internationals. And the Bachelor Committee, it kind of happened at random because I used to live in one of the destinations that the Bachelor Committee was supposed to go to for the trip. I really wanted to help, so I joined as a general member, but then, someone left and the destination changed. So I just decided to stay and now I’m the External Affairs and we’re going to Madrid. So, it just kind of happened that way, but I’m glad that it did because it’s, it’s pretty fun to plan a trip, like a big trip with a big group of people. It’s a lot of responsibility, but it’s quite exciting.”
Nice. Okay. And how was the Career Week? Did you feel like you fulfilled your initial motivation coming to the Network Committee?
“I feel like I’m very happy with the number of new companies, like the companies that we brought, and we’ve brought also some companies like PwC, that were not in the Career Week last year. But I also feel like I would’ve liked more companies with an international kind of background and looking for more internationals. Yeah. Because still, it was predominantly for Dutch students. I think we improved it, but I think there’s still room for improvement, you know?”
Yes I feel you. Okay. So you’re finishing your studies now already. How do you feel about that?
“I’m very anxious because I really like being a student. I would say I am quite excited for the future because I am kind of changing from political science to economics right now. Yeah, I’m excited, but nervous because you never know. I kind of ended up in the Netherlands by chance, so I feel like I’m also open to surprises along the way, and hopefully, they’re going to be good ones but yeah.”
And what are your biggest challenges throughout this, like three years of studying here, of moving to another country?
“I feel like being away from my family. We’ve been through quite hard times in these past two years, like even three now and I feel like it would’ve been nicer if I was closer to home to help my family. So being far from my family, it was very hard to find friends because of Covid and because I was just very nervous because it can be very overwhelming. There’s a lot of Dutch people here and usually, people already have their own little groups formed, so it’s kind of harder to blend in. And also learning Dutch, I would say it’s also another very hard thing. But I’m picking it up again!”
You are pretty good at it in my opinion! Okay, my last question in this section is what advice as a senior student could you give to people who are starting their study path. Like me, for example, I’m a first-year student and I have a bunch ahead of me. What advice could you give to people like me or people who are starting their studies next years?
“I think I have two pieces of advice. I would say first, this will sound like an ad, but try to join the study association! I feel like it really helps you to get into that student-life mindset because I missed it for the first year of my university life, and I feel like only now I am catching up. I feel like everyone needs to have the study side and also the fun side because otherwise it’s just very sad and it gets very overwhelming and stressful if you’re just focusing on your studies within the university and you don’t have a social life outside of it. And I feel like for people that are coming in into a new and university and a new place, it will be just so much easier if they’re part of a study association like EOS, to have a ground basis of people that you can talk to every day you know? Just like a social circle. It just gets better for you.
Secondly, also some academic advice. Try to really get into the mindset of the study in your first year. Don’t think like, ‘oh, it’s just the first year, whatever, I’m gonna like study more in the second or third’. I feel like it’s very important to get into the study mindset during your first year, so you have a great basis for years ahead. I feel like it’s very important to combine the social life and the academic life and not to focus on only one. So I feel like that would be the general idea of my advice, actually.”
Great advice! As a finishing question for every single interview, we ask people what their favorite memory at EOS is. What is your favorite?
“Um, I have a favorite memory and a favorite event, I feel like. I feel like my favorite memory is last year of the Members Weekend. It was the final night and we were all sitting around this big fire pit and Joris was playing the guitar and we were all sitting in the circle and we were eating marshmallows and he was singing these songs and everyone was like together and also singing a little bit together. And I feel like it was such a great finishing touch to the weekend. Everyone was just in such a great mood, drunk though, but it was a very heartwarming moment. Uh, and then also just the whole London trip in general. I feel like I was in the great room! I didn’t know the people I was sharing a room with, but it was great! I found great friends and yeah, the London trip, I think it was great because it made me see some of the members in a different light because you usually just spend a couple of hours a day together and you just see their study side, but you don’t see how they are in the morning, as soon as they wake up, or if they’re tired or if they’re traveling, you just see your fellow members in a different light. And it just changes your whole perspective on the person in general. So I feel like London Trip was also great.”
Yeah, it was great, I loved it as well! Okay. Thank you. That’s that. Thanks for the interview Francesca!
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Featured member: Francesca Rongoni, Treasurer of the Network Committee and External Affairs of Bachelor Committee 2022-2023
Interview done by: Laura Bubelytė, General Member of the Media Committee