Published on: 27 November 2019
Written by: Kim Bladder

Last Wednesday I had the pleasure to interview the lovely Anna. The interview already started off really nice by Anna giving me cookies to thank me for participating in her experiment. Ahw, such a cutie.

Hey Anna, introduce yourself

I’m Anna, I will turn 24 this Friday (by now last Friday already). I’m German, I have lived in Nijmegen for one and a half years now, but I have lived here before for half a year as well.

Why did you go to Nijmegen?

I did my semester abroad here and it was a partner university of the previous university, where I did my bachelor in Germany. Radboud was also one of the only partner universities of Osnabrück that did AI. Most of them only did psychology or computing science, but I wanted to do AI. When I did my introduction week here during my semester abroad, I was like, yes, I am coming back. So, here I am!

What did you study before?

Cognitive science, but I focussed on AI, math and computing science, so I think I did nearly the same stuff as you are doing in your bachelor. I could have done more stuff in linguistics and philosophy, but I hate philosophy and linguistics is mwah.

What do you like about AI?

What I like about AI is that it is something where there is still so much possibilities. So if you have an idea it is likely, or well, it is very much possible that nobody had that idea yet before. Besides, there is no field you cannot attach to AI. So AI is nice, but you always need an application. You cannot do AI on nothing. I just have so many different interests and I like to combine stuff. So it is nice that you have something, which you can use to combine stuff. I never knew what I wanted to do, because I always wanted to do everything. I liked math, but I also had pedagogical sciences at high school, which was the best way to get some kind of psychology. So I did that and my mom was like are you sure this is of any use. I also worked at a kindergarten for one year and then I started studying cognitive science and everyone was like wow what are you doing.

Did you already live on your own during your bachelors?

Yes, I lived on my own, but my grandparents (#sweeeett) lived really close by, like 2 kilometers apart from me. So every weekend I went to their house and had lunch with them, which was really nice. I didn’t really go home to see my parent or my friends, because even though my home town was close, most of my friends lived closer to the town where I was studying than to my home place.

Where did you grew up?

I grew up on the country side. At the end of the village, so even people in the village would joke about me living so far away. I went home from time to time, but it was often that I didn’t stay home at night. My house wasn’t a farm, we only had a cat. It was fun, but if you would have animals you would at least have had a reason for living there.

Didn’t you like your village?

I liked my neighbourhood, but it was just isolated. Before I could drive, I always had to bike so far, so people from my university when they saw where I lived/ did my high school they even asked me if I would pack snacks to eat for on the way. It’s not that far?! Although for them it probably was quite far.

I kind of get what you mean haha. What do you like to do in your free time?

I spent quite some time with CognAC at the moment with the TraC and the WebC. I mean I can spend a whole evening working on the website.

What are you working on right now?

At the moment I’m creating the front end page of the website. Hopefully that will be how it might look like at some point, but I don’t know. I have a really nice navigation bar so far, so I’m making progress. I have ideas, but I’m just fighting with the software right now, but it will be fine. I do my best. Other than that I like reading, cooking and baking.

What do you like to bake?

I like to bake cookies and in general I just like a challenge. So whenever I see something I want to bake but sounds difficult, I would still try it.

What is your favourite recipe?

Cinnamon buns, which I’m actually going to make today.

Here I’m trying to convince her to bring them tomorrow to uni, but I think Anna rather wanted to eat them herself, which is fair. I mean she already baked me cookies :P.

So you mentioned that you like reading. What kind of books do you like to read, if you have the time to do so?

I usually read in English and then I like all kind of books. I like thrillers, but I haven’t actually read one in quite some time. I like non-fiction too. Sometimes I read 2 or 3 books at the same time, so that can get confusing.

How?!?

Then I like to read one fiction book, one non-fiction book and sometimes then also an audio book and then I realise like oh yes I’m reading 3 books again, whoopsie. I just started doing that some time ago and I really enjoy it.

Weird, but sure ;).

So what do you think you will do in like 5/10 years?

If everything works out perfectly fine, I would have a start-up, my own company. I want to make apps and programs to help students learn. Instead of the whole class is doing the same exercise during math for instance, you just spend a certain amount of time with the exercises that are perfect for you. I would love to do that and if that is not working out, I have a back-up plan B, which is that I would love to open a bakery.

Oeehh, you can start with your own company and then later in like 30 years, you could still start your own bakery.

As soon as I get bored from work, so in my older days, if I become a granny, I just want to bake so that nobody stays hungry.

Anna can definitely make this work and for your info, her cookies are great.

Do you have any guilty pleasures, except from baking?

Yes and eating what I bake, uuuhm, I have a really weird addiction. I just, I love carrots. Carrot cake is nice for instance, but when I moved here I discovered the small packages with carrots and I used to buy one package for every day, but now I decided to just buy regular carrots, because they’re cheaper although I would need to peel them, but that is fine. Yeahh, its just a weird addiction not really a guilty pleasure, I guess.

Still spicy tho. And what is your life motto?

Here Anna is silent for a few seconds.

You know a few weeks ago, someone asked me like hey if you would write a story about your life, what would be the first sentence? I thought about it really hard, but I don’t know. I just always do what I like and if I have to make a decision I just go with the one that I like a bit better. It kind of worked out and if I do something that I hate even though I would be more successful, that would still suck. I rather have fun when doing it. That doesn’t mean that I would stay in bed all the time. Just if I have the motivation to do something, I’m way more motivated.

This might sound weird, but I totally get it.

Oeh I got another deep question. What is your biggest achievement?

Hmmm, I don’t know. I did my bachelor and I was rather proud of myself for achieving that. I actually did it in time (also three years), which I didn’t expect. Oh no wait, actually, it was that I learned English. I always hated English and my mom had to force me to work on my English in the breaks and during the summer holidays, because I was almost failing the course, but now I’m perfectly fine. I just started to talk English and maybe I will even have the same someday with Dutch, but well.

How did you became so fluent then?

After high school I went to the Czech Republic to work in a kindergarten there, but English was the common language with all the colleagues, which is why I learned a lot of English. It also helps to learn a language with children, because you get all the basics and then you pick some extra stuff up here and there. This is also where I learned “I need to pee” in Czech. It’s “churad” but it is probably children language, because I couldn’t find it when I tried to look it up.

Very useful word to learn obviously.

When you came to the Netherlands, did you already know what a study association was?

I had no idea what it was, but I really liked it. I thought it was really, really great. In Germany, where I did my bachelors they tried to do something similar, but I didn’t really get in contact with them. They just always met on Wednesdays in the same pub. So when I came here and I saw everybody was joining the association, I though how can you not join.

So, is that when you decided to join CognAC?

Yeah, I liked the masters introduction a lot. That’s also why I joined the Masters Committee last year, because they looked like really cool people and I knew some, because Lisa and Kai also studied in Osnabrück and I knew them before so I just thought why not join them. I know already some people so it’s fine.

Are there any committees still on your to-do list?

I just would like to join more activities rather than committees. The WebC was one that I would want to do, but I wasn’t sure if I would be able to join them because of my skills, but they ensured me that they would teach me so I joined. I would rather go to more activities than I’m doing now then really join other committees.

So which one is your favourite committee?

Of course, that is… (silence, me: oehhh) I can’t say but I do have my aaaah, okay I’m sorry WebC, but I really like the TraC. I mean the WebC only stays in Nijmegen, how can that possibly be the best committee.

Fair point Anna, I totally agree.

What does CognAC really need?

I think it would be cool if we would have something like a swap shop for whatever. For instance, if you have something that you don’t need any more but is still of good quality, you can just bring it and other people can use it instead of throwing it away or selling it.

Here I suggest the Facebook give-away groups, but that is too much work apparently.

In Proosdij whenever someone moves and has stuff left over, they just put stuff there and then other people can take stuff and leave other things again. You just need to take care that people aren’t dumping stuff, but it would be a cool way to can exchange stuff.

Yeah that would be cool indeed. What kind of pet do you think CognAC should have?

Something fluffy.

Here I’m pointing at all our fluffy animals in the board room: a bear, a dog and a less fluffy but cute rubber duck. (Feel free to come by and check them out!.

I mean, living would be nice too, something you can cuddle. Well I mean I love elephants, but I don’t think they’re nice cuddling material + they won’t really fit here. Maybe a cat and then it would walk around in the tk and just sit on people’s lap and you could use the excuse that the tk-cat walked on my homework or it walked over the key-board and deleted everything. It would need to go outside tho, but a dog isn’t possible at all, because you would need to walk it.

Do you have any shout-outs?

I’m looking forward to Canada. (OMG ME TOO) So yes my shout-out goes to the awesome TraC and all the people joining us. (YEEEYY) Do we have sound effects on the website, because then people can hear you.

Haha, that would be nice though.

I will talk about it with the WebC.