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AI* of the month January: Carmen te Wechel!

AI* of the month January: Carmen te Wechel!

Sat, 19 Mar 2022

written by Ishani Udas

Welcome to your AI* interview! Congratulations on becoming AI*. Could you introduce yourself to our lovely members?

Hey everyone, I’m Carmen. I’m in my second year of my AI bachelor. I’ve been an active member of CognAC since the beginning, having joined the 1C and the PC. This year I am a part of the WkC, TraC and AlmanaC. It’s quite a lot but I do like it!


Haha that indeed is a lot. Let’s start with the beginning, how did you end up studying AI at Radboud?

Well for a long time I had no clue what I wanted to study, so I asked my brother Rico for suggestions who said I should look into AI. I went to the open day with a friend of mine and when the AI talk by Franc was done, we were both convinced that this was the study we wanted. It was nice because other studies seemed too repetitive, however AI was a good combination of a bunch of things. I also went to the open days in Utrecht, Amsterdam and Groningen, but I liked Nimma the best!

There was a small time when I was doubting between CS and AI, and that’s when I talked to Lea Nugteren about the choice and the final decision was AI!


That’s quite the journey, are you enjoying the study so far?

Yes I am! The second year is quite hard though (I feel that) But I quite like it because I can do different things such as psychology and programming. I’m especially enjoying doing it with my friends.


Do you have a favorite course?

Brain and LA are my favorite courses, Societal Impact as well. It wasn’t hard to learn for them because I enjoyed them that much.


That’s really great! Moving on from the study, how is life in Nimma?

I have a room next to Goffert where I’ve been living for a bit more than a year. I quite like it and Nijmegen a lot. I’m originally from Arnhem, so I was convinced that I’ll never live in Nijmegen since its too close. But after the open days, Nijmegen seemed a lot more gezellig. Especially the ambience, the study and the fact that everything is very accessible by bike everywhere. Going home is also very convenient since it’s a quick train ride away.


Is there anything about Nijmegen that you like in specific?

In my first year I joined Phocas as I had rowed beforehand for 5-6 years (woah), so I was very active there. I had training 5 times a week, but now I go rowing when I can. I also really like the restaurants here, they are very cozy.


How was living in Arnhem like?

*confusion* Hmm, what’s interesting about Arnhem? I do think Nijmegen is more fun, but shopping in Arnhem is very easy because its one big street, and has the korenmarkt, clubs and restaurants which is very nice. I used to live with my parents and brother, and I also used to have a fish named Flo which lived for 7(!) years.


If CognAC gets a support animal, I would nominate you to take care of it. If we do, what kind of pet do you think we should get?

Might be basic, but a dog. Would love to cuddle with it. We’ve spoken about it with friends, there’s enough room in the TK for it.


Oh I agree! But for now we’ll have to be happy with Cognactus

Ah yes, but not too easy to cuddle. Maybe if we had a giant version!


(Woah, that would be pretty cool)

You mentioned that you rowed for 5-6 years, do you have any other hobbies?

I really like painting, it takes too much time though. I’m also really into music, I own records and a record player. And when I have a lot of time, I bake something. But that’s rare. I do enjoy carrot cake, with extra frosting of course.


That indeed sounds delicious. And those are quite some hobbies, also including your active membership within CognAC. What’s your CognAC story?

I had heard a lot of about study associations from my brother who is an active member of Thalia and also did a board year. He very much recommended joining the 1C as you get to know the association well. I also asked Lea for committee suggestions, and she suggested the 1C and PC so I joined those 2. And well, the rest is history.


This year you were the chair of the AlmanaC as well! What was it like chairing the first ever magazine of CognAC?

It was my first-time being chair, so I had to learn a lot of things as it was very new. We finished the first magazine at the end of the first semester and it was really nice to see what we had accomplished at the end with the entire committee. It was nice, but also stressful because everything was new. No one really knew how we were going to make a magazine, but in the end it worked out well. We had a lot of fun coming up with columns and top 5 rating sections.


I can imagine! Why did you choose the theme to be a gossip magazine?

When planning, we started with what we wanted the content of the magazine to be. We then eventually came up with a gossip/girly magazine theme because we really wanted the ‘Spill the Tea’ page. We also got more gossip than expected, which was really nice!


Do you have a favorite committee?

I have many different reasons for joining different committees. For example, I joined the TraC since I really like looking for hotels, flights, etc., and I thought I could do the same for CognAC. The 1C I joined on recommendation basis, the PC had the same story and was a relatively serious committee. The WkC was the same reasoning as the TraC, and the AlmanaC because it was a whole new organizational challenge. Each of them has been so diverse, so it’s hard to pick a favorite.


How was it being the 1C in a fully online year, considering that was your introduction to CognAC committee life?

It was VERY different from this year. We had 1 or 2 physical meetings, then the rest were online. We didn’t know any better either, and we were quite a small committee. It could’ve been more fun, but we made the most of it. Our last activity was the Goose Challenge games which slowly became a meme. So I feel like the hype caused by the meme-ness wouldn’t have been there as much if it was a physical activity.


Do you have any committees you still want to join?

The AC, *forgets what committees are there* There’s so many haha

*Ishani: some of them have open spots* *Carmen: like the AlmanaC*

Probably the SymCo, because its very different from the other committees that I am in.


Do you have a generally favorite CognAC memory?

Definitely this past Introweek, where I was a mentor. Even though it wasn’t my intro, I got to meet so many people of whom many I still speak to on a daily basis. Being a mentor was intense, I went into full survival mode for a week. Coming home, ate, head hitting pillow gone, waking up and going into work mode. It was tough but a lot of fun, also to show the new first-years the city and university. I also had very fun co-mentors Kim and Yusuf who I had a great time with.


I also saw you were present at the board info session, are you considering a board year perhaps?

Yes, I am very much considering it! I am set on applying for either Chair or Secretary, but looking forward to the next board information session!


Can’t wait to see you there! However, sadly this interview is coming to an end. Do you have any life advice, end of interview words that you would like to mention?

I have very nice life advice, this morning I woke up hungover but I had promised some friends to go swimming with that morning. Turns out, swimming is the best cure for your hangovers! It felt really nice just laying in the water.


Solid advice there! Finally, do you have any shoutouts that you would like to make?

Yes! Firstly, Lea and my brother, because they helped me with my study choice. And all my friends from CognAC who I have a really fun time with! 


Thank you for the interview and once again, congratulations on becoming AI*!