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AI* of the month March: Maud van de Lockant!

AI* of the month March: Maud van de Lockant!

Thu, 20 Oct 2022

written by Hein de Bont

Interviewed & written by Fenna Rasing

Welcome! Congratulations on becoming AI* of March, can you introduce yourself?


Hello, I’m Maud, I’m 23 years old. I have been studying AI for 5 years now, which is really long. I am now in the first year of my master. In my spare time I like to play football, go running, and drink a lot. And that is about it I think.


Nice! So you are in your first year of your master, how did your bachelors go for you?


My bachelor was actually quite enjoyable. There are always some courses that are definitely not up your alley. But most of it actually went a lot smoother than my whole high school experience. I got quite high grades and it was fun. Only my thesis was the biggest pain in my butt, but I think everyone experienced that.


Did you have a favourite moment in your bachelor?


That’s a good question. Well I went to England for half a year, that was one of the most fun times “studying”. I didn’t really study that much there. I mostly took first year courses in my third year so that was really fun. I was mostly just partying and exploring England.


Why did you decide to go to England?


I knew I wanted to study abroad and I knew that I didn’t want to go that far away, because of family and friends, I would like to be able to still come back. And I want them to be able to visit without it being a whole big deal. And I knew I wanted to go to an English country, because my language skills are absolute shit. Any other language has been so difficult for me. So I knew if I just go to Engeland I will be kind of accepted as their own. And doing groceries and stuff would be so much easier. England or Ireland were the two options and I got accepted in Engeland.


What was your worst culture shock in Engeland?


The food was terrible, and going out was quite different. Going out with internationals was fine, it was just normal. But going out with the English was quite a big culture shock. They dress in these tight skirts and these crazy things in winter. And I was in Leeds which is colder than here. They just keep on drinking and keep on puking. It’s insane. The grocery stores in the Netherlands are stored with vegetables and fruits. Their stores are stored with three ailes of freezers, like pizza’s, meat and pastries. And you have to go all the way around to get to the fruits and vegetables.


Wow that is quite different. Do you think you will go abroad again in the future, for your masters or your work?


I would like to, but it is going to be a lot different. Because as I said, I kind of made a party place out of Engeland. If I will do that in my masters, I would have to take it more seriously and really get something out of it. Also, when you do your internship or go work abroad it is so much different, because you meet very different people. When you are studying you meet your roommates, you meet people at sports, you meet people at uni and it is so much easier to just fit in. When you do your internship you just have to get really lucky with your colleagues. Which is a bit more scary I think.


You are in your masters now, do you already know what you want to do after your master?


Absolutely not. I keep finding things that I don’t want to do later. I think everybody has that in their master, it’s like you think it is going to be different and that you are going to find out a lot of things, but actually it doesn’t work that way. It is just continuing with the same stuff you did before. I definitely know that I don’t want to do something with brain and cognition. Robotics and big data interest me. I think it is just finding the right internship and getting more information there.


That is a good plan. Let’s go off the study topic, why did you want to study in Nijmegen (wait that is still a bit study related)?


When I picked out this study, you had it in Nijmegen, Utrecht, Eindhoven, Amsterdam and also Maastricht and Groningen but I found them to far away from home and my boyfriend. So I went to Amsterdam, Utrecht, Eindhoven and Nijmegen. And Nijmegen was the best recommended in booklets and that kind of stuff. And Eindhoven also interested me but I didn’t want to stay in the same city I have been living in my whole life and then probably keep living with my parents. I just wanted to go out there and explore and make new friends. When I went to Amsterdam they did the whole study in Dutch still. And I thought that didn’t make any sense if you are in the field of AI, because it is so international and everything is English. So that was not going to work out for me.


What is your favourite thing to do in Nijmegen?


That is a good question. I really like playing football here, I play at FC Kunde at the student football club. And it is really fun, they organise all these activities and the whole sunday is just football party day. You go to another club, you play a game and then you come back and have drinks. You really are one big united team. Going out in Nijmegen is also always really fun. Going to the Waalbeach is also fun. Nijmegen just has a lot to offer, I think there is a place for everyone here.


So you say you play football, have you done that for long or did you just start in your studies?


No, I have played football for as long as I can remember. It is actually a funny story. I wanted to play football in a footballclub since I was 6, but my mom said I would grow out of it. She said that girls playing football is crazy. Every year I kept reminding them, so they realised I was not going to grow out of it and signed me up for a waiting list. The waiting list was like 2 years for a boys team. And then the first girls team was created, but the girls in the team were very different ages. I was 9 at that time but I had people in my team that were 14. So I have been playing football since I was 9.


That is very long, do you still want to continue?


Yes definitely, for as long as I can.


Did you win a lot of competitions?


Yes I did! I don’t remember how many but I have always been in quite high teams, which has been really fun, but mostly when I was young. Later on, definitely in the student team it is mostly just for fun.


What is your favourite thing to cook?


I have favourite things to eat, I don’t know if I have favourite things to cook.


Well I can also ask that question. What is your favourite food?


It is gorgonzola pasta (only when my dad cooks it). It is just pasta with gorgonzola cheese, mushrooms and bacon strips. It smells really bad, so I can’t eat it a lot. I have liked it since I was a child.


So what is your life like at home home?


Not that exciting I think, I still have a lot of friends from high school. We still meet up quite often and go on weekends each year. It is still the exact same group that we created in third grade. Other than that I have a brother, which is a pain in my butt. He is still very much going through puberty. He is still living at home. My parents are divorced, but they live a couple of blocks away from each other so that is quite easy. My mom lives with her boyfriend since a year. It also has a lot of advantages when they are separated. I mean everybody can understand that once you live on your own you get really tired of your parents quite quickly. But then I can just go to the other parent and gossip about them. Like: “dad never understands me” and my mom is like “oh I know”.


That sounds great


*Arne is doing a fortnite dance in front of the bk*


What is your favourite type of music?


Rock and alternative music.


*Ishani walks into the board room*


Ishani do you have a question for Maud?


Ishani: Yes, what is your favourite sea animal?


That is a difficult one, I want to say dolphin. Oh wait no, an octopus. I saw a documentary and they are apparently very smart and have all these tactics to survive.


That is actually a really good answer.


Ishani: I was planning on throwing you off but never mind.


We were talking about music, do you have a favourite band?


If I would pick one then radiohead. But I like a lot of different kinds of music, so my playlist are also all over the place. I mainly listen to music that is at festivals.


Do you go to festivals often?


Yeah, almost every year.


Which festivals?


Down the rabbit hole, best kept secret, and some smaller festivals.


What is the craziest thing you have witnessed during a festival?


Well this is not really the craziest thing if you think about it. But I remember my dad taking me to festival when I was young. I remember I went to a festival when I was 12. At the start I had to say I was 11 because then my ticket would be free, which was really scary. But we got in and we had a fun time. At one point I went to the toilet by myself. And I remember so vividly that a guy was puking behind a tree. And I thought that was one of the scariest things in the world and then I ran back. And my dad was like yeah it is fine, he just drank too much. I don’t know why I remember this so vividly but it really scared me. I used to think that drunk people were like the scariest thing in the world because they are very unpredictable. So my parents used to think I would never be that party and drinking person. But I proved them wrong.


How did you become a CognAC member?


It was in my introweek. At that time I didn’t understand the difference between a study and a student association. Which is very clear now, but nobody could explain it to me then. I remember the moment I signed up. We were in one of the college halls and they just gave me this sign up form. I was sitting next to Aline and Sanne (my mom) said I had to sign up, so I signed up for all years, but Aline only signed up for one year, because she didn’t know if this was her study. Back then Aline took me everywhere on her bike because I didn’t have a bike yet.


Did you go to a lot of CognAC activities in your bachelors and what was your favourite?


Yes I went to a lot of activities and I think the CognAC weekend was one of the highlights of the year. When I was in Engeland, they switched the CognAC weekend from May to November, but I was in England the first semester, so I didn’t get to go that year unfortunately.


Was the Lustrum Committee your first committee?


No, in my second year I think, I was in the Parents day Committee, but I was just a general committee member there. After that I wasn’t in any committee, but then I joined the Lustrum Committee. I actually signed up the year before but I didn’t get accepted, but the year after I got to be chair. So this year I am good enough I guess. But PC was also really fun, because I think it is really nice to just organise one specific thing, so you work towards something, which helps with motivation. But both my committee experiences were great.


Okay, random question: what was the last movie you watched?


The new movie with Ryan Renolds, The adam project. It is about time travel. But anything from Ryan Renolds that comes to Netflix I am like yeah, I will watch that.


How did you experience the Lustrum week?


Stressful, I got sick the week after that because of all the stress. But it was really successful. In the week itself we really did it with the whole committee so that was really nice. It was really fun because we also got to participate, which I didn’t really expect. And I didn’t really have that much to do during the activities. It went really great and I don’t really have any real comments about it. I am just happy with out it went.


I am also very happy with the lustrum week and proud of the committee.


Is there anything I can still ask that you want to tell?


You can ask me what I will do next year!


oeh what are you going to do next year?


At the end of July I am going to leave for 7 months together with my boyfriend. And we are going to travel around the world.


Wow, that is so exciting!


I will be back around March and then I have to work. So I am taking a break from my studies. And then I am going to continue with my masters. I went to the study advisor and I said that I wanted to take a gap year I asked if there was anything I needed to know. But she was like no, just deregister and then register again next year, and that is it.


Where are you going?


We are starting in Vietnam and then the idea is to go to Thailand and down to Singapore where we have tickets for Formula 1. Then, Australia, New Zealand, Peru and we are going to end in Rio during Carnaval. I hope it is all going to work out with Corona, right now we don’t have to test for any of the countries.


That is definitely something nice to look forward to!


Do you have a life motto?


Definitely not, but I will think of something.


Live, laugh, love.


My mom has all these quotes on the toilet, it is the worst


Pick one of those!


“When I look at you I don’t feel butterflies, I feel the whole zoo.“


*Cis walks in*


Cis do you have a quick question for Maud?


Cis: Yes, are you going to beestfeest?


No I am sick :(


okay last question: Do you have any shoutouts?


Shoutout to Aline, because since the beginning of our studies she has brought me to every activity, because I don’t follow the calendar at all. That has really gotten me into CognAC


That is very sweet!


Then we have come to the end of this interview, thank you!