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AI* of the month November: Niels Wolters

AI* of the month November: Niels Wolters

Mon, 3 Dec 2018

written by Jorrit Geels

Tell me something about yourself!

I am Niels Wolters, 21 years old, born and raised in Nijmegen. I’ve also been to highschool here (shoutout to Kadinsky College Maldenburgstraat). I have one brother, and two sisters, all three younger than I am.

Why did you join AI in the first place?

In my high-school I did a subject that involved robotics. I really enjoyed it, and when I heard AI was a thing I could studying, I was hyped. I still really enjoy the robotics and programming courses, but the brain and cognition courses are also very interesting. The only thing I am not that much into is math and statistics.

What year did you start studying?

I am a fourth year AI student, still going strong on the Bachelor. I will most likely finish my Bachelor in my fifth year.

I see you’re taking your studies a bit slower. What do you do next to your programme to fill your week?

In my first year I still focussed a lot on my friends from highschool. I was also still really active at my football club and I worked a lot. Then I actually did not get my BSA but I was allowed to stay (I got 39 points instead of 40), but I had to get my propedeuse in the second year; I did!

In my third year I did a board year at CognAC. Nowadays I don’t play football at a dedicated club. Instead, I do some sports courses at the Radboud Sports Centre. I also like hanging out with friends, playing the piano and making music.

Can I highlight your soundcloud?

Sure, but there’s a lot of trash on there.

Here’s the link I received from Niels: https://soundcloud.com/newoll. Go and give him some streams

What is your favourite genre to produce?

I produced quite some big-room / progressive / electro house up until now, as it is the easiest to do. The genres are very vague, so I’m not sure what it is. I would love to learn to produce hardstyle one  day, though. However, my musical career is not really my priority right now.

Moving swiftly through the personal questions, do you have any cute pets?

My sister has a lovely rabbit. He is called Fleurtje. I own an aquarium at my parents’ place, but it was too big for my room here.

Speaking of your room, yours is quite well-known.

Yeah hahah. I live right next to the Kronenburgerpark, a very nice location. People always want to pee at my place when we’re chilling in the park, which they of course always can! Some people even know my house from the toilet and not even from me living there. Quite strange… But living there is really nice, I have cool roommates: Je girl Fien and Bossa Bas also live there, as well as Tommie.

You said that in your first year you mostly hung out with friends from high school. When did you become active within CognAC then? Did you even have time for it?

In my first year, I literally did nothing. I don’t even remember going to the Lustrum party, but I later discovered I was there when I found a picture of me there. I did go to BeestFeest sometimes, but due to having sports three times a week and working two evenings as well, I couldn’t come to most activities.

Where did you work?

I used to work at het Zwaantje, as either as bartender or as waiter. I really enjoyed just pouring drinks and making people happy. Good shit. But in my second year I stopped both there and at my football club and my relationship with my girlfriend ended around that time as well.. This freed up a lot of my time, and I decided to join some committees.

Which committees?

I joined the AC, SpoC, DAtA and the OrC. I was approached by Appie, our good old Praes, at some point whether I wanted to be in the board. I started thinking about it, and then I decided to do it.

That’s quite a turn of events!

Yeah hahah, I went from inactive to really active to board member. I even considered doing something completely different this year, such as doing loads of sports. But in the end I enjoyed the board life so much that I wanted to do another year, so I applied for NKSW Kompanio.

Yes! Explain us, what is Kompanio and what do you do?

Kompanio is the umbrella association for all social science’s study associations. Kompanio organises a couple of things: the buddy project, Social Sciences in your Future and the S-cape parties (formally known as S-feest).

I am the formal affairs officer, which makes me responsible for, for instance, the promotion and enrolment of the buddy project, and the Social Sciences in your Future (the career events of Kompanio). I maintain contact with the assessor of social sciences. The assessor is part of the faculty board, and represents the study associations within the faculty. If she has a question, she will ask me to go around all associations and formulate one final answer from all study associations.
As Kompanio, we also organize the FOSS. This is a meeting with representatives from each study association, as well as a representative from the faculty student council and the assessor.

Why did you become Formal Affairs Officer?

I applied for Formal Affairs Officer as I was really interested in as it was something completely new for me. It challenged me the most, I was also keen on learning more about the faculty, as well as that I thought the buddy project was a very cool concept.

Tell me something about the buddy project!.

The buddy project is a lot of fun, it is a project in which currently 55 people are participating.

How does it work?

You sign up as either “an experienced” person or “an inexperienced person”, usually exchange students or internationals, and then I make the buddy groups. You and your buddy can stay in touch how much you want, but most people really enjoy having someone to ask all their questions to, or for instance joining them for dinner every once in a while. It can be very low-key.

We also organize some voluntary central activities for the buddy project participants. As I stated, it is really a lot of fun. Sign-ups will be open again around January!

The Social Sciences in your future took place this week. What did you think of it, as it was the first edition?

It went really well. Everyone that was there enjoyed it a lot! Especially the interactive lecture was very interesting. There were also six workshops, of which three were in English. We also organized a CV-check in the break with the career officer, but it was so popular that the queue was only finished after the break.

Are you looking forward to S-cape?

Fourth of December, buy your tickets now in the board room or at the DAtA D.E.E.R.P.O.N.G. drink for €2!

Yes! We have one DJ that is from Malden and tours around the world, and played on for instance Tomorrowland.

Last Kompanio question, why would you apply for the Kompanio board?

As the Kompanio board you are helping out all the other boards from Social Sciences, so being approachable and/or sociable is a nice feature to have. It does not take as much time as a board year at a study association, so if you don’t want to lose as much time, but you are still keen on getting to know the board life and learning all sorts of skills, then it’s a good option.

Going back to CognAC: you also were in two committees last year, right?

Yes! I was in the first Party&Co and SweC.

Do you still have committees on your to-do list?

The XC seems really cool, but also the WkC is on my list.

WkC! You are also in the weekend committee of SV Leonardo Da Vinci, right?

Yeah! We are going to Brugge with 40 people, and today the registration opened: we had around 60 enrolments. There is a beerfestival going on at the time, which will be really fun.

Why do you think you became AI*?

Well.. as Sander said, I think because I was in 6 committees in two years, and I think most people know me as I am often present at activities. I also did a board year here of course, from which I learned a lot. I am now representing CognAC within the Kompanio board, where I apply all the things I learned last year. I am still active in the AC and the Party&Co!

Niels stole my lines. Niels is well-known for his efforts and his successes, as well as his ability to always set the mood and make people hyped, usually doing so by… saying “Hypie”.

You’ve been around for a while now, what does CognAC really need in your eyes?

I wish we would have a bigger board room, where we actually have space to chill. The BK is too small for members to really relax, and the TK is more like a workplace. Postelein, our neighbours, have couches, a small kitchen and music playing during the breaks. Although our board room is open for the members, there is not that much space.

However, in the new Spinoza Building, our board room will be bigger. We will also have a general space where members can sit down, so hopefully that will fix it.

The last set of questions are basically just random questions where I hope to get to know the real Niels. What is your greatest achievement yet?

Hmmmm this is a really hard one. Becoming AI* is up there if course 😉 Not sure actually, something that pops up in my head now is the things I introduced last year, such as for instance the weekly meme.

What is your favourite weekly meme? Then I can include it!

Pohhh! The Kareltje meme was the only OC one, it was very easy to get and the meme format was relevant. I was really proud.

Here you go:

What’s your favourite thing to cook?

Now I have to say Pasta Nelis of course!

Is that actually a thing? Tell me the recipe!







-Sundried tomato pesto

-Olive discs

-Fresh thyme, oregano, sage (!!!), perhaps some basil

-Optionally add parmesan!

When making this, definitely put the pasta in the sauce pan for a couple of minutes!

I am so going to make this, thanks a lot! Next question: do you have a life motto?


We both laugh for 5 seconds straight

Do you have some fun facts about yourself?

My birthday is the day after 9/11, which you can remember from the following story: on the 12th of September, 2001, I brought Styrofoam airplanes as my birthday treat to school. My parents did not know the news, and afterwards they got a call from school…

What is something you always wanted to do? So, kind of your number 1 bucket list item?

This might sound weird, but I always wanted to break a window using a guitar in which I first put a brick. I really hope both the guitar and window break at the same time. The brick is just there for extra weight.

Okay… but… why?

I don’t know.. I have been wanting to do this for a really long time. I really hope there will a CognAC activity one day where we do this.

Hmmm… we could host a drink where we break all kinds of old things? Or perhaps an auction: the highest bid gets to break the object.

That sounds so sick. I will be there!

Thought so. By the way, I heard that you wanted to go on Swapfiets holiday. It sounds so ridiculous, I need to know more.

Swapfiets holiday with all the zieke sukkels yeaaah! Yeah I am the proud owner of a swappie. I have never swapped it, but it gets fixed without permission at uni anyway.

What is your favourite way of wasting your time?

I love myself some reddit. /r/cursedimages is my favourite at the moment, but a /r/wtf every now and then is also great. I also enjoy /r/bossfights from time to time, but /r/cirkeltrek is also up there.
I also am into architecture (I even considered studying Architecture in Delft!), so I love myself some /r/cityporn or /r/earthporn etc.

We then proceed to waste time by scrolling through the top-all-time.

Where would your ideal holiday go to?

I mostly prefer being out in nature than in a city. My favourite national park is Patagonia in Argentina/Chile. I still really want to go there! Same with Alaska, but I also want to go back to the Isle of Skye.

I also was there on a holiday once, and we intensely discuss the Scottish landscape while watching some dude BMX on the Scottish mountains. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ_IQS3VKjA.

Where are you going on a holiday this year?

I am not sure if I will actually, I really want to save up for a new electric piano. I currently have a keyboard but the touch isn’t quite it. I also want to go on the Postelein Ski-trip, but I would rather save my money up now.

Turns out Niels did decide to go to the Ski-trip after all… One day he will have enough money..

Any last Nielsfacts?

Ehmmm… I have shoe size 43.

Really? You’re not that tall right?

Yeah hahah, but my toes are really long.

Okay now I kinda wanna see it.

Niels shows his toes and then I tell him my toes are probably as long, which they turned out to not be. However, my ring toe (?) is way longer than my big toe for whatever reason, which even surprised Niels.

Do you have shoutouts?

Of course to the 27th Board, shoutout hezelboys, Zonder Maltha naar Baltha, Group 3 and the Kompanio Board!