We proudly present… the EST Graduating Board of 2016. After a challenging and incredibly rewarding experience, the European Student Think Tank Board of 2016 Graduates, and a new EST Board will take office in September. Post EST one of our members has started their own business, another is headed off to Oxford University, another will Preside a commission in the Dutch Ministry of Foreign affairs and one may or may not be the EST’s new President.
2015-16 President – Kate Perdikis
Since joining the EST, Kate has graduated from her degree at the University of Amsterdam in a Bachelor of European Studies majoring in European literature and Culture, with a minor in EU integration policy. In May of this year she spoke to BBC World Radio show “World Have Your Say” in Brussels, on behalf of the EST about the then upcoming BREXIT referendum. In June, post-referendum, she returned to the show to contribute to a follow-up panel discussion on the BREXIT outcome. Undecided about her next step after graduating, she began her own business in Administrative and Financial Management and is currently focusing on expanding her new business. Her passion for organization, and bringing people together by expanding their network has manifested itself into her professional life. Having worked at the EST has broadened her horizons and opened her up to new, and previously unthought-of of opportunities. The future remains open to her, and full of new possibilities to grow in a professional as well as personal capacity which only makes this period of her life the most exciting yet to come.
2015-16 Secretary – Sietse Blom
Looking back at his term as Secretary of the European Student Think Tank, Sietse is very thankful for the opportunities this position has brought him. At the Maastricht University Campus he spoke at a conference about the work of the think tank and the diverse network of partners he got to cooperate with during the year. Collaborating with such a broad scale of organizations and Europeans is the thing that fascinated Sietse the most. He is proud the EST has strengthened its position and name as an interesting and high-quality European youth organization. Among an ever growing audience. In his position in the European Student Think Tank he was approached by Spanish newspaper La Razon. Throughout the year his work got published five times in this medium.
After a relaxed summer period, Sietse will continue as a master’s student at the University of Amsterdam, studying Political Economy along with Treasurer Swiss. Besides his studies he will continue handling the external communication and events at the United Nations Associations for the Netherlands along with Events Manager Tamira. Having fulfilled many different positions this year, he wants to focus more on international affairs, which is why he’ll be working at putting anti-corruption measures on the agendas of governments. This from the position of chairperson of the International Board of Anti-Corruption International, for which he was elected last month. Besides this he has many plans, like doing internships at the UN or an Embassy and starting his own tutoring company BijlesBijBlom. But of course he will not let go of the EST completely. As Ambassador he will stay approachable for people interested in the EST’s work and contribute to the work of our promising skilful new Board Members for 2016-2017!
2015-16 Treasurer – Swiss Juriens
After his board year at the EST, Swiss will start with his master’s degree Political Economy at the University of Amsterdam. The dynamics of power struggles and the creation of successful businesses in developing countries are topics that he is passionate about. Next to his studies he will be working at Goodwell Investments. Goodwell is an investment company that invests with impact and wants to make economies in sub-Sahara Africa and India more inclusive. (An inclusive economy is the economic activity that enables citizens and businesses to create and retain value within their own communities.) At Goodwell he hopes to learn more about the practical side of investing in businesses. On his journey he will remember the many things that he learned during his time as Treasurer. For instance, he has learned that to sustain an organization it needs a good administration. He hopes that the administrative foundation – which has been rebuilt within the EST – will empower the new board and helps the EST grow further.
2015-16 International Officer – Rebecca Fobbe
Our International Officer Becci recently graduated from the Honors Liberal Arts and Science College of Utrecht University ‘University College Roosevelt’, and just moved the The Hague where she will pursue her MSc Degree in International Relations and Diplomacy, a program taught jointly by Leiden University’s Institute for Security and Global Affairs, the Institute of Political Science and the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael.
After two years in the EST Board (as Secretary and International Officer), Becci is not yet ready to completely say goodbye to our organization and will continue her work for the EST as an Editor. She hopes to receive great articles to review for the European Policy Review and the website.
‘The EST is a wonderful organization, and I am so grateful to get the opportunity to work with such a challenging, exciting and fun team! Especially the position of International Officer was extremely rewarding’, Becci tells us. The work as International Officer taught Becci to independently manage a whole team of ambassadors, a challenging but enjoyable task that allowed Becci to master her planning, communication and leading skills. Becci wants to especially thank her team of ambassadors for the amazing year full of events, skype calls and incredible content. ‘Without hard-working ambassadors, the International Officer’s job is tedious and boring. But with their help it becomes an incredible productive working atmosphere, which I enjoyed very much.’
2015-16 Editor-in-Chief – Enrike Van Wingerden
Upon leaving her post as Editor in Chief and returning from her travels through Central Asia, Enrike will pursue a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree at the University of Oxford. She has secured funding from the prestigious Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), by being selected for a 2+3 Studentship. She aims to pursue a research career and especially wants to focus on the politics of knowledge formation and the problem of Western-centrism. She is currently gaining experience as Research Assistant at the University of Amsterdam and through writing an academic paper with her former teacher, which will hopefully be published soon in a journal in the discipline of International Relations or Political Geography. Her work as Editor in Chief has contributed much to her academic aims, as this has taught her how to manage an Editorial Office, how to hire and manage a team of editors and writers, and how to direct editing and peer-review processes. It has also improved her time-management skills, as she held this position while also completing an MSc degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science. By this time next year, Enrike will be conducting research in the Middle East region, and will think back favorably on her incredible and valuable time being a part of the European Student Think Tank.
2015-16 Events Manager – Tamira Vossen
“After an intense year the curtain has finally fallen, it’s time to leave the EST and my position as Events Manager. I have had the privilege of working with some of the finest and talented people in my field. Therefore I am grateful for the opportunities given to me to develop myself in a professional way. I will definitely use the experiences I have gained this year in the future”.
Tamira is currently travelling through the US and Mexico and she is already looking forward to next year; the best is yet to come. Starting in September, she will proudly hold the position as President at a commission of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and I will continue her position as Communication Assistant at the United Nations Association of the Netherlands. Even academically Tamira will be challenged the coming year, by obtaining my master’s degree in International Relations at Leiden University. And when everything goes according to plan she will finish my degree with an internship in the Middle East, hy favorite subject to study within her field.
“I would never be able to achieve this without the EST, an organization that believed in me and has given me much more than I could ever give back in return. I wish the 2016-2017 Board members the same wonderful experiences as I have had!”
2015-16 Director of Communication – Carlota Nunez Strutt
As Director of Communication of the EST, Carlota researched and drafted ways to connect the European message with Europe’s youth. Carlota’s interest in e-diplomacy and passion for the organization encouraged her to apply for the Presidency of the EST and Carlota is thrilled to announce she has been elected the European Student Think Tank’s new President. Carlota will be moving to Brussels in September to begin a traineeship in the European Parliament.
“I’m really lucky to have been part of a team that brought out the best in me, and challenged me with their critical conscience and their ideals. I hope that if you’re interested in the EST, you will be a part of our project next year. Because the EST is a project that empowers young people to take a stand within the EU”.
During her term as Director of Communication of the EST, Carlota worked in two Spanish Presidential elections, did her first televised political debate and published her first article in Spanish Newspaper El País.