President: Jennifer Ellwood
Hometown: I am both half German and half English, however, I was raised in a small town in the North of England. The town is called Sandbach and is as old as the Doomsday book (Google it!).
Studies: I am currently studying at the University College at Maastricht University. I focus mainly on international relations and foreign policy, particularly with the EU and their external partners in the MENA and Asian regions.
Fun fact: A fun fact about me is that I have a black belt in mixed martial arts. The basic curriculum was Tae Kwon Do but, we learnt karate, jujistu, king fu, weapons fighting etc. On the side. I also used to compete.
Favorite board moment: Our first board dinner together at the start of the mandate. It was a nice bonding experience and since we can only have so few, it's very special!
Something you have learnt: I have learnt many things throughout the board year but the thing that stands out the most is the ability to stay motivated. Due to the covid circumstances, amongst other things, this year has been challenging and has required mental tenacity and strength and with that, the ability to keep going. I've learnt more about what triggers my downs and how I can pick myself up better and faster.
Something you wish you knew before becoming board member: Working with others, no matter who, is extremely challenging. It doesn't matter how good your people skills are, your board year will challenge this on a whole new level. However, this will lead to a rewarding experience that can help in your future careers and experiences. Though hard, this is extremely valuable and under represented in the advertisement of Board members.
Skills you find fundamental to have: Some skills that I believe are fundamental to the president role is:
- High levels of literacy (writing)
- Being able to say no
Why would you recommend it: I personally loved my time as president and anyone who is remotely considering should try and apply. I would also highly recommend this position to any interested in politics, especially since the nature of the position involves many political skills and understanding.
The position brings and teaches you many useful soft skills whilst honing others to perfection. It improves your understanding of people and working in a team. Additionally, it provides an insight into a working environment without leaving the student life. You are able to meet so many wonderful people across the world and show your contributions to the network. The president position in particular allows you to shape the vision for the organisation and represent this in both the national and international level. You get the opportunity to leave an important and positive mark on ESN Maasticht. It is both a privilege and honour to be in such an important role for an organisation that has such an impactful and auspicious role on students across Europe.