Humans of AMS: Alejandro Gracia Aso

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Alejandro, MGM

Why did you need time to prepare? – Because I need to think of what not to say.

Why Belgium?

I just applied to a lot of masters and this was the best one I was accepted to, so I came.

Your life in AMS?

I go home, I come here, I go home, I play football, I drink, I go out. I come here every f… morning at 10.30 (*Spanish time = 10.50). Even Margaux is having lunch at 2 today! I’m bringing them to the dark side.

You studied in the UK, right?

I went to the UK because i wanted to have an international career and in the UK I can speak English and it is a reputable city for business.

I studied in the coast of Wales, Aberystwyth. I like Belgium more. The people in the UK are really closed off. But my school was good because it was 60% international students. The whole town was 13,000 people with 9,000 students. So it is a student city. All the houses you can find were all for students.

I still talk to a couple of people that I met there, one from Turkey, one Russian and one from Spain.

Have you traveled a lot since you came here?

I haven’t traveled much, we are always busy and I don’t like being too touristy. I like relaxing, having a beer and playing football.

Tell us about your home town

I am from the least Spanish city in Spain. When people think of Spain they think of sun, beach, warmth. I come from Jaca where there are mountains, skiing and snow. It’s in the north in the border with France. It’s in the Pyrinees. In the middle of the mountains. 5 minutes driving from the ski station. From November to February/March we have snow and it’s -10-15 degrees, but sunny! We have a special climate where the clouds don’t come. but we still get snow on the mountains. The city is 10,000 inhabitants but we have place for around 200,000 and the rest are tourists.

Football?

I started playing football when I was 3. It’s quite usual to start young in Spain. I got selected for the 1st division in Spain for the junior category from 13-16.I had to choose between studies or football and since I knew I wouldn’t make it to the first division team – I chose studies. And that led me to come here. But since then, i’ve been playing more for fun than for real sports. The competition was too high.

Things you hate?

I don’t like sustainability, I hate vegetables and fruit. And I hate hangovers. I still drink though.

Advice for job hunting?

Don’t trust when they tell you you don’t need Dutch. Start looking for graduate programs early on because they are very beneficial. I really like graduate programs because they teach you a lot in a short period of time. Look outside the career fairs for international students.

Interviewed by Christelle Conti, Julia Ivanishcheva, Sophia Sellars and Smitha Shastry

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