Louis, Vera and Astrid, MIM
Do you actually like this idea of dividing people into peer groups?
Vera: At first I thought it was a really weird idea to get involved in a group with people you do not know and you have to talk about really personal stuff. So, in the beginning, sometimes it was a bit awkward.
Louis: …it was more like the idea that you had someone to fall back on when there was an issue or something on the top of your mind.
Astrid: I think you just get a special bond because you are peers. “Something special!”
And through this year can you imagine being in a peer group with anyone else?
All of them: Nooooooo!
Astrid: At first, you don’t know each other and it’s like you’re obliged to have these people in your peer group! You can’t choose.
Louis: I guess now the year is over, we can say that it shouldn’t have been anybody else. It’s a perfect group, it’s a perfect peer group!
Astrid: We are also three very different people and that’s what makes it interesting during the seminars and stuff like that.
What have you learnt from each other throughout the year?
Vera: I think Louis and Astrid taught me to believe in myself and to be self-confident.
Louis: I think from Vera and Astrid, I learned to smile more, to be more positive and to appreciate the good things more. So, that’s really cool!
Astrid: And for me, as Louis told you that sometimes I can be very direct and I learned to sometimes hold my horses.
Can each of you share your journey to AMS? (Where you come from, why AMS, why this program?)
Louis: Well! We are all Belgians of course!
Astrid: I am from near Ghent and I studied in Ghent in the field of organizational psychology. So, I already found there, my passion to further in HR but I wanted to broaden my vision on the company life so that I can also make better decisions in HR.
Louis: I have studied here in Antwerp already. I studied politics and I already worked in politics and then I understood that it really wasn’t my cup of tea! So, I came here to do management. I want to go into the private sector and private company life. And yeah, that was the reason to be here, but afterwards when you think of it, that was the reason to first come here but then to stay here was because of these people, to keep coming back here.
Vera: I am from Hoogstraten. I studied law at the University of Antwerp and unlike Astrid, I did not find a passion in that stream and that’s why I came to Antwerp Management School to broaden my knowledge.
How has this year been for all of you?
Astrid: The year went so fast. And it was also high intensity but I really created a group of friends and that’s something that was the most valuable, one of the things that was most valuable this year.
Louis: For me the same, for example, just some weeks ago, the pictures of the seminar that we did in October came online and you looked at the pictures and it looked like it was yesterday. It’s like Wow! We did all that in one year.
Vera: You get Nostalgic when you see those pictures.
Astrid: Also, we went to Budapest as a class and that was so nice to have like, such a big group getting together. It worked out! Sometimes when you go on holiday with a group, you fall apart a little bit and now it was like, we became closer as a group.
Did the feedbacks that you received during the whole year from each other, help you during your internships?
Louis: Yeah, it did! You are not so conscious about it but yeah, I guess everything we have done has helped us.
Astrid: I think the feedback you get through the year, especially, on the seminars, you keep them in mind all the time and you hope to use them in a good way. That’s not always easy, especially for me, when I get more stressed or something like that but if you really try to then you can change something.
Louis: I really have the feeling that after the internship period, I have changed. When you look back to the start of the year to who you were or who you think you were and you see yourself now and you stop and reflect on it and then you realize that Oh! These things have changed. I think, this year has given you some tools as well to make that analysis for yourself, to make it more structured as to how you think about yourself.
What about the future plans?
Louis: We are going to live together!
Astrid: I am going to move to Brussels. So, I will be far away from these guys.
Louis and Vera: No, It’s not far away.
Astrid: Yeah! In Belgium, nothing is far away! But I am going to work in Wavre at a pharmaceutical company in HR.
Vera: I don’t know. I am going to live in Hoogstraten, so that’s pretty far from Astrid and I am still looking for a job. So, we’ll see what the future brings.
Louis: And I’ll be in between in Antwerp. So, they can come to my place and we will meet there.
Interviewed by Christelle Conti, Julia Ivanishcheva, Sophia Sellars and Smitha Shastry