IBA Mentors 2015-2016

IBA Mentors 2015-2016


“Starting a new stage in your life sounds adventurous and exciting, but also frightening. Arriving in a new city where you’re completely on your own and don’t know anybody sounds like ‘sink or swim’, but believe me: it’s not. Before I came to RSM I was a bit fraught because of all the uncertainty and insecurity. But I quickly realised that this is probably the best time of my life. The mentor programme was a rich experience that helped me finding the right balance between studying, sport, and social activities. It’s a place to socialise, interact, have fun, get academic tips, and clear all the obscurities. We, the mentor family, are waiting for you, to give you the inside edge in starting the IBA adventure and ensure that you can enjoy the student life from day 1. Have a nice summer and see you in September!”

Benjamin Noyan, Austrian IBA mentor


“Even though I grew up as an international student and moved to several countries before moving to the Netherlands, I was still very nervous and scared when starting the IBA programme. However, it’s very exciting to have the opportunity to be surrounded by so many diverse students and to live in a multicultural city. The community here is so open-minded and welcoming that I felt comfortable almost immediately. If you’re nervous and scared like I was, don’t worry! As mentors, we are here to guide you through your first year of IBA, and to make the transition as pleasurable as possible. We’ll try to help you get the most out of your first year just like our mentors did for us. I aim to guide you through any obstacle you face, no matter how big or small, during our sessions. I hope you’ll feel comfortable enough to talk to me about any issue or problem you encounter. So, welcome to the IBA programme! I’m really excited to be going on this adventure with you.”

Manon Van Damme, Belgian IBA mentor


“Congratulations on making it into IBA. I guarantee this will be the most exciting and challenging year of your life! Having lived my whole life in Southern Africa, I had doubts whether I would make friends and fit into the European or Dutch culture, but these were erased after my first week in IBA. The introduction weeks were a great social experience. Before I knew it I had a great group of friends around me. My mentor was amazing to say the least! She helped me navigate through the new city and school, and now I feel completely at home in Rotterdam and the university. She celebrated with me during the easier times, and supported me during the more challenging times. My goal as a mentor is to show you the ropes as my mentor did, and most importantly be a supporting friend whenever you need one!” 

Sipho Arntzen, Botswanan-Dutch IBA mentor


“Starting a new life in a different city, or country can be an exciting yet a challenging experience. This is why we, the mentors, will be there to provide a helping hand in the first stage of your important transition to university. A year ago, when I first came to Rotterdam, I was lucky enough to have a mentor who always took the time to answer all my questions and gave the best advice. This programme turned out to be a perfect networking tool as well as a way to enhance my knowledge of various cultures, customs, and habits. I definitely learned a lot in my first year and will be more than happy to pass my knowledge on to you. I look forward to meeting you in Rotterdam.”

Gabriela Lazarova, Bulgarian IBA mentor


“A new start in a new country in an unknown environment called university is always accompanied by expectations and insecurities. Proud of the fact that I was selected for such a prestigious programme, I didn’t know what to expect from the university and Rotterdam.  Through the help of my mentor I was able to overcome any insecurity and enjoy the awesome student life of the IBA programme to the fullest. Treating our whole group as a big family, with a cool and relaxed vibe, he explained important university procedures in an exciting way. Our mentor was also able to teach us how to enjoy Rotterdam: where to eat, where to party, where to study. He knew it all. Thanks to his help I could focus on important things like studying and enjoying student life. As a mentor, I will also pass on my enthusiasm about the university and Rotterdam, and provide my mentees with all necessary information and guidance, so that you are able to nail the exams while enjoying the IBA student life to the fullest.”

Patrick Drejerczak, Canadian-Polish IBA mentor


“In a few months’ time, you will be united with people from all over the world, ready to embark on this journey called IBA. Living in a new place, getting to know new people, and finding the right balance between social life and studying – the first few weeks will be incredibly exciting, but challenging. Being a mentor, I want to help you with any problems you might face during this period, providing a safe haven in the midst of all changes. For me, the mentor sessions always felt like a moment of relaxation in between the hectic courses. I look forward to showing you what Rotterdam has to offer and to meeting you in September. Welcome to the IBA family!”

Xiao-Min Tung, Chinese-Dutch IBA mentor


“I remember when first coming to RSM, ‘excited’ and ‘nervous’ were the best words to describe my feelings. The first time to travel a long distance and to live independently sound like going on an adventure. But actually, the Netherlands is such a great country that I hardly found anything challenging – except for cycling in the wind and rain. During the IBA you’re going to meet a group of very cool people from all kinds of backgrounds. You can easily meet someone who has been travelling or lived in several countries. As mentors we can be your first step in getting to know your fellow students, and we will help you get to know Rotterdam and the university. We try to provide assistance for any problems you may have. Take your time here and be ready for an amazing university life!”

Yiming Deng, Chinese IBA mentor


“When I arrived in Rotterdam, I was nervous but excited. Like many other international students, I was worried about not being able to settle in and feel at home in a new country. All my worries turned out to be unfounded. I settled in quickly and found amazing friends, who share similar international backgrounds and experiences, as I do. The mentor programme helped me understand the Dutch culture, and to get to know other IBA students. My mentor gave me useful tips for studying that helped me balance my studies and social life. I look forward to sharing my first-year experiences with you. I can’t wait to help you get started with the most exciting three years of your life!”

Annika Reini, Finnish IBA mentor


"Arriving in Rotterdam, I remember how excited I was to go to the university, meeting new people and experience the parties. The student life was actually above my expectations; I was impressed by the number of opportunities through which you could challenge and develop yourself. You’ll most likely be tempted as I was, to join all the associations, events or parties offered, but thanks to my mentor I actually found the right balance between studies and leisure activities. It has been extremely helpful to get advice about courses, exams and Rotterdam in general. I really look forward to meeting you all, and providing you with all the information and advice you need to enjoy your first year as much as I did."

Clara Cherfils, French IBA mentor


“First of all, congratulations for being accepted to RSM! A new city, a new country, and many new people from all over the world; this September, your new life in Rotterdam will begin. Rotterdam truly is a port of opportunities for those willing to grasp them. It will not only allow you to challenge yourself academically, but also offers a great and international student life. But, especially in the beginning, it can be tough to adapt to university life and the new surroundings. As your mentor, I’ll accompany you throughout your first months at your new home, help you with any insecurities and struggles, and show you all opportunities Rotterdam has to offer. I look forward to welcoming you to Rotterdam in September and guiding you through your upcoming adventure!”

Luca Spring, German IBA mentor


“I’ve lived in various countries and attended different schools. I’d like to think that I know what it’s like to have new surroundings. With each move I learned something new, not just about how to adapt to the environment around me but also about myself. When coming to RSM, you will experience moments of uncertainty and anxiety. This is completely normal, so don’t worry about them. Be patient because if you ask me, by the end of the first week or two you’ll realise that this next year in your life will be full of opportunities and new experiences. You’ll share this year – and the years to come – with people you’ll remember for the rest of your life. The mentor programme helped me settle in and get into the rhythm of things, whether it was my social life or studying. I’m here to help you if you have any doubts, concerns or just someone to talk to. I’m really excited to meet you all, and give you a nice warm welcome into RSM!”

Zara Doyle Cunningham, Irish IBA mentor


“When I moved to Rotterdam in the summer of 2014, I was faced with a series of mixed emotions. On the one hand I was sad to leave my family and friends in Bangkok. At the same time, I was also excited and eager to start my new chapter in Rotterdam. Although I’m half-Dutch, I had never lived in the Netherlands so I considered myself a foreigner in my own ‘home’. But as weeks passed by, I formed close friendships among peers in my course and I also grew close to my mentor who truly helped me integrate into my new surroundings. So far, I have enjoyed every moment of my time here. Of course I have experienced some ‘lows’, as you will too. As your mentor I aim to be there to help you overcome all sorts of challenges. Whether it’s about academics or beyond, you can consider me your pal. I look forward to meeting you all in August and can’t wait to be a part of the amazing journey you are about to embark on.”

Sarisa Annabel Nuboer, Thai-Dutch IBA mentor


“Moving to Rotterdam will trigger an exciting chain of new opportunities. The city is perfect for students: academically and otherwise. There’s plenty to do and to explore here, enabling you to get an optimal mix between your studies, extracurricular activities and a social life. The change into university may be daunting, but once you arrive everything will fall into place as you discover the city, meet new people, and settle into the course. It’ll be an exciting period of change that you can look forward to. The mentor programme will be one of your springboards, providing you with a social network as well as useful advice and insights. It’s my pleasure to be your guide and friend as I help you make your first steps as an IBA student. Enjoy your summer and see you in September!”

Naomi Gabriela Boterenbrood, Dutch-American IBA mentor


“When first coming to Rotterdam, I was nervous about starting a study where people might judge me for my international background as they had done so often in Barcelona. There, I didn’t seem to fit in nor found my home. However, my IBA mentor at RSM put all my troubles quickly to rest when he started describing IBA as an environment filled by many different types of internationalism. Examples weren’t only the students who had lived in eight different places, but also the ones who pretty much belonged to only one country and yet at certain stages had a more open mind regarding cultures than the international students. Today, I can say that I’ve found the home I was looking for in this amazingly diverse group of students. I hope that in the next academic year I can help you and other mentees find this home just by being your stunning selves.”

Saskia Gerrits, Portuguese-Dutch IBA mentor


“New city, new room, tons of introduction activities, societies, exciting new people from all corners of the world, out of your comfort zone and into the Woudestein campus: welcome at RSM IBA! Having been in your shoes barely a year ago, I can perfectly recall the frenzy of the first weeks of university: a mixture of enthusiasm to discover all the great places in Rotterdam with the people you just met, probably trying your first words in Dutch, and the unknown of what to expect from the IBA course. Fear not! One of the mentors or I will always be there to help you out, whether it’s about study advice, cultural differences or when you just need someone to talk to. You’re about to start a great journey and I’ll make sure you’re going to sail smoothly across the first year’s difficulties.”

Alexandra Vlaicu, Romanian IBA mentor


"When I started IBA, I had no idea what to expect. A year later, I can tell you it was better than I could have ever expected. Starting in a new environment is not always easy, especially not with all the freedom university gives you. But once you surround yourself with the right people, you’ll find your way. My mentor helped me a lot in finding the right combination of studying and enjoying your freedom as a student. That is why I decided to become a mentor. I want to be there for you whenever needed, to make you feel comfortable in the new environment and make your first year as pleasant as possible!"

Steffie Broere, Dutch IBA mentor