Blog & Opinion
19 November 2018 • Deniz Dibooglu
Sharing something personal
It’s eight o’clock by the time I get home, and there is chaos everywhere. We’re doing some renovation work at the moment, and there are tiles, pots, paint and coffee cups lying around everywhere. I walk up the taped off stairs, which are freshly painted, and in doing so I leave a thumb print on the bannister. Crap! Then it occurs to me that this is actually not such a bad idea, as I have left behind something personal which will stand the test of time. I don’t know why exactly, but it feels good.
It makes me reflect about this morning, about the THUAS conference where I gave a talk to the management. The day’s theme was ‘students first’, and I was invited to share my experiences as a former student and winner of the 2018 Echo award. I was pleased to do this, but in my own particular style. That’s because I am good at business content and turning context into poetry. I have discovered that I am really able to touch people by combining the rational with the emotional.
I survey the hall and I see 140 eyes staring back at me. I make a brief introduction and say that I will give my presentation in my own particular style. And then I start:
“They call me a student.”
This forms the basis for my story, and as I continue talking, I can see a whole range of facial expressions in the hall. A frown to the left, a smile to the right. I continue, by saying
“Let’s create knowledge today, instead of just sharing knowledge”, while I try to imagine what is going through everyone’s heads.
“I was brought up with choices.
When I get bored of Instagram, I move over to YouTube and check out Monica Geuze.
Sometimes, I miss this choice at school.
Everything is so well organised, exactly as it should be.
At times, THUAS feels like a five-star resort.
But students also want to go backpacking.
Give me a slightly less rigid curriculum and more flexible workstations.”
This is connected to my personal study journey. I went through my degree programme more quickly which meant that I occasionally came face to face with bureaucracy. I tell the room how happy I was with my Academic Career Coach, Marianne Walhout-Diependaal, who considered me as an individual and was able to see my talents. When I was backpacking off the beaten track, she would give me a camping knife or a compass, in a manner of speaking, when I needed it. I was lucky with her. However, not all students are as lucky to have such a dedicated coach.
I round off my talk by stressing what diversity within our fantastic school actually means. I say that this story is only my experience and vision and that every student is unique and special, and has their own story. And I notice that the message has also hit home with the managers in the room.
“After all, we’re all special.
And this is what I found so great about this story:
Today the focus is on me!”
I shake off thoughts about the morning, and I notice the white paint on my finger. It made me laugh – it’s impossible to have an impact on something without it having an impact on you. Both I and THUAS have left an impression on each other.
Just as I was putting my phone away for the night, I received a message from one of the managers from the morning’s talk. She wanted to know whether I would be willing to give a talk to the lecturers from her faculty. This was confirmation for me that I did leave something extremely personal behind that will stand the test of time.
Deniz Dibooglu is a former student of the HRM degree programme. He currently works for the province of South Holland. He has also recently set up his own company, Professional Poetry. On 8 November 2018, Deniz gave a talk to the management of The Hague University of Applied Sciences about his experiences at THUAS, in which he sent a message about personal focus and individual talent.