Berend de Kort: ‘I can get angry with myself if I cut corners, that’s how I am’
Nightmares, daydreams, and unfulfilled wishes: in the column ’13 questions to’, students and scientists show themselves from a different side. This time: economics student Berend de Kort, number 10 on Volt’s list in the March 15 Provincial Council elections.
1. What book would you recommend to anyone?
“I don’t read that much. But with the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and the first lockdown, I started Humankind, a Hopeful History (De meeste mensen deugen) by Rutger Bregman, which I read in a week. In it the bad image of humankind that many people have is undermined. Very nice, I myself have always been slightly optimistic, but in recent years you also saw the rise of conspiracy thinkers. Yet in my opinion the world is not so bad, 99 percent of people actually have the best interest of the world at heart.”
2. What should be general knowledge?
“The hole in the ozone layer is almost closed again. We all created that hole in the past. But, by making agreements and eliminating propellants, the hole is almost gone. That’s good to keep in mind when talking about the climate crisis. That if we do something about it together, we can change it.”
3. What do few people know about you?
“That I have two university of applied sciences propaedeutic certificates. Before I did the bachelor’s in Economics and Business Economics here, I first got a university of applied sciences propaedeutic certificate in Applied Mathematics. After that, I also did a university of applied sciences program in Commercial Economics: Digital Business Concepts.”
4. Your house is on fire, and you can only save one possession. What do you take with you?
“Recently I got a mixer to DJ with. I mix everything: Dutch sing-alongs, carnival, techno, happy hardcore. Not that I’m that good now, but if I lost that mixer, I’d miss it actually.”
5. What series do you watch to relax?
“I just started Fauda. That’s an Israeli series. It’s about the Israeli secret service. In it, you see a lot of cultures portrayed, Israeli, Palestinian, Iranian. A lot happens in it, but you have to pay attention, otherwise it’s impossible to follow.”
6. What are you most proud of?
“My Bachelor’s thesis, which is about predicting when a company will go bankrupt. I had specifically set aside six months for it because I wanted to do it right. I’m not a very good writer, which is why I was rather reluctant to do it.”
7. Who is your great role model and why?
“My parents, I think. They made sure that I always kept studying, kept learning. That I stay inquisitive. Not to give up when you’re struggling. They also always supported me in all studies.”
‘With an earpiece in, I sat in Building A writing my thesis. I do like things happening around me’
8. What gives you a short fuse?
“It’s hard to make me angry, but I do find it irritating when people don’t do their best. When they start working against themselves. What are you doing now? Cutting corners! I can get angry with myself when I do that. That’s just the way I am.”
9. What really needs to change in our society?
“Politics is too much concerned with short-term plans, it’s always about the situation of the next four years. I think we should think much more about the long term. Then people know where they stand later, which is way better. You also often see procrastination when something is dragged out over the elections. But if you start it earlier, you also finish it earlier.”
10. They sometimes say you learn the most from your mistakes. What is your best blunder?
“For high school, I had chosen senior general secondary education (HAVO) because I thought I could easily finish it. I did, but in retrospect I think I would have been better off choosing preuniversity education (VWO) after all. I learned not to always choose the easiest path.
“A future mistake might be that at my new job I didn’t ask for Carnival Tuesday off. Only I don’t know yet if I will regret that because I actually need it to recover, or if I want to go out for another day.”
11. What is your favorite place on campus?
“Recently I’ve spent a lot of time in Building A. In the library it’s so quiet, in Academia there is at least a little bit of liveliness. You can play table tennis there. There are a lot of international students there. With an earpiece in, I sat there writing my thesis. It’s nicer than other places on campus. I do like things happening around me.”
12. Politics or business?
“A combination I would like best. I would like to work at an embassy, to advise companies, for example. Preferably in a foreign country that you don’t think about so quickly, a little beyond of what I know. I think the Arab world is cool. A country that is slightly different compared to the Western world. And I then want to bring that together.”
13. Never snack or never exercise again?
“I do like potato chips, especially after going out it’s nice to snack. But then again, exercising gives a lot of satisfaction, otherwise you get completely blocked. And sport is also sociability, especially with field hockey. So just exercise for me, and no bitterbal in that case.”
Translated by Language Center, Riet Bettonviel