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And as time flies we already arrive to the end of term 3 ..

This term has been pretty hectic. With disappearing and rotating teachers at the start of the term, as well as overlapping assessments and teams, it felt messy from the start to almost the end. This did not help to keep up my motivation, as lots of time was already spent on just figuring out the structure, before you could ever start working on a project. This slowed down and cluttered the processes, I didn’t like that. We were also placed in new classes which I didn’t really mind but did clearly change the group and class dynamics. More than anything, I would say the IIME and GI projects were a training in teamwork.

Also because I applied for the hackweek, then left for London for a full week, awaited by assessments, and then spending the next weeks catching up on the delayed workload; it was all a bit much. London was the most inspiring but most exhausting event; but more on that later.

But hey, we got through it once again, learned and lived and I’m much looking forward to Term 4 with a big individual project. Having considered studying Cultural Anthropology at the UvA before enrolling IBIS, I was happy to finally study this subject. My grades were also not bad, with an 8 for CA, 9 for BE and 10 for Debating, a 6 for GI and IIME is yet unknown. If I make that, PSD and manage to continue like this into Term 4, I will get through the year without a single resit, yay!

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The term’s set Innovation units included:

  • Innovation in an International and Multicultural Environment (IIME)
  • Globalisation and Internationalisation (GI)
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Business English 3

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The Professional Skills Development units included:

  • Cultural Awareness
  • Debating
  • Keep Calm and Carry On
  • Project Design


And my NLU’s were:

  • New Science of the mind and (neuro)Marketing
  • Animation Fundamentals
  • Auditory observation
  • Mobile Marketing

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PSD3 – Cultural Awareness

In the first class we looked at our individual backgrounds and to what extent we define ourself by our cultural make-up. In a 30-word-summary about ourselves, it showed in everybodys form and what information they decided to share how they portrayed themselves and what they identified themselves with. Geneva listed a list of character traits, Nasif just mentioned his name and background, Soraya shared the things she loved, Sharmilla described her working attitude and Daphne summed up random leading themes; quite typical. Mine was like this:

I’m Nadia Piet – earthling; born a Kiwi, located in Amsterdam and led by wanderlust. Steady on the grind; I’m active in Hip Hop and the Music Industry, Business Innovation, Spirituality and Style. From 93 ’til infinity ..

Although primarily Dutch, I like to believe I’m a hybrid. Holland raised me, I’ve been in New Zealand from birth, living in Sydney for half a year, travelling Asia and even living in Canada for a bit, aside of having friends, partners and colleague’s from all sort of ethnicities and walks of life. I take something from everywhere I go, every person I meet, every culture I interact with intrigues or inspires me in some way.

We also acted out a cultural observation play where the class was divided in two, both attributed certain behaviours and values and then one person of each group would go observe the others and come back with his notes and conclusions. Although fun, I didn’t quite see the value of playing it for over 2 hours. What did stand out to me was the fact we couldn’t change clothes, wouldn’t speak any words and just had a few basic and abstract guidelines, yet just enough to portray a defined and observable culture.

The synthetic culture I got assigned for the final debate was that of alpha, indicating a high power distance. With behaviour such as speaking softly, avoiding eye contact, minimum body language and overall displaying a lower rank and insecurities, this was pretty far removed from my natural state. Especially in a debate, which in my opinion calls for a more fierce and convincing communication style, it was very odd to be so restrained. The most difficult thing was avoiding eye contact, realising how it’s become such an automatic reflex to look someone in the face when conversating with them. I can not even begin to describe how unusual it was to speak up without making eye contact, 11157003_915443928506624_1303981649_nbut in some real cultures it might be the standard that you want to adapt yourself to. This behaviour felt like quite the opposite to things such as ‘power moves’, and made me feel more inferior.

I bet they shuffled it like this on purpose so you would be challenged to act on a culture different from your own. Lanee and I had some giggles about this, seeing each other act so different, and with that the confrontation with of our natural state.

Lately I’ve also been developing my ability to take more visual, and ultimately sketch-notes, which I steadily practiced throughout term 3 and also used for my leading notes during the debate.


PSD3 – Debating

Although unprepared and unaware of the function, I took on the role of chair lady in the first round of the debate; announcing and moderating the structure of the pre-debate voting, pro and con arguments, public Q&A/comments and post-debate voting.

My team’s statement was “some cultures are better at innovation than others”. We presented multiple arguments, some based in data, same based on experience. Pointing out how different countries innovate in different fields or with different approaches, coming from a different background, but arguing how one can not be labeled as better than another, as they all contrast yet complement eachother. My concluding argument included the critical thought on the statement itself and daring to define the ‘better’, as you can not logically reason your way out of a subjective statement.

Also here it was the challenge to take another standpoint than your own and stand by it.

PSD3 – Keep Calm and Carry On

This class was focused on how to stay sane and keep smiling in stressful or uncertain times. Due to some pressing personal appointments, I didn’t attend all classes. To substitute the learning objective of the class, I have been having life mentoring sessions with Willem to gain more real-life, in-depth and thus valuable insight into how to manage such situations for real. I’ve been incorporating certain techniques into my daily life and trying out different practices to see what works best for me; what keeps me motivated, energized, inspired and driven, but not pressured, while being most efficient and impactful and attracting all desired people and opportunities into my life.

During one of the classes I attended a yogi came to visit and guide the small class through a series of breathing techniques. This introduced everybody to and reminded me again of the powers of meditation. It was nice to share this experience with everybody present, sitting or laying on the floor in the middle of the classroom, calming our bodies and minds collectively.

I treat myself on occasional meditation breaks but this is something I want to do much more and really make a daily habit.

PSD3 – Project Design

I did not attend the Project Design classes and instead self-studied the materials provided.

I’ve also been learning about SCRUM project management, which I’ve heard about before and came in touch with again at the London HackWeek. Although its rooted in software development I think it’s a great flexible and frugal tool for any project that promotes autonomy and self-organization within a horizontal organization structure.


I always enjoy learning about and exploring new topics of expertise. Therefor every NLU has added something to my areas of knowledge, although I have to say it wasn’t much.

New Science of the mind and (neuro)Marketing (24 hours)

With a seriously increasing interest in Psychology, I had high expectations of this class. The content presented, relating to Evolutionary and Consumer Psychology was interesting, but the teaching style traditional.Because I found the content interesting I tried to participate but found myself time again losing attention. These classes really reminded me of high school or HvA where you would passively sit and listen to a lecturer speak for hours at once; and it reminded me of this not facilitating my optimal learning experience. Overall the NLU was a bit disappointing but it did reaffirm my interest in the field. I think and have seen psychology to be a valuable background in basically any position I envision myself in, and I’m also considering to take it as my main subject when studying abroad next year.

Animation Fundamentals (24 hours)

This is a very clearly structured NLU which builds up the basics of a particular hard skill; in this case Animation. Although only the fundamentals such as rotation, scale, opacity and shapes, I now know a bit how to work with Adobe After Effects. This can be useful both to create videos for future projects, but mostly to understand the process of animation and video editing better; as I will probably work alongside these people at some point. It is another form of design in a way, just incorporating motion. These are the 2 videos I created in the classes:


Auditory observation: The impact of classic Music on All our Senses (12 hours)

In auditory observation we took a close look at the history, up to contemporary, classical music. Working in the music industry and also having followed music in high school and studied music management on the HBA, I am always eager to broaden my knowledge of music and the arts in general. We were exploring different types of classical and all terminology new to me I figured I like artist such as Yann Tierssen, Lavinia Meyer, Philip Glass and Clint Mansell. Classical really works to calm me down in stressful situations, or helps me focus while doing (home) work.

Photography (8 hours)

Because both the NLU of term 2 and 3 were full, I was happy to hear Rob Turk came by to Campus Diemen to give an extra session. Although on a Saturday, we didn’t have to take long and took on the invite. He explained to us all the prominent settings of a DSLR camera such as exposure, aperture and shutter speeds before we went out to shoot the surroundings and do our assignments. In the second part he introduced us to a nice piece of photo selection, collection and editing software: Adobe Lightroom. Not having worked with this before I was quite impressed with its functions and I will probably continue to use this program. At the end of the session we could all print our 3 pictures and although I wasn’t very happy with the pictures I shot, Gael’s edited picture of my eyes won that day’s contest 🙂

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Mobile Marketing (24 hours)

I didn’t pick this NLU and so consciously decided not to go and fill the hours with additional NLUs in Term 4.

Quandary #HKWKLDN

This term’s quandary was our participation in the London HackWeek, as organized by HackMasters and led by Saher.

The most amazing thing about the week was the people I got to work with. I got placed on Saher’s Momentum team with 1 young German developer, 1 senior Ukrainian developer, a Ukrainian professional sketchnote maker and UX designer, a Romanian UI Designer and an American yet London based young digital media strategist which I really got along with. In the first 2 days the interactions were difficult but by the end of the week, by going through both defeat and victory together, you grow into a true team.

Throughout the whole week, I have made many valuable connections from all around the world which I’ve added on Linkedin, and still want to ask for recommendations. The people I encountered really inspired me and gave me a real-life and first-hand impression of my potential future career path. From every person in my team, to the KIDS’ creative collective, to Saher’s brother from Sydney and Hackmaster’s in-house graphic designer Patrick, people-person Alex, to learning about Hyper Island; this amazing school in Stockholm I am now obsessed with.

We went through a similar to Design Thinking process to come up with aDSC02068 solution to a very open brief. The first day included only talking, discussing, defining and mapping a confusing more than clarifying customer journey. The 2nd day was thankfully a lot better and we started with a simplified customer motivation mapping through the technique as in the pictures below, to narrow down and empathize with our targeted audience. Then I got to try my first attempt at User Interface Design, which I really liked, and turned out to be quite good in. This aligns with my previous experience in Web Design, incorporates more graphic design and even psychological elements and might be something I’ll come back to later on. We collectively designed wireframes for our app to then align with the developers on how to include, run and display the functions, and discuss how and what sources, with what weight our algorithm was going to pull from.

Day 3 and 4 marked execution phase. The developers typing away, designers drawing away and I started working on the story; the purpose; as it would be communicated in Friday’s presentation. Both days I collaborated closely with loads of people, truly co-creating. Wednesday afternoon we went for a wonderful lunch with the entire team to strengthen bonds and socialize and later Jeroen came by to visit, film and support us. Thursday afternoon we had big breakthrough when all the code and the front-end design came together and worked flawlessly; the MVP was here! And so the 5th and final day arrived and it was time for details and presentations. Along with the sketchnote lady (Anna) I created an illustrated storytelling pitch for our platform and with a 15 minute presentation in which all members spoke, all the loose ends were tied together. We celebrated with drinks, Saher told me I’m awesome and that’s that.

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I felt quite intimidated by the level of talent, creativity and professionalism of all participants and the fast-paced, highly-specific and unfamiliar working environment. I would say this week was spend far out of my comfort zone; really pushing my boundaries on what I can do and where I feel safe. But in the end, that is the place where you learn; outside of your own zone. The week introduced me to many new things I am grateful to know and it was an exhausting, and not fun in the moment, but an amazing experience to have been a part of, now looking back.

The feedback I got from Saher after the week was quite amazing:

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Extra Curricular activities

When applying for the hackweek, I invested a full Friday to Sunday to collect feedback and record and edit all the video bits into the compilation below. I happened to finish it on the day of our previous supervision meeting and can remember showing it but it was in actuality a term 3 activity.


Besides, me and Marvin have been working on a project that intends to exchange knowledge and empower other entrepreneurs, mostly in developing countries, with business tools that we are planning to teach them this summer. The course content centers around Design Thinking and Lean Business Development, learning through a playful approach and incorporates lots of material that we’ve been covering at IBIS the past and future years. We’re now in the stage of developing, communicating and looking for partners and sponsors to make this happen.

I’m happy this term is done and am looking forward to start with a fresh page ..