Style. “I want to be a bit different and try new things. My clothes can vary from ripped jeans and scruffy shoes one day to a smoother outfit like today. I try not to wear suits because I don’t think there’s a need for it. Yes, it might imply that you’re classy and perhaps more important, but at the end of the day it’s just a piece of clothing, designed a bit differently. Wearing a shirt, tie or leather shoes isn’t for me. I like my style to be a bit more raw and I enjoy experimenting because that’s one of the ways I can express myself. I bought all the clothes I’m wearing in different countries: the shoes are from Hong Kong, the trousers from Kuala Lumpur, belt from Sydney and the jacket from Sweden.”

Bas Zwaan – dit ben ik – anna mazur – staand
Image credit: Anna Mazur

Gap years. “I did my Bachelor in International Business and Management Studies at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. After graduating from there, I took two gap years before starting the pre-master in IBA. I travelled for about eleven months. First I went backpacking through South Asia and then worked on a flower farm in Brisbane, Australia, for about six months. Working on the field in the middle of the Australian winter (30 degrees) with just a knife in my hand, cutting sunflowers and gladioli all day, was a really nice experience in a way. It took a while to adjust at first because the job was totally different to what I’d done before, but I ended up being a team leader. One of the things I discovered was that when you work outside, you can actually see the seasons changing and enjoy the nature. That was a real contrast to being stuck at an office desk , when you sometimes feel like life is passing you by.”

Future. “I’m still trying to get back into a study rhythm after being out of the game for two years. But I think that it was the best time for me to start now, having seen a bit of the world and discovered myself more, worked in an office and outdoors. I’m still not sure which Master programme I’ll choose next year, because many programmes appeal to me, and I don’t really feel like specialising. I want to keep my options open for as long as I can and try new things. So I don’t mind working for a corporate firm for five years and spend another five – as a fireman.”