Jacques Fuerst was born in Germany in 1998. Throughout high school he experienced modern day education to be rather daunting and struggled to find his passion. Hence, he decided to travel for some time and contemplate on his life goals. Whilst traveling, he financed himself through unskilled manual labour and farming jobs. Through this work and the stories told by the people that he met, he learnt about the value of education and the opportunities provided to him through his background.
He hence returned to Europe to start studying and building his mind. At first, he chose to study mechanical engineering in Germany, because he was fascinated by the technical innovations possible in robotics and autonomous driving. He quickly realized that the field was not a good fit and decided to switch country and subject area. He went on to study computer science at the University of Twente. He learned to love the versatility of the skills he acquired during the program and the greater focus of his new university on multidisciplinary work structures and student-driven education.
Therefore, Jacques decided to participate in the honours program "Processes of Change" at the university, as he felt that there was too little room for contemplation in his study program. In the honours program he learned to work in multidisciplinary teams in a not always well-defined work environment and to appreciate the creative process. Additionally, adoring the active student community at the UT, he decided to participate in it more actively. The decision to join the Green Hub Twente, a student-driven sustainability office at the UT that had just been founded, was thus an intuitive one. He had always greatly cared about sustainable best practices in his personal life and wanted to embark in this direction even further. During his work at the Green Hub, he learned to interact with stakeholders of many backgrounds, such as established businesses, entrepreneurs, educators and students within the UT and beyond.
Wanting to stay active within the community during his third year of study as well but longing for a change of perspective and new experiences, Jacques decided to join both AIESEC, to support students when developing their professional skills and intercultural understanding, and the University Innovation Fellows, in order to apply the knowledge he gained and self-sufficiently start projects at the university.
Through all his experiences, Jacques developed into a socially active person who learns through people. He likes to approach team situations through listening to the individuals involved and assessing their work by analyzing it thoroughly.
He is a well-organized, reliable individual who knows how to keep deadlines and stick to an agenda and will create one of his own if there is none. Whilst being greatly interested in many different fields and ideas, Jacques usually stays realistic about what he can achieve and what possibilities he can explore without overworking himself. He can also expand this to the teams he is part of and hence lead/ coordinate project groups without a problem; always making sure that all gears of the engine run smoothly and that no one is left behind.
Jacques has developed some habits in his personal life that help him perform in his studies and work as well. He practices Calisthenics and Yoga regularly, constantly works on reading more in his free time, and has acquired the Dutch language to a conversational level throughout his stay in the Netherlands.
His qualities induce some shortcomings as well though. Jacques sometimes focusses on optimizing the processes he administers too much and loses the flexibility it takes in order to succeed or develop further. He also does evaluate the ideas of his own and of others thoroughly and judges them for feasibility, but can be a bit too stringent in that and may kill brilliant ideas before they even had the chance to be developed properly. Sometimes, he also tends to underrate the quality of his own work and therefore seeks for external justification. This can lead to him taking critique too seriously and fall into a stage of self-doubt rather than trying to improve his work based on the feedback he has been given. Jacques is aware of all these imperfections and hence works on improving them constantly. His goal is to be more inspirational through his own actions and being able to embrace even the most unimaginable of ideas since these are the fundament of developing society further.