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(Shantie Singh, 32, alumna faculty of social sciences)

“I feel privileged and grateful that I have been able to fulfil my dreams. My grandfather always hoped that his son would study. My father didn’t have the opportunity to fulfil that dream and put his hopes on my sister and me. For a long time, I felt that I was being forced to fulfil someone else’s expectations. Now I understand that I do most justice to the roads which have been freed for me by choosing my own route.

Public Administration was what appealed to me! I enjoy looking at subjects from different angles and enjoy doing socially relevant work. I now work as a Public Innovation Advisor for the Municipality of Rotterdam.

But my real passion is writing. ‘Vervoering’ is my first book. It is a historic novel set in India, Surinam and the Netherlands and seen through the eyes of different generations. Besides a considerable amount of imagination, the story originated in many openhearted conversations with my relatives. For that reason, it has also been a very personal and informative journey for me. Everyone has a story and the generations before us made it possible for us to have a free choice. That’s why I say: I feel privileged and grateful!

Make it happen? Don’t just base your life on motives outside yourself; making other people happy, proving yourself or status. Go in search of your own voice! If you do what makes you happy, then working hard is not an issue, but gives energy and satisfaction instead!”

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