The first time I knew about Medium was about three years ago, on my way out of a lecture hall in the REC C building. It was Introduction Day, and students were handing out these pastel-coloured flyers that said Medium was looking for new members to join their team. Back then, I was very enthusiastic about the Communication Science programme having a magazine as this meant that I could pick up writing again. However, soon after, schoolwork and readings began to pile up alongside exploring Amsterdam and making friends, so Medium was left on the sidelines of my student life.
I would read my friend’s articles and interviews, and I was even interviewed for the ‘Students of Amsterdam’ section by my dear friend, Gilda. But every time I thought about becoming a writer or an editor for Medium, something would come up in my personal or academic life that made it seem like I had enough going on.
I decided I wanted to lead the journalistic platform of our program.
I didn’t apply for a position within Medium until the summer of 2019 when I knew positions for the editorial board were open. I had heard all sorts of experiences from people who had been a part of Medium. Although I was nervous about applying for an editorial board position without having been part of the magazine before, I decided I wanted to lead the journalistic platform of our program.
Last year, I sat down to talk to all Medium members individually, both new and from previous years. Listening to what you thought was working and lacking was what inspired me to set the goals for the academic year. Improving articles’ quality, providing more guidance for incoming writers, having editors follow stricter guidelines, and establishing a collaboration with the student council.
Five Mercurius general assemblies, six general meetings, at least a dozen of editorial board meetings, 163 pieces published, and a year later, we made it!
Having accomplished all of these has taken a lot of effort. Despite the difficulties along the way, I am happy that the editorial board and I laid the foundation for a more structured Medium. Five Mercurius general assemblies, six general meetings, at least a dozen of editorial board meetings, 163 pieces published, and a year later, we made it!
Now I see that one thing I regret about my years at the UvA is not joining Medium earlier. Having been the first international Editor-in-Chief of Medium leading a team of 39 students, achieving the amazing numbers we’ve had this year, and being part of the development of many of my peers has been an immensely enriching experience.
Thankfully, making the time for a board year has given me many opportunities, as well as a space to practice leadership and guiding the staff while still learning from each other. I put a great deal of energy, passion, and commitment to giving my best as Editor-in-Chief throughout this academic year and I am convinced that my efforts are reflected in the results as well as the fantastic connections I take away from this experience.
It has been an honor having led Medium, and I am very proud of what we have achieved as a team. This year taught me a lot about patience, professionalism, problem-solving, and about myself too. I am hopeful that Medium will continue to evolve as much as it has since the first time I read an article from it. I strongly believe that by making our voices heard, we will be able to make an impact on others through our craft.
Thank you for making it so hard to say goodbye.
I want to thank all Medium members for their efforts in editing, writing, and producing content that matters to us. You never ceased to surprise me with your creativity and talent, which I hope I made justice to. Thank you for making it so hard to say goodbye.
Thank you to my fellow board members and the entire Mercurius board for their outstanding commitment to making the most out of this year’s difficult circumstances and tending to Medium’s needs. Although none of us knew we signed up for a year full of tremendous change in all aspects of our lives, we have left our mark by doing our best in the face of the Coronavirus crisis.
Knowing that Medium has become one of the most important aspects of my life throughout this year, I think it can no longer go back to the sidelines. Even though I will no longer be a part of the board, Medium will always have a special place in my heart and memory as the inspiring shared space we built.
Out with the old and in with the new, it is time to welcome Medium’s editorial board of 2020-2021 officially. I want to congratulate and wish good luck as well as a fruitful year to Younes Skalli, as Editor-in-Chief, and Yi Li Char, as Managing Editor. I am confident you will materialize all of your goals and objectives for this coming year, as well as take away the best from it. Keep on being creative and making Medium evolve with us!
Cover: Taken by Younes Skalli, courtesy of Dalis Robinson