Welcome to our Member Spotlights. This is an attempt to bring more focus to one of our favorite things about WIL, the community! The Member Spotlight series will consist of interviews with WIL Members, so that we can all get to know each other a little better as you often are not able to talk to everyone at a workshop. Our first member that we would like to introduce to you is Alyssa Guerrouche. If you are interested in connecting with Alyssa feel free to add her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alyssaguerrouche/
Member Spotlight: Alyssa Guerrouche
I am half Dutch and half French. I was born in the Netherlands but I live kind of all over the place. I am in my first yar at Leiden University College, the liberal arts and sciences course and my goal is to study world politics as a major.
Apart from being a student at LUC, I am also a professional actress. I am currently part of the Nickelodeon series Hunter Street which we just wrapped three weeks ago. I have been in performing arts for basically a decade now and I absolutely love it. But I didn't want to go on fully studying it because I do think political science is very similar to acting, as in you need to bluff as well. I was very happy to make the decision to go to LUC instead. I am also very much active in the Middle East diplomatic relations, as in I follow that to the toe and I make sure that I am very informed about it. I lived a very long time in the Middle East as well. That is where I grew up, and I have a very close attachment to it. I think that if I were to say that one specific area of politics is very interesting to me, it is the Middle East.
Why did you decide to become part of WIL?
What we usually see is that a lot of the important relations and important job opportunities that we see in the workforce come through networking and come through relationships - as much as we love it or we hate it- it depends on the person. I think it is just very important especially in a world that is still so saturated against women's leadership and with still a very long lasting ceiling. Instead of competing against each other, we should aim to help each other and to work together because only by showing the united front of women we will be able to break that glass ceiling. What I liked about WIL is that not only did they have a strong connection of like-minded and ambitious women, they also provided workshops to better yourself within a wide range of fields such as the LinkedIn workshop or the public speaking workshop. WIL basically combined the educational / Masterclass aspects of a lot of organizations and the network and internship opportunity. That is why WIL was really interesting to me.
What has been your favorite experience at WIL so far?
I remember the first networking event that we had online which was also my first event as a member of WIL and I was quite nervous because I didn't know what to expect and what the people were like. But when we opened the call, we just all decided to take a glass of red wine and started talking. I immediately felt at home and welcome. I remember that was the moment I decided that I want to work with WIL and hopefully work in WIL at some point in the future.
Who inspires you?
One woman that inspires me is Olivia Wild. She is an actress but she also became a film director because she believes that the representation of women and girls was not complete in cinema. She actually made one of my favorite films called “Booksmart” and you can see that the attention to the depth of the characters is so much better. She was also very involved in politics recently with the election and she got a lot of criticism in the beginning. Just her ability to rise above it and make peace with the fact that you are going to get criticized but that you need to keep going if that is what you want to do is something that really inspires me. Another person that I would like to add is Lilian Marijnissen. She is the leader of the socialist party of the Netherlands and the only female party leader in the country. She is also one of the youngest and that inspires me as well to think that you don't have to be an old stuffy man to be able to get in these leadership positions.
Interview and article by Hanna Dittmar