‘I have always had a fascination for enforcement and safety. During my studies I wrote my thesis about bodycams and I obtained the boa certificate. This allowed me to become a boa as a side job; That seemed more interesting to me than a job in the hospitality industry because I could gain relevant work experience right away.
“As a boa, I am now involved full-time with maintaining all kinds of issues from the municipality. For example, we rely on reports of dog nuisance, loitering or places where people do not comply with the corona measures. The work is very diverse, every day is different and you are in constant contact with people. That’s what I like about it. And it also earns quite well: my income is higher than at the previous jobs I had. And when I get into permanent employment soon, it will go up a little more.
“After the summer I will go back to study next to my work. I really want to complete a masters degree in law. Then I first have to do a premaster because I come from HBO. I don’t know yet what I actually want to become, but within law you can apply for more vacancies with a university degree than with a higher education diploma. I work 36 hours a week, but because I regularly have evening shifts and I can organize my studies through the Open University myself, I think it will work out.”
‘I have recently been living with my boyfriend in a rented house in Dordrecht. It’s our first time living together, so we had to buy a lot of stuff new. For example, we have a new dining table with chairs, sofa and a desk for the study. Everything had to be whitewashed, because the walls were still pink and yellow from the previous occupants. We plastered some walls again, because they were grainy. Even if it is a rental house, it has to look nice. All in all, with 7,000 euros, this cost us quite a bit, but we had saved for that.
“Because my boyfriend and I both need a car, I chose to lease myself. I’m on the road a lot and that’s why I like to drive a little luxury car. And if something goes wrong, it is repaired quickly and I have no unexpected costs. If you have a car yourself and something is wrong, you are a few hundred euros further. My mother once stood on the highway with a broken timing belt – I can’t imagine this happening to me.
“We didn’t have much in the past. I was sometimes bullied for not wearing designer clothes. That’s why I’m always aware of the value of stuff, I won’t buy shoes of 200 euros anytime soon. I am especially motivated to continue my studies for a good job.”
A version of this article also appeared in NRC in the morning of July 5, 2021