Often, I got questions like: ‘What is it like to be the chairman of Asset | Economics?’ or ‘What does the chairman of Asset | Economics do on a daily base?’. In this article, I will give you more insight in what it is like to be the chairman of Asset | Economics. I will briefly introduce myself before moving on. My name is Peter, I’m 24 years old and already active at Asset | Economics for 4 years now. I have obtained a bachelor degree in Economics and Business Economics, and a master degree in Finance. I have always looked for opportunities to develop myself besides my studies, and that is one of the reasons I have chosen to do a board year. While reading this article, you hopefully get some more insight in what a board year, and especially the position as chairman, brings for me.
“Being part of two boards at the same time can be complicated sometimes, but above all it gives various opportunities to excel and it is lots of fun!”
Let’s start with asking the honest question to yourself: Do you know what the chairman of Asset | Economics or a chairman of a study association in general does on a daily base? I guess most of you do answer this question with a solid ‘no’. I have to admit, before this year I also did not have an exact idea of what it would be like. First of all, it is good to know that the chairman of an Asset department does approximately devotes half of his or her time to tasks for Asset general. For this reason I would like to take you with me in my experiences as chairman of Asset | Economics at one side, and board member of Asset general at the other side. Being part of two boards at the same time can be complicated sometimes, but above all it gives various opportunities to excel and it is lots of fun!
Chairman of Asset | Economics
First things first; my application started with the intention of a board year at Asset | Economics. As a chairman, probably your most important task is coordinating the board of Asset | Economics. This starts with chairing the board meeting every Monday morning. It is always good to start the week with an overview of all tasks and activities. Besides that, it is also fun to hear what your fellow board members did during the weekend. After the board meeting, it is clear what is coming up during the week and what the tasks are for every board member. Besides the literally notion of chairing the board, it is important to make sure the board keeps on acting like a united force. I try to do this by creating an open atmosphere in which my fellow board members can always come up with discussion points they want to share. A strong and united board is of critical importance to reach the targets set at the beginning of the year. Targets are the result of the policy writing process during the summer, a process I was in charge of as chairman. During the year, it is my responsibility to critically look after our policy and the progress we make.
After talking about what should be done and writing this down, the real works begins. The first thing to start my days with is opening my mail. As representative of the association to stakeholders, it is important to respond accurately on mails. As representative, I am the one who normally contacts other parties if something needs to be done and it is my task to keep in touch with them. Following on this, it normal to have quite some meetings during the week with people from the faculty, career services, other external parties, but also internally within Asset. During these meetings, you always have to consider the interest of Asset | Economics, both in the arrangements you make and in the way you represent yourself. On a representative level, I am also responsible for the Department Members Meetings every half year during which we represent ourselves to our members.
Besides these general tasks, I also have some committees to coordinate. It is nice to keep in contact with your active members and organize things together with them. Sometimes it gives you some extra work, but in general it is fun to have this aspect in your portfolio. Furthermore, I take on some other small tasks that are not really part of the portfolio of one of the board members. All together, it is quite a diverse package of tasks that I have done until now, not even considering the tasks to do for Asset general.
As chairman of an Asset department, it is expected to devote around 50% of your time to Asset General. This part of my tasks are probably even more unclear to you compared to my tasks for Asset | Economics, so let’s have a look at what is in it for me on this front. This year, I as chairman of Asset | Economics have the Events portfolio and I am Vice-Chairman of the general board. Every Tuesday, we have a general board meeting with all the chairmen including the Independent Chairman of Asset. During this meeting, general matters regarding Asset are on the agenda. Furthermore, every general board member informs the other general board members about his/her portfolio. As mentioned, my portfolio is the Events portfolio. This portfolio gives me the opportunity to organize major events like the Business Night and the Food For Thought sessions. Having contact with CEO’s of big companies and arranging everything for congress like events are the main tasks accompanying this part of my portfolio. On top of these events, I am the contact person for Asset in the EBT board and in the board of the VvTE (the Asset wide alumni association). Being directly and indirectly part of the biggest career event of Tilburg is a great experience. Furthermore, it is interesting to be in contact with alumni and hear their opinions and thoughts.
Besides the tasks regarding my Events portfolio, I have been elected as Vice-Chairman of the general board as well. This generally means that I am the right hand of Lasse, the Independent Chairman of Asset. Tasks that go along with this position are for example joining meetings, preparing meetings, and chair the general board in the absence of Lasse. As Vice-Chairman, you are the one the Independent Chairman discuss important matters with. This mainly contains strategic questions and difficulties. In the next part, this will be one of things that I mention as things that I have learned during the year.
What it brings me until now
A lot of people have asked me or still ask me why I am doing a board year. These questions are sometimes out of interest, and other times because people just don’t have a clue about what it is about. At this moment, I can confidently say that this year has already brought me a lot, and that is one of the key things I want you to take away from this article. I learned how to really work and function as a team. One step further, I learned how to lead this team. Because I have the privilege to work in and with 2 different boards, I can truly say that I have become a team player more than ever before. Furthermore, I have learned to think more strategically, with a clear vision of where you want to end up. At the other side, I have had the privilege to be in contact with all kinds of CEO’s and CFO’s and also talk with them in an informal setting. These experiences are really valuable to me, not talking about the professional network it has already given me. Last but not least, it is a year full of fun moments in which I have met so many amazing people and in which I have already made friends for life. I can say that it is truly wonderful experience to be part of the board of Asset | Economics, and I still feel privileged everyday that I got the chance to be chairman. I could talk on for a while about how amazing this year is, but I would say just walk by our rooms and ask me about it if you want to know or hear more!