My board year as External Affairs Officer
As most of you know will probably know by now, my name is Tom Greenhead and I have been part of the board of Asset | International Business & Management as External Affairs Officer since January. In this article, I would like to tell you what I do on a day-to-day basis, my ups and downs throughout the year, but mainly what I have learned over the last year. However, let me start by letting you know how I ended up in the board of our department.
During the second semester of my first year at university (2014-2015), I decided to become an active member at Asset | International Business & Management where I joined the European Travel Committee, which gave me my first experience calling companies as I was in charge of arranging several company and university visits. In my second year, I became the chairman of the Yearbook Committee, which was great fun and taught me to lead meetings. While I was on exchange in Montreal during the first semester of academic year 2015-2016, I decided I wanted to do something to boost my CV, and thus I decided to apply for a board year at our beautiful department, which was, looking back, one of the best choices I ever made.
As External Affairs Officer, I am, in cooperation with my fellow External Affairs Officer, responsible for all company contacts we have at Asset | International Business & Management. In general, this means that I am in charge of getting new companies in to join one or more of our events and to let them expose their possibilities to the students we are allowed to serve, which are the students of the bachelor International Business Administration and the master International Management. Furthermore, I am in charge of keeping all the ‘warm contacts’, which are companies our department has been in touch with before or had contracts with in previous years, satisfied and of course tied to Asset | International Business & Management. To do so, you actually visit most of these companies throughout the summer to go over the contracts our existing partners had and get them to sign a new one for the upcoming academic year, and to try to get new companies to sign contracts with us so they can present themselves and get the exposure they want under the students we serve. Visiting these companies, which mostly entail multinationals, has been a great experience and gave me the chance to meet many recruiters, which might just come in handy for my professional career.
Besides getting companies to sign contracts with us, there are several other tasks I performed throughout the year. First, you have to make sure you stick to all promises and commitments you make with your partners and perform all activities you both agreed on. You must keep in close contact with your partners and keep updated by them about, for example, interesting vacancies or business courses they offer. Also, when a company decided to add a lunch lecture in their contract, you will be the one that has to organize this event in cooperation with the respective company.
Moreover, as many committees contact companies, as External Affairs Officer, you have to keep an overview on all acquisition that committees do. This is crucial because, as Asset | International Business & Management, you should always strive to keeping company contacts as professional as possible. Therefore, you organize one External Meeting per semester, to give active members tips and tricks about acquisition, and you make sure that companies are not approached by more than 1 IB&M’er as you never want to confuse companies.
In addition to this, I have also coordinated several committees over the year. Preparation for meetings, performing tasks for these committees, and, in general, overseeing what the committee members do and trying to keep them happy and motivated, also costs time, but is great to do as this leads to close contact with our active members.
Looking back over the last year, which has flown by incredibly quickly, some things really stand out. First of all, I can say I have learned a lot from being a board member. At the start, I never knew what to tell people when they asked me what I was going to learn this year. Now, this has completely changed. Next to having gained a way more professional look on life, I can most definitely say I have learned how to network well, how to approach people who work at major companies, to organize events and keep close control on all developments, and to keep control over my tasks. In general, I can say that doing a board year really helped me to grow up even more and get a way better insight into what companies actually do and orientate on a way better level than I would have ever been able to do without my board year. Visiting so many great companies most definitely expanded my view on careers in general and on which master degree I would like to pursue next academic year.
Now it is almost time to pass on my function to someone else, I would already like to take this opportunity to thank (I know it is early) my fellow board members and all active members who have made this year unforgettable.
If you have any questions about the function of External Affairs Officer, or about anything else concerning anything else mentioned above, do not hesitate to contact me or walk by the rooms, as I am always open to questions! Moreover, visit our website for more information!
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