External Affairs Officer of the Board: My experiences
My name is Michael van den Eijnden and for the past 10 months, I have been the External Affairs Officer of the Board of Asset | International Business & Management. Even though this means that my board year is (unfortunately already) slowly coming to an end, I’m really glad that I have learned so much during my board year. In this article, I will tell a bit about myself, my experiences as a board member, give an example of how a week could look like as the External Affairs Officer and the key things that I learned.
I was born and raised in the beautiful town called Geldrop, and I am at the time of writing this 19 years old. I have been studying at the University of Tilburg since the academic year 2016-2017, but due to my board year I decided to pause my studies for a year as being a board member at Asset IB&M is a full-time position. Therefore, I am a second year International Business Administration student. I have been an active member at Asset IB&M since my first year, in which I joined the First Year committee, the Lustrum Committee, and the Promotion Committee. As you can see from the number of committees I joined I really liked being active at Asset IB&M as there is so much to learn with a study association.
Why a board year?
Whenever people hear that I am a second year IBA student they always ask why I decided to do a board year already instead of after obtaining my bachelor. After I joined Asset IB&M in my first year, I already knew that at some point in the future would like to do a board year. First of all, doing a board year gives you first-hand experience what it is like to run a small company. We have around 150 active members which are all divided amongst our committees, and every committee has to be coordinated by a board member. Next to that, we have our board meetings on Monday morning in which we discuss everything that is going on in our association and discuss important decisions that we have to make for our association. Secondly, I wanted to learn how to communicate more professionally and, as I had no idea what I want to study, get in touch with companies from all four pillars of IBA in order to figure out what master I would like to pursue after obtaining my bachelor. The reason why I also chose to do my board year before I went on Exchange is that, as I am still quite young I wanted to be a bit older and grown up before going abroad for half a year. Also, this meant that I can apply in the first selection round of the Exchange program of Tilburg University, which gives me a higher chance of being selected for my preferred University. Therefore, I decided to apply in November 2017 to become the new External Affairs Officer of Asset IB&M.
Why External Affairs Officer?
As I wanted to learn how to communicate more professionally and learn what field of study suits me best, I decided that becoming the new External Affairs Officer was would give me the best opportunity to figure this out. As an External, you are responsible for handling the company contacts of the association, as well as trying to acquire new partnerships with companies. This gave me the perfect opportunity to speak to a lot of recruiters and meeting them in their offices, which required me to become more professional in my communication and attitude. By meeting the recruiters to talk about a possible partnership at their offices I was able to see what it is like to work at those companies, as the recruiters were almost always willing to talk about their company and give a quick tour around the office. Therefore, it was really valuable for choosing which field of study I would like to pursue. Another perk of being an External is growing your professional network, which could prove useful whenever I am going to start looking for a job.
What a week as External could look like
Key things that I have learned/improved
- Communicating formally
- Coordinating and motivating people
- Organize big events
As it is almost time to pass on my function to another person, I already want to thank my fellow board members and all our active members for the great experiences this year, and all the great parties we attended together and making my board year legendary. I have truly enjoyed my time as a board member of Asset IB&M, and luckily it is not over yet!
If you have any questions about being an External Affairs Officer, or about being a board member in general, do not hesitate to contact me or come by our rooms! I will gladly answer your questions, and tell you many more stories as this article would be even longer if I wrote everything down. On our website, you can find more information about how to apply for a board year.
See you around!
Michael van den Eijnden