Vice-Chairman of the board: My experiences
My name is Wessel Grol and I have been the Vice-Chairman of the board of Asset IB&M over the course of the last 10 months already. I started studying here at Tilburg University in September 2015 and at the same time, I also started doing a small first committee at Asset IB&M, which was the promotion committee. After a first orientation year, I started being more active as a member in the second year, as part of the activities committee and my love for IB&M grew. Then I went on an exchange to Brazil and during my exchange, I realized the special atmosphere IB&M had and I knew I wanted to be a bigger part of this and hopefully make it even greater. Now I would like to take a moment to reflect on the past 10 months and see what this has brought me, the ups and also the downs that I had here.
But first, I would like to explain a little what the Vice-Chairman of the board of Asset IB&M does on a daily basis and why I made a choice for this function. As the vice, you will be the closest to the members and in my opinion, the members are the most valuable thing we have at our association. As a vice, you will be coordinating many different committees, with a huge diversity of people. This will lead to a great challenge for your people management skills, which has been very interesting for me. There is always a very different approach needed to motivate a committee to work properly and have them enjoy what they do. As a vice, you work with the heart of our association and every step you make or take will revolve around this.
To start off with the active member policy. You as a vice will be responsible for the ‘recruitment process’ of our members. You want to have a great diversity of people who can help and stimulate each other to get the best out of each other. You will therefore have a talk with as many new/current active members as possible and assess in which group of people you should place them best. Sometimes you will have to intervene when a committee really is not functioning or when personal arguments emerge. You will therefore also have some more difficult conversations with members, but for me, this has been very informative as well. When you set up all the +-25 committees, you can really give people the chance to grow when giving them certain spots or functions. It is really amazing to see members grow so quick in experience throughout the year.
Next to the active member policy and coordinating committees, the vice is responsible for some projects and the year planning. Although the year planning would not sound like the most challenging and exciting task, actually for me it was rather challenging and therefore also very informative. With such a huge active member base (around 150), who indeed are very active, you will really have to plan your 100+ events very well and carefully in order to make the year a success. The planning is quite a strategic task and I have learned a lot from it, since I was not a great planner before my board year.
Next to that, I was responsible for the internationalization of our association, which also has been a very interesting and exciting project for me. Asset IB&M is an international association and therefore we wanted to bring internationals something extra. After my exchange, I realized it can be rather difficult to integrate into a very different culture and therefore, together with my committee, I have set up a brand new buddy programme, which is going very well so far.
Board year at IB&M
With this project, I would like to make a small bridge toward a board year in general at IB&M. Doing a board year at IB&M was one of the best choices in my life, especially on a professional level you will learn more than you would have imagined. You will be much more aware of your skills, but also your flaws and how you should best deal with these. You will have a much clearer idea about what you like, dislike and what you want to do in your career. During a board year at IB&M, I had more freedom of developing ideas than I had expected. The buddy programme was an example for this, but also a ‘Date Dinner Committee’ in which 3 different committees would organize a dinner together every month. This was one of the ways in which I was allowed to further improve the social cohesion of our beautiful association. On the other side, as a coordinator, you will learn to function on the background and make the people in the committees flourish. You will notice how much IB&M means to its members and this makes every strategic choice you make as a board relevant as it will have a great impact. You will therefore have a great impression of how it is to run a small company.
Key things I have learned:
- Strategic planning
- Motivating others
- Work from an idea to a successful project
- Professionalism in a broad sense
- Leadership skills
To end this blog article, I would very much take the chance of thanking everybody who put in their energy for IB&M during my time here. I have very much enjoyed working and partying with all the members and board members. If you are interested in any other experiences of mine during my board year, don’t be afraid to ask me any of your questions, since there is a lot more to tell! Are you interested in doing a board year? There is more information about my function on our website, where you will also find how to apply.