EXTERNAL AFFAIRS OFFICER OF THE BOARD: MY EXPERIENCES
‘Michel, what is it even that you are doing over there at that student association?’ Other than mistaking a student association for a study association, it is a question my parents have asked in the past, but after several times of explaining still didn’t grasp what exactly I spend around 50 hours per week of my life on. To my parents, but also to those that are interested: allow me to elaborate.
To give you an idea of who I am, I will start off with a minor introduction. My name is Michel van Ham, and I have been the External Affairs Officer of Asset | International Business & Management since September 2018. I was born in the beautiful capital of Noord-Brabant: ‘s-Hertogenbosch. I currently am 22 years old (my birthday was yesterday!), and have been at this university for the past 4 years. I started studying International Business Administration in 2015, and still am at the moment. I didn’t pass all my courses in three years, so I am finishing the final two this semester, which means that I will finish my board year and my bachelor at the same time. Next year, I will, in all likeliness, start the Master program Supply Chain Management at this university.
Before joining Asset IB&M, I joined T.S.R. Vidar in September 2015, after which I also joined a fraternity called Superior In Noctem (S.I.N.). After (uninvitedly) joining a couple of Monthly Drinks before becoming active, I decided to finally become active at Asset IB&M in January 2016, where I was placed in the Yearbook committee. During my second year, I joined the IBA committee, and in my third year, after going on exchange to Athens for half a year, I became part of the Consultancy Days committee. Unfortunately, it was impossible to combine my tasks within this committee and my tasks as an External Affairs Officer, which resulted in a premature end of my role within the Consultancy Days, so I could focus all my efforts on being an External Affairs Officer.
‘So why do you want to do a board year?’ Another question that not just my parents,but a lot of other people asked as wellAs you could maybe imagine, I was a very committed member of Asset IB&M by doing these previous committees. Throughout these years, I met an increasing amount of wonderful people within the association, and in the end I was convinced that I want to be a board member of this group. Our active members base has always been my main driving force to spend a year on doing a board year. Furthermore, I already knew that I had to study IBA at least another half a year longer due to a course I didn’t pass, and doing courses during a board year would ensure that would not waste this period in which I would otherwise only have one course.
‘And why External Affairs Officer?’ During my time in the Consultancy Days, I found out that I liked doing acquisition and calling companies. To me, it was always interesting to see where the interests of both parties lie, and then coming to a consensus that works for both. I felt that I would want to improve in this regard, and becoming the new External Affairs Officer would be the perfect opportunity for this. I personally also liked the professional aspect of meeting with recruiters for a potential partnership with our association. This was especially interesting to me, since at the start of my board year I did not know what I wanted to study afterwards. These visits gave me an insight in what it is like to work at that companies and what possibilities exist; often recruiters would talk extensively about their company and give us a small tour through their office. It gave me the opportunity to see how companies within a certain business or industry operate, and weigh that in my considerations for my future study. Apart from the acquisition that I myself did for the association, a large part of being an external was coordinating the acquisition process of all formal committees, and attempt to streamline it as best as possible. Tasks regarding this would be to assist members when calling or checking whether the set deadlines will be met. Being an External Affairs Officer is also a nice way to expand your network, since you speak to a lot of different recruiters from a large variety of companies. This can be very helpful when looking for a job or internship later on.
‘What did you learn during your board year?’ I found out that I highly value a professional way of working of myself, but also my colleagues or committee members, and in that regard I have improved myself significantly as well. Organizing big events and the networking afterwards are two aspects that I have also improved throughout the year, with the IBA Week being the main example for this. Finally, leading and coordinating people (within committees) is a thing I turned out to really like too. Trying to get all noses in the same direction to achieve a common goal can be challenging, but that also makes it interesting and fun.
How my week could look like:
To conclude, soon my successor will be announced, which will mark the beginning of the end of my board year. I look back at a very exciting and successful year, which could not have been achieved without the help of my fellow board members and all active members at Asset IB&M. For this, I want to thank everyone that contributed to making this year at Asset IB&M an experience to remember
If you would like to hear more about my function or more experiences, feel free to text me and we can go for a quick cup of coffee. I will be happy to answer your questions!
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: https://www.asset-ibm.nl/about/board-application-open