Treasurer of the Board: My Experiences
My name is Kevin ter Bogt. This academic year I am the Treasurer of Asset | International Business & Management.
I am 21 years old and I am from Lichtenvoorde, in the east of the Netherlands. In 2018 I moved to Tilburg to start my bachelor’s in International Business Administration. In my first year, I focused on my studies and played football at TSVV Merlijn. It was only in my second year that I discovered the Orange Army and joined my first committee, the sports committee as their chairman. In my third year, my exchange sadly got canceled because of covid, so I did an internship instead. Besides that, I joined the Exchange and Internship Committee at Asset | IB&M. After completing my bachelor’s, I decided to apply for a board year, and I can say that it was a great decision!
Why did I decide to do a board year?
The reason I chose to do a board year was because I wanted to develop myself professionally and personally while still enjoying student life to its fullest. And what better association to do it at than Asset | IB&M? In this way I could also give back to the association that has given me a wonderful student time. As a full-time board member at this association, you are basically managing a small company of around 150 employees (committee members). This fact attracted me a lot because I thought I could learn a lot from this in terms of organization- and leadership skills. During a board year, you also meet lots of new people, either in your own association or in other boards. This is a good opportunity to broaden your network and make new friends.
I chose to apply for the role of treasurer because I like working with numbers and I am good in keeping an overview of the bigger picture. Moreover, I plan on pursuing a Master’s in Finance and somewhere down the line I want to start my own business, so having budget and accounting skills could come in handy in the future. The responsibility of handling quite a lot of money and the freedom you have to decide what happens with the finances of the association also attracted me to becoming Treasurer.
What was your biggest challenge during your board year?
The biggest challenge I faced was to make sure that an unforeseen flight change by our airline for the European Study Trip to Barcelona and Valencia would not ruin our trip. After the trip, I had to start a legal battle against the airline to get our tickets refunded.
One of my committees is the European Travel Committee (ETC), which organizes a study trip within Europe every year. During this trip, you will visit interesting companies in one or two cities abroad, enjoy cultural activities, and have a good time with around 25 fellow IBA students. However, before the last European trip, we found out that our flight back home was brought forward by a day only a couple of days before we would leave. This was a big problem for us because we had planned a company visit on the day of departure. Luckily, the committee immediately started looking at our rights in this case, because the airline did not notify us of the flight change. After doing a lot of research the conclusion was that we were entitled to a refund and compensation. Therefore, we quickly bought other flight tickets for almost the same price with another airline on the original day of departure. Problem solved we thought, but nothing could be further from the truth. To this day, the airline did not pay for our refund and compensation, so the trip is still standing at a big loss. Therefore, I asked for the help of our friends at Magister JFT, the study association for the Tilburg Law School. They pointed me at a legal procedure that helps keep small businesses and associations protected against big firms. I decided to pursue this procedure, and the judge in The Hague indeed agreed that we were entitled to receive a refund and compensation. A bailiff is now trying to get the airline to pay us. To be continued…
While this situation gave us some stress for sure, I also learned a lot from it. For example, how to deal with stressful situations and how to solve big problems. I also liked doing the legal work involved, since it is something you would normally never do.
What did you spend most of your time on during your board year?
Most of my time was spent doing Treasurer specific tasks like doing bookkeeping, sending and paying invoices, making and updating the budget and balance sheet, and meeting with the treasurers of committees. Another very important part of my time is spent on coordinating four committees and my own projects, called electives. The four committees I coordinate are the Drinks & Themes Committee, which organizes monthly drinks and our Active Members Weekend, the Case Competition Committee which organizes a two-day formal event, where students compete to solve companies’ cases the best, the European Travel Committee which I explained above, and the Intercontinental Travel Committee that organizes a two-week study trip outside of Europe. This year we will go to Vancouver and Seattle! The projects or electives that I have been to organize a Career Perspectives event for International Management students and the IBA Alumni Event, where successful IBA alumni talk about their experiences after IBA.
The busiest periods of the year are at the end of each quarter because at those times you have to make sure the bookkeeping, budget, balance sheet, and all other financial documents are exactly right for the tax authorities. Luckily, the Audit of Accounts committee helps me with this by checking all documents every quarter. Most of your other time can be spent on doing committee work and doing work for your own projects.
What did you learn during your board year?
Before my board year, I did not plan at all. I did not even use an agenda. Now, I can not imagine living without an agenda and task list. You can therefore say that a board year has taught me a lot about organization and planning skills. Besides that, I improved my leadership skills by coordinating and managing my committees. By participating in formal events and meeting recruiters of all kinds of companies I also now know way better what I want to do later in my career and my network increased a lot during the year.
I am very thankful for this opportunity, everything I learned, and all the people I got to meet! In the upcoming time I will still go on the ITC Trip to Vancouver and Seattle, and together with the committee organize the Case Competition. I look forward to the remainder of my board year, and I can recommend everyone to do a board year in the future!
I hope this article has given you somewhat of an insight into what it entails to be the Treasurer of the board of Asset | International Business & Management. If you ever have any questions about my function, Asset | IB&M in general, or anything I wrote in this article, do not hesitate to contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org or +31 6 37333922.
Are you possibly interested in becoming my successor? You can take a look at our website for more information about my function, the other opening functions, and how to apply!