Secretary of the Board: My Experiences
Hello, my name is Nils Oskam, and this past academic year I have filled the position of Secretary of the Board at Asset | International Business & Management. In this article, you can read about my experiences as a board member and gain some more insights into my function.
I am 21 years old and I am from a small village in the Flevopolder called Biddinghuizen (famous for Walibi Holland & Lowlands, if you did not know). I started studying International Business Administration in 2019 and after my board year, I will go on exchange and finish my third year of IBA.
I have lived in Tilburg for roughly 3 years now, ever since I started my bachelor International Business Administration. After my board year, I will officially start my third year with an exchange to Sydney if everything goes through.
Why did I decide to do a board year?
I was always intrigued by the idea of doing a board year at Asset | IB&M, however the decisive factor for me was the impact of Covid-19 on my exchange. When I applied, I was accepted into Queen’s University in Canada; however, I was afraid that I would spend the majority of my time in Canada indoors on my laptop due to corona. And like I said I had always been interested in doing a board year at IB&M, so I started thinking about applying, such that I could do something back for the organization which got me through the corona period, and at the same time, I could postpone my exchange. This meant that I was able to get a “proper” exchange, while also doing something that is great for you professionally.
Additionally doing a board year would look good on my CV, would give me the chance to build out my network, make new friends and it is the perfect mix between formal and informal, since you essentially lead a company of roughly 200 people, while also still having to chance to enjoy your student life with drinks and fun informal activities.
I decided to write for secretary, because you get to do a lot of different varying tasks, which allows you to learn and improve different skills. Additionally, I was attracted to the technical part of the position, because as a secretary you are in charge of the website and other IB&M-owned platforms.
What was your biggest challenge during your board year?
As a secretary you do not necessarily have committees that organize big formal events or big study trips, only smaller trips and formal events like an IBA Trip and the Parents Day; and while organizing these events in themselves is challenging, for me the biggest challenge was adapting to the steep learning curve and adapting to unforeseen circumstances.
During a board year you learn a lot, from soft to hard skills, and it is a steep learning curve, which is great for your personal development. And the biggest thing I had to adapt to in the beginning was organizing and planning, but after a while, I got used to it, and I became more organized.
Additionally, also due to covid, we had to work under uncertain conditions, and we had to be flexible in planning and organizing our events, which was sometimes a hassle because we had to radically change plans last minute. However, over time we as a board together became better at anticipating and we could act with more certainty.
What did you spend most of your time on during your board year?
I spent most of my time behind the computer, working on the site. As already mentioned as secretary you are in charge of running the site, this includes putting events on the site, which is something I do quite often. Along with that I also coordinate 5 committees, the First Year Committee, the Orange Pride Committee, the IM Committee, the IBA Committee and the alumni committee “The Finals”. As secretary, you are automatically assigned the IBA and the IM committee because you are in charge of the study support portfolio, and these committees work on updating and improving the guidelines.
Next to that, I am in three Faculty Wide Organs:
The Webmaster Meeting, where I meet with all the webmasters of the different departments, to discuss the website and the backend system we use.
The Secretaries Meeting, where I meet with all the secretaries of the departments to discuss the year planning and the member database.
The Study Support Meeting, where I discuss the various forms of study support we offer, this meeting is in collaboration with the MAK.
So, as you can see I am also quite busy with my recurring meetings every week.
What did you learn during your board year?
The biggest thing I learned during my board year is to plan and organize, before my board year I did not even use an agenda, and now I use it extensively. Organizing was also one of the things I really hoped to improve during my board year, and I am happy to say that this is the case. Additionally, by attending our formal events, and talking with recruiters and companies, I have gotten a better idea of what I would like to do after I finish my studies. Lastly, when on the board you closely work together with 5 other people, every day; thus, I have improved my ability to work in a team, which is a great skill to have for your future career.
I hope this article has given you somewhat of an insight into what it entails to be the Secretary 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 61179473.
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!