After the kickoff article about the Risk Board, an interview with the Risk Chairman, Tim Louwman, we continue today with more information about the position of secretary and the position of treasurer.
My name is Sem Wijma and for the past ten months I have been the secretary of the Risk Board. Before I applied for the Risk Board, I had been active at Risk for multiple years. In my second year of my studies Economics & Business Economics, I joined the Risk Investment Team where I first came in contact with the financial world and all the aspects it has to offer.
My name is Toos Lageman and I currently fulfill the position of treasurer within the Risk Board 2017-2018. When I started this board year, I was in the third year of the Bachelor Accountancy & Controlling. I have been an active member of Risk since the start of my second year, when I organized the Risk Accountancy Tour. After that, I wanted to stay involved with the association and so I became a member of the Risk Conference Committee. During that time, I got to know the association even better and I became enthusiastic about doing a board year at Risk, which is why I applied for a position in the board. This was a great decision for me, from which I definitely don’t have regrets!
Toos, you were an active member of Risk before our board year, do you think this is necessary to be selected for a position in the Risk Board?
No, absolutely not. For me, it was a great way to get to know the association, but you will get to know the association anyway in your transition period. Two of the current board members did not have any previous experience with Risk, which meant that during the transition period they could look at Risk as an outsider, which sometimes gave them an advantage. In your transition period, the most important thing is that you learn all there is to learn about your daily tasks and the association in whole. Getting to know the members comes naturally. Of course, this can be my specific experience as the treasurer, how was this for you Sem?
No, I totally agree. Even though I was an active member before we started with the transition period, there were so many things you had to learn, which you could never know without fulfilling a board position. During the first days, I learned about all the tasks I am responsible for as the secretary. Firstly, this meant that I learned about all the channels we use to inform the Risk (Active) Members, such as the mailings, the Risk Magazine and the corporate identity. These are standard tasks you have to carry out the whole year. I also came into contact with the alumni, since one of the responsibilities of the secretary is to keep in close contact with the Risk Alumni Network.
I met so many interesting new people and I gained better insight in what I want to do after my study.
Are the things that you have learned in your transition period also the things that you do on a standard day?
Partly, yes. In your transition period you will learn a lot about Risk, this will come in handy later on, but I could not use this knowledge to carry out specific secretarial tasks. The second aspect is learning about all the responsibilities, and as such, how you can perform your responsibilities. During a normal day, it could be that I post a magazine article written by one of the Risk Magazine authors or update the website with the most recent information about one of our in-house tours. This all needs to be done via the back-end of the website, which I mastered during my transition period.
Nice to hear that each position has its particular tasks. For me specifically, it is important that I keep control over all ingoing and outgoing cash flows during the year. This means that I pay the bills on the one side, and send all the invoices to our partners on the other side. Furthermore, I make sure that all budgets are set right. In each committee a treasurer is appointed in the first meeting, with whom I coordinate the budget for the specific event. I am also responsible for the bookkeeping of the association as a whole. In addition to this, each board member supervises a few committees. Amongst others, I am responsible for supervising the Risk Conference Committee. Once or twice a week we meet with the whole committee to discuss the progress of the event. This is a good way to stay up to date. As a board member, you are present at all meetings of the committees for which you are responsible. At the end of the day, around 17:00, I go home and I have dinner with my fellow board members or my friends. On some days we have a Risk Activity or a social of another association, where we will go together.
A social of another association, why is that?
Well, we have our own room in a part of the Duisenberg Building that is called the ‘interim’. This is the part of all the FEB study associations, so that means that other FEB associations also have their own room in this part of the building. Because we are all present every day at our rooms, we have a lot of contact with the board members of the other boards, which adds a nice aspect to being on Zernike every day. I think for me, together with the contact with our (active) members, this is one of the things that I appreciate most about doing a board year. You get to know so many new people which makes it really fun. What is the best part about doing a board year for you Sem?
I also liked the contact with the active members and the other boards of the faculty a lot. You meet a lot of students who are equally motivated to develop themselves and students who have a broader focus than their studies only. This also means that you will meet students who have already done internships or know people who have. In this way you will learn more about the career possibilities in finance than you will ever on a website.
Was that the main reason that you decided to apply for a board year?
Orientation on my future career was indeed one of the reasons to apply for the Risk Board. Furthermore, during your study you will develop a broad portfolio of academic skills, however; you will not come into contact with the practical aspects of your studies. In general you get the chance to develop other skills during your board year, than you will develop during your studies. For example, during your board year you will have more responsibilities, but you can still afford to make a big mistake, which you cannot afford in your future career. At the next general members meeting you have to explain and defend the choices you made, which makes you think better about your responsibilities. Was this also one of your reasons or was it different for you?
I had multiple reasons for wanting to do a board year. One of them was to develop myself next to my study, because I missed the practical experience. I had the feeling that time was going really fast and I didn’t want to finish my Bachelor without gaining this experience. Next to that, as I explained earlier, I felt really in place at Risk and wanted to involve myself for another year. Also, the fact that the main focus of Risk lies on career orientated activities is something that really appealed to me. Last but not least, I wanted to have a great year with a lot of fun (once in a lifetime) activities.
Do you think that the expectations you had for your board year are met?
Yes, in fact, it was even better than I could have imagined. I learned a lot of skills that I couldn’t have learned in a lecture room. Also, I met so many interesting new people and I gained better insight in what I want to do after my study. I really had an amazing ten months and I will enjoy the last months greatly. I can recommend it to everyone!
I couldn't agree more. While my board year comes to an end and new possibilities will come up, I can look back at a year full of unique experiences which you will never encounter without a board.
I hope we have given you some insight in the functions of secretary and treasurer of the Risk Board. Interested in doing a board year at Risk? For more information you can look here or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or to plan a coffee date.