Last week, we published an article about the Risk Secretary and Treasurer. Today we continue with more information about the external relations and internal relations positions.
My name is Bart Hessels and I am the external relations of the Risk Board 2017-2018. When my board year ends in March, I will hopefully finish my Bachelor in Economics & Business Economics at the end of this summer. Before I applied for the Risk Board, I was not an active member, but I already visited the Investment Evenings. After I came back from my exchange semester in Turku, Finland, I was pretty certain I wanted to do a board year. An information screen at the coffee room in the University Library about board recruitment of Risk caught my eye. I have had a great year so far, with many new experiences and a lot of fun!
Hi, I am Carlijn Elemans and my position in the Risk Board is Internal Coordinator. In 2014 I moved to Groningen and started my Bachelor Economics and Business Economics. In the third year of my study I did an exchange semester and went to Gwangju, South Korea. I had an amazing time there and as the end of my Bachelor was approaching I started thinking about what I wanted to do after. A few of my friends who were in a board at the time told me about their experiences. According to their stories and information I found online, I decided that this was exactly what I was looking for, a both fun and instructive year! Seeing my interest in finance, Risk piqued my curiosity. So when I returned to Groningen, I contacted the then current Risk Board and a couple of weeks later, I submitted my application.
Your story sounds somewhat the same as mine Carlijn! We both decided to do a board year after our period abroad, and we were both not active at Risk before. As a non-active Risk Member, was it hard for you to connect and integrate with all the Risk members?
In the beginning you obviously have to get used to everything. You meet a lot of new people at once and there are a lot of abbreviations, you have never heard of. Fortunately, the atmosphere at Risk is very open and everyone is accessible. Also, the board helps you on your way in the beginning, and before you even notice it feels like you have been a part of the association for years. Now that we are talking about the similarities between us, aren’t our positions in the board also quite similar? As we both maintain contact with one group of our main stakeholders.
Yes, my main focus is of course keeping in touch with all of our business relations. This means that a big part of my responsibilities are calling, mailing or meeting with our business contacts. This is one of the things about my position I like most: representing Risk in a formal setting and making sure that our members can also get in touch with our partners. Our committees also do a lot work on this matter, by making sure our events are well organized. A big part of my task, therefore, is assisting and supervising our committees in company related contact, something you do a lot as well of course.
You are completely right. I am responsible for everything concerning the active members. This means that the recruitment of the committees is one of my main tasks. In the recruitment period I spend a lot of time informing interested students over a cup of coffee, and taking the interviews. Furthermore, I organize, amongst others, the active members trainings, active members weekend and in general the active members contact me first with all their questions.
But that is not all, I also take care of the promotion of our association. So designing flyers, making promotional videos are another important part of my daily tasks. Next to my position as internal coordinator I am the External Relations II, therefore I got the chance to visit all our partners during the summer. These visits were a great chance to orientate on my future career, and of course I enjoyed travelling together!
Yes, you were such fine company to travel with across The Netherlands! I really liked the summer visits, were we visited a lot of companies to discuss possible partnerships with Risk. Those were possibly the most challenging, interesting, and fun weeks of my board year. During this period, I learnt a lot about different companies and formal meetings. Carlijn, what are your highlights this year?
I am glad you asked, the recruitment periods are the highlights of my year. The committees are recruited in April and September and after all the interviews and putting the committees together, it is good to see what great students joined our group of active members. Currently, we are in the middle of the last recruitment period, the recruitment of our successors, the Risk Board 2018-2019. The year went by so fast, don’t you think?
Yes, it does sound like a cliche, but the year went so fast! I think it is mainly because of the fact that my days are never the same. One moment you are updating the vacancies on the website, next you are attending a committee meeting, and before you know it you are at a social.
Exactly what you are saying. A week is filled with all kinds of different tasks and this diversity makes it fun. There are a number of recurring appointments during the week though, such as our board meetings on Monday and Thursday morning and we have lunch together almost every day. The rest of the day, I am either working on promotional stuff, organizing an activity for the active members, or meeting with one of our stakeholders. As the end of our board year is approaching, I am also figuring out what I am going to do after. Have you already decided how you are going to spend your days once you are done?
Yes! Ofcourse I will have to finish my Bachelor first. After that, my plans are to travel to South- and Central America. When I come back, I want to do an internship. One of the main advantages of being the External Relations Officer is that you are in direct contact with several recruiters. Hopefully this will turn out to be useful in the future. What are your plans next year?
I am not completely sure yet. Probably I will start with the Master of Finance here in Groningen after the summer. The past year I met both students and teachers of this programme, who made me very enthusiastic, and who knows, these contacts may come in handy next year. For now I am just going to enjoy the final weeks of my board year!
I hope we have given you some insight in the functions of external relations and internal relations 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.