A (board) year full of surprises

One of the main things that I have learned during my board year, is that not everything always goes the way you want it to. Sometimes it turns out to be harder than you thought it would be, while at other times you get surprised how well everything has worked out. During my time as chairman of this wonderful association I have not only learned, but also experienced, things that I could not have held possible at the start. Now that my time as a board member is coming to an end, it is time to reflect on everything that I got to experience while being a part of this wonderful team. Text by: Denise Jacobs – Chairman 2019-2020

Before starting my board year, I had set up several goals that I wanted to achieve. Personal development on a professional level was one of the goals I had set for myself. One of the things that contributed a lot to this development was the function that I had in our board. Being the chairman of  Asset | Econometrics meant that I also had a place in the general board of Asset. As a member in two boards, you have to look at problems from different perspectives. You have to look at each case specifically and critically think about how you are going to deal with this problem and who it affects most. It sometimes even puts you in a difficult position where you need to make choices that are not always easy and that affect others around you.

Another event that increased this development was the COVID-19 outbreak. As you all know, this virus had a huge impact on our daily lives and everything we were used to. My daily routine consisted of going to the rooms in the E building, working together with my fellow board members on various tasks and going to all our beloved events. This drastically changed during this period as well. We had to start working from home and all our events were cancelled. At first, it seemed as if our world as a board member was about to collapse. We were not able to work together at the rooms and were unable to see our beloved members. Even though this was all very unmotivating, we tried to stay together as a team and come up with alternatives. We would check in every morning to discuss what we were going to do that day and keep each other updated of all the developments. We had to think outside the box for everything: what to do with our events, how to set up our meetings, how to deal with our finances, how to keep working together as a team, but also how to prevent the loneliness from kicking in. Being confronted with this crisis really made us think about what is important and what goals to set for our association. Together as a team, we brainstormed about all the possibilities in these strange times. Being together in this with all of them really made me look at problems differently. We worked well together and I cannot express how proud I am of my beautiful ‘Astrics Blue’ team. All these events definitely changed me on a professional level, but also on a more personal level.

My other main goal was to get to know my fellow econometricians better. As I was coming from the International Business Administration program and had only been active at our association for a year, I did not know a lot of people. I was incredibly terrified that I would not fit in and not become part of the group. Luckily, this fear vanished quite quickly. When I met my fellow board members for the first time, they were all very surprised that I would become the new chairman. Even though they did not know me yet, they were very open to get to know me. Working closely together for an incredible amount of hours per day led to the fact that we have gotten to know each other very well. We know what our strengths and weaknesses are but we have also created relationships with one another. At one point, one of our active members thought we were ‘a group of friends’ who were doing a board year together and I think he makes a valid point together. Even though we did not start this way, I like to think that we have definitely become a group of friends who will still see each other after this year.

During my board year, I also have gotten to know the active members of Asset | Econometrics better. As I was coming to all the events and started talking to everyone, I felt that I was becoming a part of the close knit group. People were open to me and I was feeling like I had gained a whole new family. This family feeling was increased by the lovely people of the freshmen committee. It was the only committee I had to coordinate this year, which made it extra special for me. Together, we did our best to come up with events for other freshmen and we definitely did. And most of all, we had a great time doing so.  

The Asset | Econometrics family was not the only one I gained during this year. Being at the rooms every day of the week and going to all the events, gave me the opportunity to get to know the other board members of Asset. As we were all in the same boat together, we knew what everyone was experiencing at the time. While we were seeing a lot of each other during the week, we really had the chance to build relationships and I personally really did.

While writing this article, I am realizing how grateful I am to have gotten the opportunity to be the chairman of this wonderful association. I learned more than I ever held possible and I have made friendships that will always stay special to me. I will take this experience with me forever and hope to see all of you as soon as the COVID-19 regulations allow it!