One year ago, when I applied for the position of treasurer at Asset | Econometrics, I had multiple reasons to do so. It is now time to reflect on what a board year has brought me thus far and check if it fulfilled any or all of my expectations.
My motivation to apply for a board year could roughly be separated into three parts. First of all, I thought it would present me with a great opportunity to develop myself. I can most certainly tell you that it did. Obviously, I have learned some practical skills such as bookkeeping and setting up Gmail. More importantly, however, I have learned valuable things about communication, both written and spoken.
Although writing an email does not seem like an incredibly difficult or time-consuming endeavor, it surprised me how big a portion of my time is spent on sending emails. Luckily, I clearly see improvement in both the speed with which I produce emails as well as the quality of what is produced. This was one of the things I hoped to learn this year, and I have succeeded.
Secondly, doing a board year simply seemed like a lot of fun. Of course, one of the things that come to mind in this aspect are the numerous parties, often including free beer. However, this was not the fun I was most looking forward to. Instead, I thought it would be incredibly fun to take a position at the steering wheel of such a wonderful association. I must say this certainly has proven to be the case. Over the course of this year I have been forced to think about issues I could not even imagine months ago, such as dealing with a bankrupt printer and dealing with overhead costs paid by Asset. Not only has this been enjoyable, it has also seriously impacted my way of considering problems in general.
I have grown to be more of a critical thinker than ever before and have learned to regard problems from different perspectives. Assuming you are a perceptive reader, you have probably noticed we have looped right back to the first reason I applied in the first place, personal development. This has one simple yet adequate reason: personal development is fun! Since these are two things that might seem entirely separated, or might even seem to contradict each other, I will try to explain why improving oneself can actually be quite the enjoyable experience. No, it is certainly not fun to receive comments from others on what you might be doing better in the future. What is quite a pleasant experience, however, is noticing improvement and getting positive comments from others. I have, for example, learned that I am a helpful person, while I did not regard myself as one at the beginning of the year.
The third reason for me to apply for a position in the board was, as stated in my letter of application: “the fact that you are part of a soon to be closely knit group really appeals to me, combined with the fact you probably are left with good friends for the rest of your life”. Obviously I cannot say anything about the second part of this motivation yet, as the ‘rest of my life’ has not even begun. I can, however, assure you that within weeks, maybe even days, of our announcement it already felt like we had been working together for years. Naturally, you still need to get to know each other in many different ways, but you already sense that you are there for one another; you have got each other’s back should you need it.
Having figured out that I wanted to apply for a board position, it did not take me long to establish which function appealed to me most. I have briefly considered other positions, especially the one of chairman, but I soon decided that the position of treasurer would fit me best. By heart, I am a very curious person. Being a treasurer lets me see nearly everything that happens in the association, for money is a part of almost every decision. Moreover, I have been interested in bookkeeping and financial transactions from a very young age, due to my parents owning a bookkeeping firm. Treasurer seemed to be the perfect fit for me and it has definitely turned out for the best. Looking at my fellow board members, I could not imagine having as much fun in their functions as I have in mine. Thankfully, they feel the same, so every one of us is in the best possible position.
To conclude, a board year has met my expectations and surpassed them in every way. At the moment, I am still very happy with my choice and would recommend it to all of you!
Text by: Ernst Roos