Who are you?
My name is Anna Timmerman. I’m 22 years old and the Project Coordinator of the 50th board. After doing a bachelor in Business Administration and taking a gap year, I’m currently studying Marketing Management at RSM.
What made you choose to apply for the MAEUR board?
Actually, I had no prior experience with MAEUR before this year: I had never been part of a committee at MAEUR and I couldn’t join even one event in my gap year because I was traveling and doing an internship. However, the idea of running an association with all challenges that come along, together with a group of fellow students, already appealed to me since my first year of studying. I heard great stories about MAEUR, talked to a few former board members and joined a drink, and found the atmosphere to be very fun, open and down-to-earth. This, in combination with the interesting events MAEUR organizes and the obvious fact that it’s a marketing association (my aspired working field), made me apply for a board year.
What is your function and what does it entail?
As the supervisor of most of the committees, I recruit, manage and coach (most of) our more than 70 active members. It’s my responsibility to ensure the success of our events and projects, and I oversee the yearly planning. The Project Coordinator is the link between the board and the active members, so communication is key for this function!
Describe the day in the life of a Project Coordinator:
When I arrive at the office, I always start with checking my email and WhatsApp to see whether someone tried to reach me. Then, I for example have a meeting with the chair of a committee to discuss the progress made. After this I usually communicate to the board what information was relevant for them. I also lead the weekly Cross-functional meeting, which is a meeting with the Treasurer, External Relations Coordinator and Marketing Coordinator. Here we discuss the progress of all committees and the steps to be taken. Most of my time I spend on helping committees out with their questions regarding their event, committee, budget or I give my point of view on a subset of matters. When I am at the office, it also happens quite often that committee members just walk by the office to get their answers on questions right away and then we discuss how everything is going.
What did you learn from your time as board member?
Where to start… I think first of all, I’ve learned a lot about people management. I’ve always loved working in teams, but this year I’m working with so many different people with such different characters. Of course I am collaborating very intensively with my fellow boardies, but it is also very interesting to learn how every committee is totally different because of the different group dynamics, and to learn how I can best support them. For example, does it work best if I am more involved in the process, or does a committee need more autonomy?
Also, I’ve learned to more critically evaluate ideas and plans. Naturally, I rather impulsively give my opinion based on what I think at that moment is best. Now I more often stop and think for a minute, and weigh all the pros and cons before I make a decision or express my opinion.
6. What is your most fun memory?
The day that we announced the active members is my most fun memory: for weeks, we worked very hard on the recruitment, and at that day and that drink it all came together. It felt like the board year finally really started – because what is an association without its members?
Other fun memories are all the events, activities and endless nights I had with the board, (active) members and other associations. Also, I’m sure the upcoming study trip to Barcelona and our board holiday in summer will also make it to the top of my list!
7. What are you going to do after your board year?
I’m going to finish my master and hopefully get a side job or internship in the field of brand management.
8. What’s your favorite quote?
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Well, maybe this quote is not totally applicable because it’s not a job and it’s just for one year, but you get the idea… A board year is of course quite an investment of time and it is hard work, but I believe that if you do something you are passionate about, you will even enjoy the hard parts such as tough meetings or unforeseen challenges.
9. What advice would you give to someone who is considering a board year?
Just do it! A bit cliché, but I promise you won’t regret it. It honestly is the best year of my student life – you will have lots of fun, meet many great people, learn things you didn’t expect to learn, and have a lot of responsibility. If you’re interested, I’d suggest finding out what position suits you best by thinking about what you want to learn and what drives you. Last year, getting a cup of coffee with board members really helped me in getting a clearer view on what a board year entails, so I can definitely recommend doing that. I’m always open for a cup of coffee!
If you are interested in becoming the next Project Coordinator of MAEUR and if you have more questions, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!