Interview with the 53rd Board: President
Full name: Lisanne Donkersloot
Age: 24 (the Godgrandmother of the group)
Position within board: President
Studies: Master in Marketing Management
Favorite drink: Espresso Martini or Disaronno Sour, but preferably both
What to expect of a board year?
Why did you choose this position within the MAEUR board?
I already have quite a lot of experience with extracurricular activities like joining a committee or organizing events. However, I often ended up in supporting roles within a committee. As I really wanted to go the extra mile this year and step outside of my comfort zone, I decided to take up the challenge and apply for the role as President.
What can any prospective applicants expect from a board year with MAEUR?
A board year at MAEUR is a guaranteed success on both a social and professional level! You can expect to learn a lot about yourself: What are your competences and what are things you need to work on? It improves the way you collaborate, communicate, and execute your tasks. In addition, you enrich your skills within your role. Besides learning, you have the opportunity to expand your network and get in contact with inspiring people. Finally, you meet a lot of fun people with whom you make unforgettable memories.
What did this function bring you this year on a professional level?
Being the President of MAEUR, I represent the entire association. Therefore, I have to do a lot of public speaking which improved my presentation skills a lot. Besides that, I learned how to handle things in a diplomatic way, how to manage my fellow board members and all the ongoing projects, and learned how to adapt quickly.
And on a personal level?
On a personal level I learned a lot about myself. As the President, you are the contact person for your fellow board members. You are the one who makes sure everyone functions well. You help them achieve their goals and give them advice. By doing this, I realized I really enjoy my role and am able to execute it well.
What does an average day within your function look like?
On a day-to-day basis, the President is mainly busy motivating and managing the other board members. You initiate board meetings, have one-on-one meetings to discuss all kinds of matters and create a personal development plan for your fellow board members. Besides that, other important tasks are maintaining relationships with external stakeholders like other associations and the university. Finally, the President is responsible for the strategic policy and making sure we keep on track.
What tasks did you like the most?
What I enjoy most is helping my fellow board members with their personal growth. During a board year, you are constantly learning new things about yourself, each other and your position within the board. Therefore, it is nice to have someone who helps you set and evaluate your goals during the year. Besides that, I really like the diplomatic side of my position. As I maintain contact with a lot of different parties, you need to be able to adapt quickly but represent the interests of your association at all times.
Challenges & successes
What are some of the position-related challenges you overcame this year - or not?
One of the position-related challenges I have had to face is the tight schedule. As the President, you are responsible for tasks to be executed well. Therefore, you are managing many different projects at once. As we are a very ambitious board, we strived to broaden MAEUR’s portfolio with new events and keep improving existing ones. However, this requires a lot of planning skills and adaptability.
What achievement(s) from the past year are you most proud of?
Besides the fact that I am so proud of my entire board for being so committed with our association, I think the Commercial Break event is a very memorable moment I am most proud of. As a board we had just started, and this was the first event we organized. Our Project Coordinator, Julia, was in charge of the organization and planning of the event and did a fantastic job! The External Relations Coordinator, Quinten, arranged four interesting companies which made the evening and success! I myself hosted the entire evening which was a moment of personal victory. Altogether, it was a night to remember!
What is your most memorable moment from the past year?
When doing a board year, you have a lot of memorable moments together. Want to know about all of them? Hit me up and we will have a coffee! However, two weekends that stood out the most were the changeover weekend where the former board installed us as the new board. We had a lot of fun, crazy moments and got to know each other very well! Furthermore, the policy weekend was very memorable as well! Besides all the serious moments of brainstorming about this year’s policy, we had a lot of fun!
In general, what did you like most about a board year?
The fact that we are doing this together is what I like most about a board year. This year is all about teamwork! You cannot run a study association by yourself. Only if you listen to each other, work together and stay open for feedback to improve you make this year a great success.
What would you say to someone considering a board year at MAEUR?
Want to have the most educational, memorable and fun year of your student life? Apply for a board year at MAEUR! Together with your fellow board members you have the opportunity of leading your own organization at a very young age, which is an incredible experience. After this year, you will have learned a lot about yourself and will have a friend group for a lifetime!
What wise advice would you give your successor?
My advice will be to enjoy it right from the start! This year is full of new experiences which can be quite nerve-wracking. However, it goes by incredibly fast, so you have to enjoy every minute of it! Take a moment to celebrate moments of victory and execute your tasks mindfully, because before you know it, it will be over.