Interview with the 53rd Board: Secretary & Vice-President
- Full name: Anouk van der Windt
- Age: 21
- Position within board: Secretary & Vice-President
- Studies: Business Administration
- Favorite drink: Wine
What to expect of a board year?
Why did you choose this position within the MAEUR board?
Definitely because of the wide variety of tasks this position offers, since I feel like this position has it all: some basic administrative tasks, guiding a committee, organizing events, and even some designing and content creation in invitations and newsletters. Also, there is a lot of space to come up with new ideas and/or collaborative projects with other board members.
What can any prospective applicants expect from a board year with MAEUR?
They can expect a year to remember forever. It is very hard to explain the feeling you get from a board year, but it is the perfect combination of personal development, professional development, new information, expanding your network and having a lot of fun with six other people who will get a place in your heart.
What did this function bring you this year on a professional level?
This position taught me a lot because of the responsibility you’re able to experience with a position within the board. It taught me some practical skills which I would never learn in university, but which I do need to have in my future career. In short, it is a great addition to the theoretical knowledge you’ve gained during your studies.
And on a personal level?
I discovered versions of myself I did not know before because a position in the board puts you in such a new and unfamiliar setting you have no experience in. Also, I got the opportunity to work on my own strengths and flaws with the feedback sessions and board trainings, which I’ll definitely benefit from in my future career.
What does an average day within your function look like?
I always start the day with checking my inbox, updating our agendas and preparing the tasks for the day. After our weekly board meeting, I usually have an appointment with the Activity Committee, some other calls with external parties for the organization of the events for our alumni network, and a management meeting with the President to discuss our long-term strategy. Furthermore, I gather content for our alumni newsletter and create direct mailings for companies.
What tasks did you like the most?
I think I liked the organization of the events for the alumni network the most, since you’re responsible for the whole process: from invitations and location to the decoration, the day program, the gifts and the budget. To see it all come together at the day itself gives you a lot of energy for the next event, just as the appreciation you get from the alumni.
Challenges & successes
What are some of the position-related challenges you overcame this year - or not?
I think keeping track of a lot of different things at the same time. The variety of the position can sometimes at the same time be a little overwhelming and in the beginning I thought it was hard to keep the general overview. Now, later in the year, I feel like I have things more in control than I used to have before and that I have learned to get things done in a more structured way.
What achievement(s) from the past year are you most proud of?
I’m just proud of my personal development this year, especially in decision-making and facing my flaws. Also I’m just very proud of my fellow board members and everything we achieved in both in times of lockdown and in times where the measures had loosened up. I think we reacted quickly to changes and that we got creative when our possibilities were limited.
What is your most memorable moment from the past year?
I think the first professional event we organized with the board year since we were all so excited for it and so proud afterwards. Also, I really liked the Active Members Weekend and our monthly Marketing Drinks, as it was so nice to see every committee bonding, resulting in the community of active members we now have.
In general, what did you like most about a board year?
Just the combination of working, learning and having a lot of fun at the same time. Also, I think I just liked our board itself the most, since we were such a diverse but amazing group together!
What would you say to someone considering a board year at MAEUR?
If you have doubts whether everything will fall into place since your not sure about your experience, your skills, your capabilities your knowledge and/or the people you’ll be teamed up with… it will! I had them as well, but in the end there was nothing to worry about and I would have never wanted to miss out on such an amazing year.
What wise advice would you give your successor?
Please, enjoy every moment of this year! Although a year seems like a long time, time flies and before you know it, the year has already passed by and you’ll be wishing it could continue for a little longer.