INTERVIEW 51st BOARD, JASPER, TREASURER

  1. Who are you?

My name is Jasper Heesterbeek, born and raised in Leidschendam and 22 years young. I am currently doing half of my master's strategic management at the Rotterdam school of management.

  1. What made you choose to apply for the MAEUR board?

I applied for the MAEUR board for several reasons. First of all, I was not sure what I wanted to do after completing my masters. Applying for a traineeship? A second master? Or Work, and at which company/ Industry. A really hard choice for most students in the last phrase of their masters. Around this time, MAEUR also started recruiting new board members. I actually didn’t think about this opportunity but when weighing all the pro’s and con’s of each option, I came to the conclusion that a board year had by far most pro’s. For me personally, the board experience was the most important one.  Leading one of the biggest study association would give me so many hand-on experiences in developing leadership skills. Besides that, it would enrich my student life. Secondly, I already knew the association because I did the bachelor consultancy project. However, besides doing the project I did not have a very strong connection with the association but the people I spoke to gave me a very good feeling about it and everyone I met was super nice. At last, I applied for the position as Treasurer since it covers a wide spectrum of responsibilities and tasks and I looked forward to learning new things to broaden my skill set.

  1. What is your function and what does it entail?

My function is Treasurer, which means that I am responsible for the financial health of the association. This position really challenges your analytical and strategical thinking. Tasks are among other things: drafting an annual budget, having budget conversations with several committees, communicating with different stakeholders (university, audit/operational/strategical counsel, companies, bank, chamber of commerce, etc.), booking revenues and expenses, drafting invoices, financial reports, proposals, and tax reports and ultimately the association’s annual report.

  1. Describe the day in the life of a Treasurer

It’s a Thursday at the beginning of March. I start my day with a cup of thee and quickly scan my incoming mail. Then I start to prioritize, what’s important today and need to be done, afterward I make a to-do list to keep things organized. Then I grab my phone to text/call a chair of one the committee to discuss their budget and financial progress; their event is coming closer. Then I book several expenses and revenues in our brand new accounting system that just got implemented this year making some of my core tasks a lot easier and faster. After that, I take a quick break and go to Spar for a sandwich and to enjoy the fresh air. After having lunch, I meet up with my fellow board members to discuss the upcoming events in our semi-weekly cross-functional meetings, as a treasurer, it is very important what is going on within the association. The day ends with a committee member coming to the office to relax and to ask me something and we have a little chat.

  1. What did you learn from your time as a board member?

Next to developing some hard skills (e.g. accounting, budget-making) and enriching my knowledge (e.g. rules and regulation of the Dutch Tax Authority) I also grew as a person. This year a new accounting system was introduced so I learned so many new things with the new system and how to implement it. Besides, I had to deal with different personalities, nationalities and difficult (unexpected) situations. Thereby I had to learn to negotiate, making consensuses, having difficult conversations but most importantly how to lead one of the biggest associations on campus together with my fellow board members. What really made my year unique is the coronavirus that suddenly hit the Netherlands and it really did give me good crisis management skills, which meant making fast calls with little Information.

  1. What is your most fun memory?

The interaction and fun times together with all the active members of MAEUR! It is beautiful to see how new friendships emerge and how involved everyone is within our association. I enjoyed our member's weekends, active members' night(s) and all our monthly drinks most! Besides that our own constitution drink was very memorable, with all the other Interfaculty associations.

  1. What are you going to do after your board year?

I will do the other half of my master's, so some core courses and besides that my thesis.

  1. What’s your favorite quote?

“It's not whether you get knocked down; it's whether you get back up” – Vince Lombardi jr.

  1. What advice would you give to someone who is considering a board year?

Take the chance and see what it can bring you! It’s a lifetime experience and you will never forget it. During a board year, you have the unique opportunity to take a seat in the cockpit (board room) of a company at a very young age. It develops your strategical thinking, it exposes you to difficult and challenging situations and it allows you to grow personally. Next to all the hard work you will also make a lot of new friends and have legendary times together. It sounds cliché, but I can assure you, you learn so much about yourself and you will come out as a better version of yourself.