1. Who are you?
Hi there! My name is Daphne and I’m 23 years old. This year, I had the honour of being President of the 52nd MAEUR Board. Last year I graduated from the BSc International Business Administration at RSM, after which I decided to take a gap year to fully focus on this board and commit to taking MAEUR to the next level!
2. What made you choose to apply for the MAEUR board?
In my second year of my studies, I was introduced to MAEUR and applied to be a student consultant as part of the International Consultancy Project. I didn’t really know what I was genuinely interested in, so I thought consultancy would be a great way to experience different fields. I met amazing people during the project and eventually went to Canada for a month to do field research with my team, one of the coolest experiences during my studies! I got to experience that MAEUR has an open culture, where there is just as much room for social activities and development as for professional growth. This is a mentality that really appeals to me! Over the years, I developed an interest in marketing and because of the whole corona situation, I didn’t want to spend my last student-year with online lessons at home and was not ready to graduate yet. Therefore, I decided to apply for a position in the 52nd board. I’m really happy that I made this decision!
3. What is your function and what does it entail?
As President of MAEUR, I am responsible for a variety of things. The most important one is implementing the (long-term) strategy composed at the beginning of the year and making sure that everything we do is in line with our goals. Thereafter, it’s also my job to make sure that all the board members feel comfortable and motivated, and everyone is on board with the strategy we’re pursuing. This also means that I lead board meetings and meetings with our supervisory boards. Furthermore, the President is the public figure of the association, meaning I am the link between our association and the university/other study associations and stakeholders. Lastly, as President it is also required to be a board member of Interfaculty Rotterdam and the Marketing Association Netherlands, with whom I stay in contact throughout the whole year.
4. Describe the day in the life of a President
When arriving at the office on a Monday morning, I always start my day by catching up with fellow board members about their weekend. Then, I go through the e-mails I received over the weekend and answer them. After that, I prepare the board meeting that is coming up, as we have meetings twice a week for which I need to set the agenda. During this meeting, we discuss the planning of the week, events that are coming up or other things that require action. After these meetings, I often sit down with every board member individually to discuss their personal progress and difficulties they came across. After these individual meetings, I often go to external meetings, with for example Interfaculty Rotterdam, faculty members or the Marketing Association Netherlands. These meetings are, however, spread out over the weeks, so mostly I have a lot of time during the day to help my fellow board members where necessary and complete my smaller to-do’s. At the end of the day, we like to celebrate our day of hard work with a cold beer at the Smitse. On the first Wednesday of the month, we have our Marketing Drink, which I’m always looking forward to!
5. What did you learn from your time as board member?
This question Is really hard to answer since I feel I have developed myself in so many different ways! To be honest, I learned a lot more than I expected. Before my board year, I already had experience through several side jobs, various committees and internships, so I thought it would be a bit similar to what I’ve learned before. I couldn't be more wrong; a board year is incomparable to anything else, which is why I genuinely understand why some companies require applicants to have done a board year. To name a few of the many things; I have gained experience in leadership and public speaking, I learned how to keep my board members motivated, give/receive feedback all the time and creative problem solving (this year was certainly unlike any other year). But no worries, you learn while doing. It’s totally okay to make some mistakes as well: trial and error are key! Oh and good to know, there is also some budget to have board trainings and focus on your personal development.
6. What is your most fun memory?
Besides the hard work that a board year requires, there is plenty of time to also enjoy the fun things! Especially the social activities are really fun, and believe me, there’s plenty of them! Besides the monthly Marketing Drinks, we already went on two weekend getaways. Next month we planned another one and, in a few months, we can hopefully go on a real ‘board holiday’ somewhere abroad to enjoy some well-deserved time off. I also really like our theme parties, like celebrating ‘Sinterklaas’ with personalized gifts or celebrating ‘Carnaval’ with funny costumes. I just love how my board members and I bonded with each other, even during the pandemic. We had amazing times together and they are the best I could have hoped for!
7. What are you going to do after your board year?
After this academic year, I will start my master’s at the RSM. I’m still deciding between BIM or BAM (many people are often surprised that I’m not planning to do marketing haha you can ask me later why I decided this). After a year of not studying, having fun and working for MAEUR, it is time to get back to studying.
8. What’s your favorite quote?
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” This is one of my favourite quotes. My experience taught me that in most cases, optimism is key. Good results never come easy, otherwise it would be too boring! Struggling is natural and as long as you believe in yourself and work hard, it will be possible. If you don’t succeed with plan A, come up with a plan B (or a plan C, D, E especially during corona haha!). Growing up in an entrepreneurial family gave me the feeling and insight that it is never wrong to think big or out of the box.
9. What advice would you give to someone who is considering a board year?
You're going to regret it if you don't do it! So, my advice: definitely take the leap. Although it might be scary and daunting, it will be a year you’ll never forget. How cool is it to manage and lead so many people at this age! It is an experience unlike any other. Especially now during the corona crisis, you’ll have such a big impact and a way to differentiate yourself when you’re looking for a full-time job. Get the most out of your student life while you still can!
If you’re in doubt, I would recommend talking to several people who did a board year. Get a clear view of what every position entails and what position fits you best. If you are interested, we are always available to help you make up your mind! Feel free to contact me when you have an interest in a board year in general, or if you want to know more about being President. You can reach me at email@example.com or you can call/Whatsapp me with this number, +31 6 24 54 32 88. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!