My name is Astrid van der Heijden, I am 21 years old and I was born in Maastricht. After living in Maastricht for 18 years, I finished my high school in June 2015. After I had finished my high school, I decided to move from Maastricht to Tilburg to start studying here. In September 2015, I started my bachelor Business Economics at Tilburg University. From the start of my studies, I already knew I wanted to do a board year. The only thing I did not know back then was at which association I wanted perform this board year. After one year of studying, I came in contact with Asset | SBIT and I decided to become active. After being an active member for two years in several committees like the Activities, Promotion, European City Trip, Intercontinental Study Trip and Lustrum committee, I decided I wanted to challenge myself even more. Therefore, in the spring of 2018 I applied for a board year as a Secretary at Asset | SBIT.
Why did I choose to perform a board year?
As I have mentioned before, one of the reasons why I applied for a board year is that I wanted to challenge myself even more besides my studies. By doing a board year you will learn many new soft and hard skills, you will learn how to run an organization, but most important it is good for your self-development. You will develop yourself by learning more about your own strengths and weaknesses and even more important you will learn how to improve these strengths and weaknesses and how to put these into practice. Furthermore, lots of other skills will be developed during a board year as well. A few examples of these skills are: planning, organizing networking, setting and reaching goals, conducting discussions, expressing your opinion and policy writing.
Besides the more formal part of a board year, the informal part of a board year is not less important. Since I became an active member, SBIT has always felt as one big family to me. Experiencing so many great activities together with all these members and friends is therefore one of the biggest reasons why I applied for this board year. During your board year you will do a lot of fun activities, most of which you have not done before. These experiences will last in your memory for a long time! This also implies to you and your own board as well. Since you spend a lot of time at the SBIT rooms during the week and you attend and organize all the activities for SBIT and board members in general, you will share a lot of your experiences, (personal) matters and feelings with them during this year. All of this creates a unique bond between you and your fellow board members. Besides the SBIT board en members, you also meet a lot of other board members from Asset and other study associations. During your board year, you will work together with them a lot on behalf of Asset and you will become one big family as well.
What does a Secretary of Asset | SBIT do?
One of the questions that has been asked to me many times during the past year is: ‘What do you do as the Secretary of SBIT?’. Most of the people think the secretary role is an administrative and therefore quite boring role in the board. In my opinion, this stereotype is not true at all. As a secretary you send a lot of emails, minute during the weekly board meetings, make sure the membership administration system is up to date and GDPR compliant and you are responsible for the educational support within SBIT. However, these main tasks do not even take 30% of your time. At the beginning of your board year, several other responsibilities and committees are allocated among the board members of SBIT. This means you are free to choose your own portfolio in besides your main tasks. In my case, I chose to become the board representative in the Cyber Security Symposium, Lustrum, Almanak and Educational Support committee. After half a year, I became the board representative in the IThappens committee as well. Furthermore, I chose to be responsible for the year planning of SBIT and for the contact with the alumni association EKSBIT.
The most fun of being a Secretary is that you have a lot of freedom in your function. During the allocation you can choose more things than other functions in the board. Furthermore, you have more freedom in planning your tasks whenever it suits you the best (of course before they have to be finished), which implies you are often present at the SBIT rooms. At first, this means you have a lot time left to pick up other tasks that do not specifically belong to any other function in the board. Secondly, being present lot at the SBIT rooms means you have the big advantage of having a lot of contact with all the people who visit the rooms during the week. Since most of the members receive mails from you, they will know and recognize you fast as well. This advantage also applies to having contact with several people from Tilburg University. You will be in contact with several professors on the field of Information Management, but also with other people such as the Academic Director from the Information Management Department. Furthermore, it is also important to mention that as being the Secretary as Asset | SBIT, you also learn many technical skills. Since you are working in several different (mailing) programs and the administration system, you will learn how to run queries, create and send mailings and solve technical problems which occur during the activities you perform. In this way, you can develop yourself more in the field Information Management.
How do I look back at my board year so far?
With just a few months to go in this board year, I really have to say that so far I enjoyed this year to the fullest! The unique and fun things I have experienced during this year will remain in my memory for a long time. So far, I have accomplished many goals, such as organizing a successful 7th Lustrum and completing other projects. Moreover, I have developed myself on many different fields. The knowledge I have gained so far is extremely valuable and I know for sure that I can put the things I have learned during this year into practice in the (near) future. Although, I am not looking forward to saying goodbye as a board member in August at all, I am really eager to prepare my successor for this function in the best way possible. Luckily, for this year we have a few more great events and a study trip to Panama coming up so we still have some time left. Nevertheless, a board year will be over before you know it.