My name is Nikki van Emmerloot, I’m 22 years old and was born in Beneden Leeuwen (a small village between the rivers the Maas and Waal). I started my bachelor Business Economics at Tilburg University in 2015. During the first semester of my third year of my bachelor, I went on an exchange to Boston U.S.A. and here I started to develop an interest for Information Management. During my thesis process in the second semester of the third year of my bachelor, I decided it was time for a new challenge. As a result of this decision and my developed interest for Information Management, I applied for a board position at Asset | SBIT last summer.
By now, the second semester of this academic year is halfway, which means that I am the Chairman of SBIT for more than 7 months now. During these months I got a lot of questions, why I chose to do a board year. Even though it is hard to explain the motivation I feel for my board year, I will try to answer this question below.
First of all, a board year at a study association is incredibly good for your self-development. During this year you get to know what it is like to work full time, writing strategies and working day in day out to reach these strategies. Besides these practical skills, you will learn what you like and what your talents are. However, you also get to know what your pitfalls are. All this knowledge about your talents, pitfalls and ambitions is a big advantage during your future career path. Furthermore, during your board year you meet a lot of people. Not only fellow students and other board members, but also important employees of companies like Microsoft, Deloitte and FrieslandCampina. Moreover, as Chairman you have regular meetings with the Information Management Department of Tilburg University and other important people from the Management Teams. Due to this, you can play an important role within the development of the (Pre-)Master students Information Management and Bachelor students Business Economics concerning the academic part. The most fun thing about meeting all new other board members of Asset is that you see them quite often (you share one whole floor with 45 board members) and due to that you experience quite some fun and adventurous moments.
By dedicating yourself to SBIT together with your fellow board members, you really can make a difference in the operations and strategy of SBIT within Asset. Besides that, you really grow into better friends. As I mentioned Asset before in this article, let me explain a bit more about this. SBIT is part of the faculty association of Asset. We focus on the study expertise Information Management within the (Pre-)Masters and Bachelor Business Economics. As chairman, you are a board member of the general board of Asset as well. Here you choose one portfolio at the beginning of the year. During my board year, I choose the Media portfolio. In short, this means that I became responsible for the Asset website and back end system.
So, I often get the question ‘What does a chairman do?’. Well, that is the hardest question to answer. In one sentence: ‘Being a chairman is handling the most flexible and diverse agenda by the most structured person of the group’. At least, this is my opinion. Ask every other chairman and you will probably get a different opinion. For this board job, it mainly is important to get energy out of motivating people and guide them on their way to their personal goals. This concerns both other board members as well as committee members of SBIT. Besides that, as a chairman it is your job to be the face of SBIT to all the external relations, such as other departments, other associations and the University. Coming back on the ‘flexible part’, as a chairman you can be everything. You don’t have to be good at everything but you should be able to help every other board member of SBIT and be eager to learn new skills when this is necessary. For example, if a partner calls you should be able to help them with their questions if the external affairs officer isn’t nearby or you should be available for a member if they need you for any kind of cases. The most important motivation you need is that you want to experience new kinds of tasks and skills and get energy out of seeing other people (besides yourself) grow. Combine this with a healthy dose of eagerness and being a chairman of SBIT is one of the most challenging jobs you will ever experience. At least, it is for me.
In my last words for this article, I would like to give all the students one last advice: besides all the studying and formal occasions, a board year enables you to join so many informal activities. Due to the combination of formal and informal events, you can take a moment to reflect and enjoy your student life. A board year will be over before you know it!