My name is Alex Muller, I am 22 years old and was born in Best. About 4 years ago I started my Bachelor in Business Economics at Tilburg University. During my first year I became an active member at Asset | SBIT and started to develop an interest in Information Management. After having done quite some committees at SBIT and an exchange in Taiwan, I decided it was time to start a new challenge. Therefore, last summer I applied for a board position at SBIT.
By now the first semester has passed, which means that I am a board member of SBIT for almost half a year. Quite often I get the questions: what it is that I do? Why is it full time? And why would I give up a year for SBIT? It is always hard to explain this, but I will try to answer some of these questions below.
So let’s start with why, why is a board year so important for me?
A board year at a study association is incredibly good for your self-development. Besides teamwork and meetings you get to know what it is like to work full time, write strategy and work day in day out to reach this. As the secretary I also work a lot with different (mainly mailing and member registration) programs which gives me more insight in HTML. Upon the skills you develop, you also meet a lot of new people which is very good for your network. Not only do you meet a lot of members, board members and students, you also meet employees from the biggest companies, like the big four, FrieslandCampina, Shell and so on.
These are of course all well thought professional reasons, but that is not the only aspect. It is a lot of fun. By dedicating yourself along with three others to SBIT, you can really make a difference in the way things work at SBIT and within Asset. Because of this you really grow to be even better friends. You also join all activities of SBIT and Asset, leading to a lot of amazing memories to look back on.
Now that I have named Asset besides SBIT it might be best to explain the difference. Basically SBIT is a department within Asset that is specialized in Information Management. Like SBIT there are 6 other departments who together form Asset, the Association for all Students Studying Economics Tilburg. All tasks that need to be fulfilled within SBIT also need to be done for Asset. Therefore all secretaries of the departments together fulfill the tasks belonging to a secretary for Asset. The same goes for the other functions within the boards.
Then on to the next question, what do I actually do?
Most people have a slight idea of what it is I do. They still ask for more details when they think of doing a board year, or if they don’t understand the concept of a board year. Well I can only speak on behalf of myself, so I will try to provide you with some insight on the tasks of a secretary and Vice-chairman.
What do I do as a secretary?
When I tell people that I am the secretary, most people simply think of writing the minutes. Of course this is part of the job, but only for a maximum of two meetings a week. Besides this the secretary is responsible for all emails which get send to SBIT, either answering them or redirecting them. He or she is responsible for subscribing new members, keeping their information up to date and providing them with necessary information. The secretary is also the one who provides participants for an activity with all last information on a timely notice. If a company decides that they want to send a mailing to a group of students, the secretary will make sure a good mail reaches all these students. But of course there is more to being a secretary than mailings and member information. The secretary is responsible for making sure the study support is of good quality and all students know they can make use of this provided support. On top of the hard copy summaries SBIT also provides a free online platform, sbit.Studle.nl, which provides students with free summaries, which is of course more sustainable than the hard copy summaries and also better for the environment.
What do I do as a Vice-chairman?
Well of course in the simple translation it means to overview all tasks performed if the Chairman is not around. Although this is hardly the reality. At SBIT, the Vice-chairman is responsible for member contact, making sure that there is a good atmosphere within the association and everybody feels welcome. Part of this is to make sure all members get a spot in a committee which interests them and making sure that all committees are filled. But the main task of the Vice-chairman is promotion, in the broadest meaning of the word. It means to promote SBIT in order to make sure that all students know who we are and what it is we can offer them. It means making sure that Asset and SBIT get new enthusiastic members. But also to make sure that current and new members know the advantages of being an active member and getting new active members to run the committees. Besides all of that it is also a part of the responsibility of the Vice-chairman to make sure enough people participate in the events (formal as well as informal) which SBIT and Asset organize. This results in being responsible for the lecture talks, flyer moments, posters around campus, goodies and other promotion materials, the Facebook events and invites, the LinkedIn and the Instagram accounts as a means of promotion. And of course content for all of these need to be provided as well.
As you might notice there is quite a lot to do to make sure that SBIT reaches its goals. I am lucky enough to be supported in all this effort by some of our committees. For me, the Educational Support committee, the Promotion committee, the Design committee and the activities committee are indispensable in turning all of these aspects of SBIT into a success.
At this point in most of the conversations I have about my board year, the last remaining question becomes irrelevant. “Why is it that a board year at SBIT is full time?”
As you noticed being a board member is a busy life. Especially since all these responsibilities are not only within SBIT but also need to be executed for Asset general. It takes a lot of work to make sure all 6500 members of Asset and the 1600 members of SBIT get provided with the best service possible.
I hope to have given you a good insight in my live as a fulltime board member at SBIT.
With my last words in this article I would like to give all students a last advice. Besides all the studying and formal occasions, just take a moment to reflect and enjoy your life as student, because it is over before you notice.