Cover Interview: Sikander Kraaijeveld

Sikander Kraaijeveld, could you please briefly introduce yourself? 
I am Sikander and I am 22 years old and currently studying Finance and International Financial Management. Before I started my masters I got a bachelor in International economics and business, during which I also spend a semester abroad in Indonesia. This is my fifth year of studying in Groningen, as I am originally from Hilversum. In my spare time I like to travel, hang out with friends and play/watch sports. 

What have you done within Risk?
Within Risk the first committee I was a member of was the Risk Conference Committee 2014. My function was that of external relations. After that I was part of the London Banking Tour committee, as chairman. During these periods I also visited a lot of events of Risk, such as the investor evenings.

Why did you decide to become an active member of Risk and what did you learn during your active membership? 
I decided to become an active member, because I felt that I was missing something in my studies. I had the idea that in my study there was not really a clear link between theory and practice. For this reason I thought that becoming an active member could help me create that link between theory and practice and of course I thought that it would be a great experience. The main takeaway I got from my active membership is that even though you may hear no 24/25 times, you have to focus on that one time you hear yes.

Why did you decide to study Finance and what did you learn from this study so far?
During my Bachelors in Business Economics I quickly realized that I had a preference for the mathematical courses instead of the management courses. I really like numbers and get a lot of energy from working on difficult mathematical exercises. Furthermore, I am interested in the financial world and my attention is quickly driven to financial articles about exciting M&A transactions instead of for example macro-economic news. Altogether, this motivated me to do my masters in Finance. What I mainly learned from my masters is that the financial world is really volatile and although we learn many interesting financial theories, people like to take risk and therefore there will be always situations where these theories do not work. As a result, I really think that the best way to get to know the financial world is to learn it on the job.

What will you do when you graduate?
As of now I am not sure what I want to do exactly, so I am probably going for an internship when I graduate.

What is your opinion on the measures that are currently being taken by the European Central Bank? 
I think that what the ECB is doing right now is a bit dangerous, because no one is really sure what the impact of the policies will be. Terms such as ‘helicopter money’ just show that the ECB is using a method of trial and error, which I think is pretty risky when you are responsible for the European economies.

Do you think that the influence of the ECB on all European member states can cause negative effects for individual member countries?
Yes, I think that influences of the ECB on all its members are not always beneficial for all its members. Due to the large diversity between all the member states it is nearly impossible to create a one size fits all policy. As long as the negative effects are not too large and Europe as a whole benefits I think that this is a problem the EU will have to live with. 

What advice would you like to give your successor (future faces on the Risk Magazine)?
My advice to the future face of the Risk Magazine would be that you have to be creative and flexible when you are doing the photo shoot.