Chairman vs. Chairman

Hi Anna

Good morning Tim! Good to see you. After one year being the chairman of the Risk Board, most people of Risk know me. But how about you, can you introduce yourself?

Of course, three weeks ago together with the other new board members, I was inaugurated as new chairman of the Risk Board. I originally come from Kloetinge, which is a small village in Zeeland, and five years ago I came to Groningen to study Dentistry. After two years I switched to Economics and Business Economics due to an injury. After my Bachelor, I want to combine both my financial and health interests  into a master program, but I am not sure yet how. When I was younger I played football and judo at a high level, but unfortunately I am not able to anymore as a result of injuries. I do fitness sometimes.

Haha, you probably get very busy the coming year, I hope you will be able to fitness! But how did you decide to become board member within Risk?

During my first year of Dentistry I was too busy with other things and did not do much. When I played tennis at G.S.T.C. I was in the event committee, but that was not very challenging. That was when I decided I wanted to become a little bit more serious. I organized the EBF symposium and when I was working for this committee at the interim I talked to Esmee (former Risk Board member), who told me how much she liked being on the Risk Board. She told me that it is quite informal on the inside but that all Risk Activities are very professionally organized, that is how she actually convinced me. While I was in Spain for my exchange program I actually decided to apply for the position of chairman.

-- Interruption of the waitress. Tim enjoys his coffee and donates his cookie to Anna.

But what about you, after such a busy year at Risk, how does it feel to do nothing for the association at the moment?

It actually feels quite strange, as a chairman you are committed for 15 months, every day. A very intensive and long time, but at the moment I am very busy with studying for my exams. So I am still very busy.

Are you interested in doing another committee for Risk? Or do you want to work after you graduated? 

I think I have done enough for Risk, so I am OK for now and want to give others the opportunity to have such an experience within Risk. Besides, I just started my Master in Accountancy and want to go to Amsterdam to write my thesis there.

Sounds good! Are there any specific things you have learned from all these committees and your board year? Is there perhaps something that you are proud of?

I think we can be proud of all the things we achieved last year. Especially the collaboration with our active members, they organized great events and we are very happy with the results. The biggest change we made was the new corporate design, which will be used for the coming years. I personally liked the contact with all these different people the most. Not only the companies, but also students and other people that you normally will not get in touch with. I thought it was very interesting to talk to all these different people and gain multiple new insights. In the end we all have a common interest, the financial world. But what are you looking forward to?

We just started to do the daily things, I like the responsibilities we get. Furthermore, I am very excited about the Advisory Inhouse Days (AID) who are just around the corner, applications are still open so I advise everyone to sign up. After the AID we will organize the Accountancy Tour (AT), which will be a new concept. This year the tour will only last one day in Groningen and is especially focused on the younger accountancy students.

Do you also have any personal goals, things that you look forward to?

I am really looking forward to organize professional events with a moticated group of students. Besides I am also looking forward to develop myself as a person. Before this, I have never had the function of being  chairman, but developing my leadership qualities is a very big step for me that I am looking forward to.

And things that you are reluctant to? Things you do not like at all?

If you decide to go for a board year, you know what you sign for. Ofcourse, when it is 30 degrees outside and you have to be at the Risk Office from 9 to 5, I probably would prefer to sit outside. But because we do it all together, the board, but also with all the other active members, that makes it easier. Were there things that you did not like to do?

Well, actually I have always felt motivation to keep going, there was not a single day that I did not want to go to the Risk Office. It may sound trite but what makes it fun is that not a day is the same. The only hard thing sometimes was that every night there is a social somewhere. This makes it hard sometimes because you do not get a lot of sleep and you have to be at the Risk Office the next day.

Are there also things that you look back on that you would do different?

Ooh, that is a tough one.. I think a lot of things went pretty well actually. What I thought was difficult  is that you are very busy with a lot of things, committees, events, people. But that you cannot focus on one thing. Two years ago I organized the Risk Conference and your entire focus is on that single activity. I sometimes missed that and thought it was hard to coordinate this for myself.

Do you think you could have done this different?

Yes, I think it is hard, but it is a challenge to give every member the feeling that they get enough attention. I think the problem is kind of a standard problem, but I think in some way you can find a solution. Would you do things different from what we did?

Hmm… Well, I think everyone gives their own twist to a board year. You and I are very different. But at this point it is hard to tell. We will continue what Risk started 27 years ago. To my opinion Risk grew as a very professional but also a very warm association where everybody with a financial interest can feel at home. You made a beginning with the new website and we will continue with this and will launch a new website in September. Do you have any tips for me?

Just enjoy your time as chairman, not only with the other boardmembers, but also with all the other active members. The group of active members is very diverse within Risk and that makes it very special to work with all these people. Further, do not drink as much as I did. Or at least think about the 'board-kilos', because it is harder to get rid of them afterwards.

Haha, I will keep that in mind! Will we see you on the Risk Office or during one of our other events?

While I am finishing my Masters in Groningen, I will come by to say hello. But after the holidays I will move to Amsterdam. Luckily we have the Risk Alumni activity and I hope I will see a lot of Risk Members. During my post-Master I have to go to Groningen every Friday, so I probably will see a lot of you around.

Anna, thank you for your tips and I hope we will hear a lot from you.

Thank you too and good luck for the coming year!