The Risk Chairman

As you might have noticed, the Risk Board recruitment has started. For many it might be unclear what the tasks of a board can be, especially for the chairman position.  Since the Chairman of the Risk Board will be announced first, we want to give you a peek into the daily life of the current chairman.

Tim Louwman
Born in Goes, Zeeland
Interest: Financial Health Economics

What was your drive to do a board year?
While I was on my exchange in Spain, I was thinking about the next step. I was talking with my brother, he already finished his board year in Rotterdam. His experience with a board year motivated me to apply for chairman position of the Risk Board. Also, I am interested in studying in a financial master as well as the master Health Economics. These two study directions are a world apart, doing a board year could help me orientate on this choice, I thought.

Looking back at your application, it was not as usual, was it?
That is correct, I was still in Spain for my exchange when the interviews were taking place. Before applying, I had contact with Esmee Groen, the Internal Coordinator 2016 – 2017, whom I already knew. She told me about her experience with a board year and she told me that the best way to get an idea of a board year is to speak with people who are in the Risk Board, and especially, with the people at the positions you want to fulfill. So, for me this meant that she brought me in contact with the chairman of her board, Anna Dantuma. After talking to Anna, I decided to apply for the chairman position. I sent my resume and motivational letter to Esmee, after which I was invited for an interview. Since I was still in Spain, I could not do a face-to-face interview. In turn, the board asked me to do a skype interview during which we had a conversation about me, Risk and the position as chairman. A couple of weeks later, I received a phone call that I would be the new Risk Chairman. I had to make a video for my announcement, which was much fun. A week later I showed up for my first day.

Alright, that is indeed quite different from the normal procedure. So, after you were selected as the new chairman, how were your first days as the candidate chairman?
To be honest, I was quite nervous, to be introduced to everyone at the faculty. However, when I stepped in the office, everyone was exited to meet me. Being back in the Netherlands for only one day, after 5 months in Spain, was already really overwhelming, but due to the busy period in front of me, I had to adapt really fast. In the first days, I was introduced to all the other boards of the faculty, had my first board meetings and meet a lot of active members at Risk. I also made me familiar with all the traditions within Risk by reading many documents, but also speaking with the active members.

It sounds like you had a very busy introduction period, but that is probably the only way to get acquainted with such a position.  You said you were selected as chairman in December, but you officially start in April, right? What do you do in these three months?
That is right, but it gave me rhythm straight away, and you really need the time to prepare for your board year. In these three months, you are spending your time with three important tasks. First of all, you are getting into the role of chairman, this means that you will attend meetings with all the other chairmen of the study associations at the faculty, but also plan meetings with the staff of the university. Furthermore, you will look for your fellow candidate-board members. By planning a lot of coffee dates, you will look for people who are interested in the Risk Board and also fit the different available positions. I really liked that I could choose the people for the other positions myself, with advice of the previous board members. Last of all, as a chairman you are responsible for the general policy of Risk. As the chairman you are responsible for this policy, however; when the other board members are selected, you will do this together.

That is a big responsibility, what other things do you like about the chairman position?
The fact that you are the face of a big association, that you are in continuous contact with the faculty, previous boards, other associations and of course all the members. During the year, the chairman organizes various events with professors of the target groups, such as the Thesis & Internship Event and the events in the careers week. Moreover, you are not only busy with your own tasks, but you are also link between the other board members. You are supporting your fellow board members, look at the general strategy of Risk and are responsible for the atmosphere in the board.

Sounds like a diverse position, then I wonder what you do on an average day?
That is a difficult question, No single day is the same. Some days, you have meetings with different stakeholders such as committees, other associations, professors, other days you are going to Utrecht to meet with the FAN, the Dutch Association of Financial Study Associations, and some days you are doing administrative work behind your desk. As you see, it is quite hard to tell you about an average day or week.

You are also doing committee meetings you say, which committees are you involved in?
Yes, every executing committee or board is supervised by two board members. I am involved with the London Banking Tour and Dutch Banking Tour Committees, the International Financial Program and the International Financial Management Society. I really enjoy working together with these four groups of great people.

What do you want to say to people who are interested in becoming the new chairman?
If you like to be in contact with a lot of people, and also have the courage to take the first step, or want to develop these skills, then the chairman position is a good opportunity for you. If you want to know more about all the facets of this position, just send an e-mail and we can plan a coffee date. This is the best way to learn about all the possibilities.

If people have questions or want more information about the Risk Board, what can they do?
If you have specific interest in the position of chairman, you can contact me by phone (0503638247) or email ( Moreover, you can always step by the Risk Room.