Risk Board Year: Chairman

In March, the Risk Board 2019-2020 will be constituted. Although that seems pretty far from now, we are already looking for the new chairman! For many people, it is not exactly clear what the tasks and responsibilities of Risk Board members are. Therefore, we will give you more insights into the Risk Board the upcoming week, kicking off with the position of Chairman! Annelien, the current chairman, will tell about her experiences as a board member.

Hi! For the people who are not familiar with you; could you shortly introduce yourself?

Ofcourse! My name is Annelien, 23 years old and a I am currently following the MSc International Financial Management. I started my master in September 2017 and I am planning to finish it in the upcoming year.

 It has been almost a year since you were announced as the chairman of the Risk Board 2018-2019. Why did you choose to apply for a board year?

Yes, time flies! There are actually a few reasons that triggered me to apply for a board year. First of all, a board year has been something I wanted to do for a long time. Besides meeting new people, enjoying parties and events, a board member will get the opportunity to run an organization for a full year. Moreover, being part of the Risk Board would give access to the Risk network, the companies, and the alumni. Therefore, I strongly believed it would be a valuable contribution to my time as a student.

"Besides meeting new people, enjoying parties and events, a board member will get the opportunity to run an organization for a full year."

Before applying for the board, you were part of the Dutch Banking Tour Committee. Is it a requirement to have (Risk) committee experience before applying?

It is certainly not a requirement! For example, my predecessor had not been in any committee at Risk before he became the chairman. I do have to admit it came at use though, since I already knew some active members and experienced what a Risk event and the organization of it looked like. However, even if you have not been an active member at Risk, you will get familiar with this very fast.

What did your application process look like?

I got interested in applying for the Risk Board after I had visited some Risk events and spoke to the Internal Coordinator of the Risk Board. After I drank a coffee with the former chairman, I was convinced this was something for me to do. So, I decided to apply. The initial application excised out of submitting a one-page letter of motivation and my resume. After I handed this in, I got invited for an interview. In preparation of this interview I called former chairmans to ask them questions about their experiences. In addition, I read articles like this on the Risk website and scanned General Members Meeting booklets. Lastly, I practiced some interview questions with my friends and felt fully prepared! Before the interview started, I was very nervous. However, the former board made me feel at comfort, so it went well. The interview took about 2 hours and after it was finished, I walked away pretty confident and happy it went well. A week later, I was announced as the new Risk Chairman!

So, then you were selected. When were your other board members announced? How did the time until your official installment looked like?

After a very good party to celebrate my announcement (without a hangover ofcourse), my so-called ‘transition period’ started. This was a period of almost three months. During this period, I recruited my fellow board members (this happens ofcourse with the help of current board members) and I got to know everything about the association. The best part was meeting all the (active) members and getting to know all in’s and out’s of Risk and its stakeholders at an organizational level!

"The best part was meeting all the (active) members and getting to know all in’s and out’s of Risk and its stakeholders at an organizational level!"

In the meantime, I was still working at my part time job and finished three of my master courses. Moreover, I was also part of the Dutch Banking Committee which event was approaching. The time management of combining all of this during the transition period was challenging, but doable and above all totally worth it.

What are the responsibilities of a chairman?

As a chairman, you are responsible for a lot of different tasks. First of all, I manage the board on an operational level, as well as on a strategic level. This means that I prepare our weekly meetings, check with my board members how they are doing and supervise and execute our policy. Another important task is communication with our stakeholders. This means that I have a lot of meetings and contact with university staff, specifically the departments of Accountancy, Accounting and Finance. Moreover, I am in touch with the chairmans of other associations, ranging from other Financial Association in the Netherlands (the FAN) or associations at the RUG.

Alright, sounds challenging! What would a typical day of a chairman look like?

Haha, that almost sounds like a trick question: first of all, a day of the chairman is never the same. However, to give you an idea of a typical day, I will give an example of last Monday: After I cycled to the Risk office located the Duisenberg building, the day started at 9:15. The first thing I did, was getting myself a cup of coffee and check if there were any Active Members at the Risk Active Member Office. After a little chat, it’s time to start working! I checked the board calendar and checked my e-mail. Hereafter, I prepare the agenda for the board meeting. During the board meeting on Monday, we always start with a personal update of the weekend after which the official part starts. We normally discuss all the committees, upcoming events and other essential things. After the meeting, I had lunch with my board. My next appointment was at 13:00 again; a meeting with the chairmans of other associations at the FEB, the so-called ‘Platform Voorzitters’. About an hour later the meeting was finished and I decided to reply on some on-going projects in my mailbox. Not much later, a few active members walked into the office. I had a chat with them and all of the sudden it was half an hour later, haha! The last meeting of the day was at 15:00 with the International Financial Program Committee of which I am the board coordinator. After this meeting, I went home to take a run. In the evening my board and another board of a befriended association met up to have dinner together, which was a lot of fun! After some drinks in the evening it was eventually time to go home.

"Haha, that almost sounds like a trick question: first of all, a day of the chairman is never the same."

How do you combine your board year with your studies?

The Risk Board year is full time, which I think is one of the best things about taking a board year. You can fully focus on your one task: being a board member. We are working every workday from 10:00 until 17:00 at the Risk office. Therefore, you need to take a ‘gap year’ from your studies. However, combining it with some courses is surely possible since you can study during the evenings or in the weekends. Moreover, we always have ‘study days’ before the exam, to make sure you can fully focus on passing your exams. On a personal taste, I would recommend to not take more than five courses during the year.

What do you like the most about your board year?

I think a board year at Risk combines a lot of amazing factors: you get a lot of responsibilities and therefore you learn a lot really fast. Besides, you get to meet amazing companies and it opens up a lot of career opportunities. But the best of all is the social part: you meet a lot of amazing people and you have fun all year long. This makes it an unforgettable experience and a must-do during your time as a student!

Thank you for the interview! Any last words for people who are interested in becoming the new Risk Chairman?

If you are interested in becoming my successor, do not hesitate to send me an mail (board@riskgroningen.nl) so we can have a coffee and I can tell you more about being a chairman in real life!