A Board year as Vice-Chairman, Secretary & Treasurer

In this article we will get to know a some of the board members of FSG a little better. Evan (Vice-Chairman), Selien (Secretary) and Niels (Treasurer) will tell more about their board-position and how they have experienced their board year.


Hi! Could you briefly introduce yourself to the reader?

Evan: Hi! I am Evan ten Hoeve, 23 years old and the Vice-Chairman of the FSG board. In addition, I am currently doing the bachelor International Business. I have an interest in all kinds of different things. For example, I personally invest in stocks, which I've learned a lot about by being in the Investment Team. Furthermore, I have a love for mending everything. This includes mopeds, bikes, house stuff, computers, basically anything that you can think of. As leisure I like to play family games and then especially chess. So, if anyone is up for a game, you know where to find me!

Selien: Hi, my name is Selien Brandse, I am 21 years old and born and raised in Markelo. I am the Secretary of the FSG 2021-2022 board. Currently, I am in my third year of my bachelor’s degree Business administration, following the track Accountancy & Controlling. In my spare time, I like to play tennis at TAM.

Niels: Hi! My name is Niels Kloosterman.  I am 23 years old and born in Drachten, a small town in Friesland. I am the Treasurer of the FSG Board 2021-2022. In addition, I am currently doing a double MSc degree in Accountancy & Controlling. Next to my studies, I like to play football and hang out with friends.


Could you take us through your journey that led you to the FSG board?

Evan: That's a good question! I have done multiple committees at various associations next to my studies. I really liked doing these committees and helping other students. My first committee was of course a party committee in which you organise 4 parties in a year. Later on I took on a more challenging committee each time, where the last one was organising the Conference. I already knew that I wanted to do a board year somewhere, so what I did was trying to perform really well to get on the radar of the board as a potential candidate. I also considered other board years, but the one at FSG really did it for me, as I was not sure what to study after my bachelors or even where to work. At FSG, you really get a lot of opportunities to figure out what the next step in your career will be, as you are visiting a lot of companies and get to know the culture there. Furthermore, you participate in activities from other associations connected to the FEB. This really gave me a strong base on what possibilities there are and what I'm going to do in my future.

Selien: Yes, of course! Over the past three years, I did various committees at different associations. Last year I joined FSG, because I wanted to get to know more people and to get in touch with different companies specialised in my field. I really enjoyed all of these committees. In order to develop myself further besides reading my study books, I finally decided to do a board year at FSG.

Niels: I was already an active member for 2 years before deciding to apply for the FSG Board. I was an active member of the A&C Society where we organised informal events for the A&C students. Besides that, I was part of the Accountancy and Investment evenings committee. I already knew the previous boards very well and I wanted to challenge myself even more, so that’s why I decided to apply for the FSG Board.


Could you please describe the tasks that come with your position within the board of FSG?

Evan: Yes of course. In short, I'm responsible for the strategy of the association together with the Chair and I have 20 companies as contacts. To elaborate on this, as strategy always sounds a bit vague, we are busy with the association for the long run. There are loads of day-to-day tasks, but are these still necessary and is there a better way of doing these? Also, where do we want to bring FSG in the future? Furthermore, I am the contact person for the recruiters or businesspeople of 20 companies. For example, they reach out to me if they want to upload a new vacancy on our website. But also briefing them on how an event of ours is going to look like and if they want to participate, is one of my responsibilities. Another aspect of being the Vice Chairman is that you are responsible for a couple committees. For some committees it is useful to have a person with external relations and for others it is to see if the future strategy of FSG can also be implemented in the committee.

Selien: As secretary you are responsible for the membership file and the minutes, but these are small tasks compared to your main tasks. Next to this you are also responsible for external communication. This includes the website, emails, and social media. You are in daily contact with the internal relations to discuss things about the social media posts. The internal relations makes the posts and you publish them with a text. In addition to external communication, you are very involved with the members, together with the treasurer you have the most committees that you have to supervise. All in all, you have a job that is very varied and that is very involved in the day-to-day business.

Niels: The treasurer of FSG is responsible for the financial part of the association. The first thing you do as the new treasurer is preparing the budget for the coming year. This is an important task which is connected to the general policy. Together with the other board members, you have to think about the costs that will change according to the plans of your policy. During the year, you are responsible for all cashflows of the association. On the income side, you handle the financial settlement of the contracts closed by the external relations of the board. In addition, you are also in charge of all outgoing cash flows. You decide on payments made by the association. You are responsible for a large budget and therefore the position of treasurer is sometimes challenging. Next to the cashflows, you will be in close contact with the treasurers of the committees, with who you discuss budgets and costs. In order to do so, you have to be strong and communicative. In the end, you play a crucial role on the financial choices of the organisation.


Has it been difficult to transition into a larger association (FSG) after the merger between RISK and PM?

Evan: No, in my opinion not. The association has become bigger, but the thing is that everything was thought out super carefully. That is also what FSG stands for, professionalism. Everything is accounted for, this made it of course a lot of work but it was not too hard. It was actually fun to think of situations which could have occurred. Since all kind of crazy situations could have happened, it is better to prepare well. Of course, you can't predict everything, and some things were still challenging. But in the end, we have overcome all these challenges as a team.

Selien: It was, of course, quite a challenge to make the merger a success. However, it was a fun challenge and the previous boards had already invested a lot of energy in the merger.

Niels: I would describe it as challenging, because there were a lot of things you normally don’t have to change. For example, we had the opportunity to make a completely new website, Corporate Identity and to organise a Founding week. But there were also smaller complex things like merging two bookkeeping systems into one.


How did you manage to combine doing courses with a board year?

Evan: To be honest, it is hard. In my opinion, you can do one course next to your daily activities at the board. But this means you will be mainly busy with it during the weekends. As a board year is quite demanding during the week, studying in the weekends is sometimes demotivating but you will have to pull through.

Selien: Managing to study alongside doing a board year depends very much on your position. The workload of the secretary position stays roughly the same throughout the year. This ensures that you can study in the weekends if you want to. During the week you could also spends a couple of hours a week to attend lectures. So I would say it is doable.

Niels: I had one course left to finish my bachelor’s degree and I did this course in combination with my board year and passed my bachelor’s degree. Besides this I also did two extra courses for my master’s degree. So, it’s possible to combine your study with a board year, however I wouldn't recommend doing more than one course per semester.


Could you name an advantage that comes with your position to convince prospects?

Evan: My function is super entrepreneurial. With this position you are included in a lot that happens within the association. For this reason, you also see which problems, improvements but also opportunities there are. Being able to solve these problems, implement these improvements and act on these opportunities, gives a lot of satisfaction.

Selien: All functions are of course very interesting. What I find especially interesting about my position as secretary is that you are really working on the core of the association. You are in frequent contact with many different members and boards. In addition, you have a position where you are always in close contact with your fellow board members. It is a function of variation and possibilities. Every day is different as a Secretary.

Niels: The biggest advantage of the function of the treasurer is that you in the end are responsible for all the outgoing and incoming cashflows of the organisation. This means that you are responsible for some important decisions which can be challenging but are also very educational. Overall, a board year is so incredibly exciting because you learn so many new people: students, active members, and employees from lots of different companies. 


Evan, what are the main differences between the chairman and the Vice- Chairman position?

Evan:  This is a question that I get asked a lot. The main difference is of course that the Chair is the face of the association. This means that during talks or events the Chair is supposed to say a few words while the Vice Chair is more in the background.  Another difference is that the Vice Chair is in contact with companies and the Chair with the university.

What are your plans for after your board year?

Evan: Taking advantage of all my new contacts and become rich… No joking of course! I first want to finish my bachelors and enjoy Groningen for the last half year. After that, I feel to go somewhere else for my masters, but where exactly I'm not yet sure. All kind of wild plans have passed my mind for this. Furthermore, I have advisory roles among different associations. I would like to continue with these, as I got a lot of experience during my board year.

Do you feel that your role has helped you to become a better leader, or a better professional employee?

Evan: Yes, for sure! The fun thing about a study association is that you meet a wide variety of people. In the committees, there is a person of every student stereotype you can think of. To let them collaborate is actually quite fun but also challenging sometimes. Further, as you are the board of an association, you are really responsible for getting things done. If we do not have a clear view for a committee, how can we expect them to have a clear view? This requires a certain level of professionalism, which I have learned during this year.


Selien, which skills did you developed during your board year, what will be the most useful in your future career?

Selien: During a board year you develop practical skills that you normally cannot learn in books. You are basically running a business but also partying at the same time. It really is a special one in a lifetime experience!

What was your role during the merger of RISK and PM that lead to FSG?

Selien: The paperwork regarding the merger had already been arranged by the previous boards. The only thing left to do was the physical merger. As Secretary, I have been very busy with implementing the new corporate identity on the website and social media, but also merging files, etc.


Niels, what has been the most challenging aspect for you as treasurer of FSG?

Niels: The most challenging aspect as a treasurer is to let people understand why there is enough money available for certain projects and events and why sometimes there needs to be economised on other things. This often leads to discussion where you need  to make people understand the situation.

How have lockdowns influenced your tasks or the budget of FSG?

Niels: Well, the budget you made in the beginning of the year changes way more than usual due to Covid. When informal events like socials are cancelled, you have more budget to spend on other things. That is why you always need to be up to date with your current budget as when something changes regarding Covid you need to adjust right away. This can be challenging and has an impact on a lot of things inside the organisation.


We are currently looking for our successors! Could that be you? Feel free to get in contact with us by sending an e-mail to board@fsgroningen.nl and we are always willling to answer your questions! The deadline of application for these positions of the board is on Sunday the 23rd of January, 23:59. You can apply by sending your resume and motivation letter to board@fsgroningen.nl.