A Board year as Internal & External relations

In this article, we will get to know the board members of FSG a little better. Hendrik (External relations) and Annemarie (Internal Relations) will tell about how they have experienced their board year so far and give us some insight about their board positions.

Hi! Could you briefly introduce yourself to the reader?

Hendrik: Hi, my name is Hendrik Kuik. I was born 23 years ago in Drachten and I have been living in Groningen since 2017. I am the External Relations of the FSG Board 2021-2022. In addition, I am currently doing the Pre-MSc Finance at the University of Groningen. After this I will start the MSc Finance in September 2022. In addition to my studies, I like to play football and golf, design clothes and make music.

Annemarie: Hi! My name is Annemarie de Wit, 21 years old and currently studying the bachelor degree International Business. I am the Internal Relations of the FSG board 2021-2022. Next to my studies and my position on the board, I enjoy spending my time reading and hanging out with my friends. 


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

Hendrik: In September 2020 I started the Pre-MSc Finance at the University of Groningen. At the time, I also immediately became part of the Finance Society committee. This was a committee of four students that organised informal activities for the Pre-MSc Finance and MSc Finance. By doing this committee I came into contact with the board of the time. I soon noticed that I really enjoyed coming to the office and meeting these people. In addition, I noticed that I wanted to take a step and take on greater responsibility. These two things ensured that I submitted my application for the new board in December 2020. Subsequently, after a job interview in January, early February 2021, I was announced as the new External Relations of FSG.

Annemarie: Well, at a social I was talking to someone from the previous board and they asked me if I had ever considered a board year. Which really got me thinking about it, after that the idea of doing a board year kind of started to have a snowball effect. So, I planned coffee meetings with the then board members to find out more about the different positions and I even contacted former board members. Through them my enthusiasm grew, so I applied and was lucky enough to be chosen for the position of Internal relations.


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

Hendrik: At the time of my application, I knew relatively little about the merger between Risk and PM. However, I already had many ideas about how I wanted to put the new association on the map among the students in Groningen. I also found it very interesting to enjoy the freedom to set up a new association with a new board. This challenge has contributed to my eagerness to join the board.
Ultimately, it turned out that it is not particularly difficult to transfer into a larger association (FSG) after the merger between Risk and PM. I am proud of what we have been able to achieve as a board in collaboration with the old directors of Risk and PM. We have also tried to include the opinion of the members as much as possible in our decision-making. What surprises me is that as the first board you will be faced with many challenges that you never expected you would tackle. This has given the board an extra dimension for me.

Annemarie: A merger brings a lot of things to light, the good and the bad. I wouldn’t necessarily say it has been difficult but it has definitely been a struggle. But more so in the sense that this transition takes a lot of hard work and dedication, which I definitely think we have put in. We’ve made a lot of changes, but there’s still a lot that needs to be done as we also keep discovering new things that can be approved or adapted. What has been difficult is that we’ve lost a lot of recognition, which we’ve made an excellent start at retaining again. But it is very much an ongoing process.


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

Hendrik: As the External Relations of the board, it is your task to acquire general sponsors for FSG. Besides that, you are responsible for attracting companies for all the activities organised by FSG. Throughout the year you are the contact person for current and potential partners of FSG. Every email or phone call needs to be handled professionally to ensure the company wants to cooperate with FSG. Companies are involved in almost every activity organised by FSG and your task is to make sure everything goes as agreed with the partners.
Company visits will be a big part of your summer. These company visits are aimed at strengthening ties with the existing partners and to get as many new partners as possible. These visits will show you the possibilities at those companies and their different company cultures.

Annemarie: As internal relations you are responsible for the recruitment of the committees, this means that you also have to drink coffee with a lot of interested students and explain to them exactly what active membership at FSG entails.
Furthermore, I am in charge of making all promotional posts and supplies in Adobe InDesign. This means all the pictures etc. that you see on our social media and also things like the goodies and flyers/posters. If you’ve seen something of FSG hanging around Zernike campus I have probably made it.


Did you combine doing courses with a board year and would you recommend it?

Hendrik: Since the board year at FSG is a full-time board year, I would advise against taking a large number of courses in addition to your board duties. This ensures that you can perform one of the two less well, which is a shame. I eventually did one course next to it, because I still had to retake it. I eventually managed to pass this course.

Annemarie: At most, I’ve followed one course in some blocks next to my studies and I would not recommend people to follow more than that next to your board year. Because more would sometimes cause you to miss fun board things, which is just a pity. But it is doable to follow courses next to your board year, you just have to be prepared to sacrifice some time in your weekends. Because during the week you’re too busy with other stuff.


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

Hendrik: The advantage of my position is that you are in close contact with the companies. This allows you to learn to communicate in a professional way with people in business. In the beginning, almost everyone is shy to talk to professionals. By doing this function you start to put this hurdle aside, from which you will reap the benefits later in the initial phase of your work.

Annemarie: Lots of coffee (or tea if you prefer that) and fun chats with new people!


Which personal skills have you developed during your board year?

Hendrik: In recent years I have been active by doing various committees. During my committee work I found out that I get a lot of energy from working together with other inspiring students in a specific goal. Because of these experiences I decided to do a board year at FSG. During my studies I learn analytical skills in the field of Finance. On the other hand, during the board year I learn the soft skills such as communication, collaboration and negotiation which are at least as important in business.

Annemarie: I have become so much better at photoshop and InDesign during my board year and it has definitely boosted my creativity! Moreover, to be on the other side of committee interviews has definitely given me a lot of perspective and prepared me for my own future interviews.


Hendrik, how do you communicate to people in business situations?

Hendrik: A lot of people sometimes ask me what it's like to talk to people in companies. To them I always say that the most natural form of communication always works best. When I am in conversation with someone from a company, I treat this person the way he or she would like. This does not mean that I put my own interests aside, but I always try to adjust the tone of the conversation completely to the other person. Although this does not always work, I have noticed that many interlocutors feel at ease with this way of communication.


Hendrik, what made your board year at FSG the most enjoyable?

Hendrik: What I liked most about the board year at FSG was sitting in the office for a year with a group of very different people. Everyday things happened that I hadn't expected and that we all had a good laugh about. Because you as a study association are not yet a real company, you do not yet have the pressure that comes with this. This makes it a very relaxed yet professional atmosphere.


Annemarie, what strategy do you keep in mind when assessing and placing new members within committees?

Annemarie: I look at group dynamics, so whether people might clash when put together or work well. Moreover, we really value commitment and dedication. We are always happy to welcome excited and enthusiastic new students who are eager to learn!


Annemarie, how do you combine your social life with a board year at FSG?

Annemarie: On the weekends you have a lot of time to catch up with friends and I have my club from Albertus who I see every Wednesday. This makes combining the two quite okay, however both are strenuous so I would definitely recommend also finding the time for yourself and to relax a bit.


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.