A board year as Vice-Chairman of Asset | Accounting & Finance – Jochem Vogels

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As Vice-Chairman of the Board, I am responsible for our members, the website, promotion, and specific committees. Read in this article why I chose for a board year, how it has been so far and what I have done this year.

Why did you choose for a board year at Asset | Accounting & Finance?

Two years ago I participated in a study trip organized by Asset | Accounting & Finance to Taiwan. In Taiwan I got to know so many nice and social people who were active at A&F that I immediately thought, I want to be a part of that as well. I wanted to organize a StudyTour myself. In February 2019, together with my committee, I started organizing the StudyTour, which eventually went to South Korea. During that period, I attended many informal and formal activities, got to know new people, and started considering the idea to enter a board position within A&F myself.

What does your board year look like?

Not a single day in my board year has been the same. Until mid-March, I was allowed to work at the university together with my fellow board members, which in retrospect was a true gift. You meet other boards in the rooms, you chat here and there, have physical meetings and the atmosphere, in general, is super cozy and relaxed. The mix of serious work and the occasional jokes made working at the university so much fun.

At the beginning of April, I mostly worked alone at home, because we were hardly allowed to be together because of the COVID-19 measures. In the beginning, this took some getting used to, because you lost the daily rhythm and it took a lot of discipline to perform your tasks as usual. I learned a lot from this period. I started to push myself to keep to my schedule and show discipline, this was something I struggled with during my Bachelor study. Besides this, we had to make sure that we stayed motivated with all six board members. Together we came up with new ideas, set up new events, and made sure that, despite all the setbacks, we kept our beautiful association running smoothly. Of course, we want to serve both our members and our partners as well as possible, and with a lot of creativity, perseverance, and enthusiasm, I think this went very well. Also in the new academic year, we have already organized some nice formal events and drinks in adapted form and I am very proud of that.

“Vice-Chairman means that you are there for your members, and within A&F these are obviously our active members, but also our passive members.”

For me as Vice-Chairman specifically, the situation could have gone two ways due to the COVID-19 measures. Especially the influx of new members was uncertain. Would a lot of students like to become active or would they rather wait another six months, now that they are teaching online, instead of physically? Fortunately, we experienced a good influx of new members, which gave me the opportunity to tell many motivated and enthusiastic new members about our association, committees, and activities. I am very happy with this, and I think it’s great to talk to new members during an activity. To ask what they think of it so far and if it is as they expected it to be. When you only get positive reactions, that is nice to hear. Vice-Chairman means that you are there for your members, and within A&F these are obviously our active members, but also our passive members. Summaries, promotion, and formal events are examples of this. Where students normally would go to the rooms for summaries, this year was different. I stuck so many stamps on packages that our Treasurer was astonished. Every day I went to the mailbox to provide students with summaries as soon as possible. 

Also, the promotion of events and commissions went differently than expected. In the first half year we handed out a lot of flyers, chatted, and used social media. Unfortunately, this was not possible last semester. I continued with what Twan, my predecessor, had started with, namely creating a document with which committees could quickly and easily design social media messages, flyers, and much more promotional material.

I also had two committees under my care, although the StudyTour committee soon dropped out due to COVID-19. With the SportCie, on the other hand, we had three fun activities and promotions for the time being and the next one is already on its way.

What did you learn during your board year?

I have learned a lot of other things than expected during my board year, let me put that first. Through this unusual year, I have learned to show discipline, to think out of the box, and to motivate myself and others even more. However, the most important thing I learned, despite the setbacks we have had, is that you can get very far by working together and trust. Throughout the year, I have been responsible for the introductory activities for the Master of Accountancy and Finance. We wanted to introduce new students to our association, but also to the university and Tilburg. The fact that you can organize two sociable and successful evenings with a Pub quiz and a barbecue is very nice. I also organized the Audit Activity together with Martine. Unfortunately, on the day of the event, we were told that the event could not take place at the location we had in mind. We had to switch immediately with the whole board and in no time a new location was arranged. As a result, The Audit Activity still became a great success. This satisfied not only us but also the companies and participating students.

What are you most proud of?

I am very proud of all eight of my fellow board members. Without these people, my board year would never have been so enjoyable, challenging, and instructive. I am proud of how, despite the crazy period we went through, with a lot of changes, setbacks, and adjustments, we developed ourselves. I am proud of how we have grown as individuals, but also as an association, that despite the difficult period lately, there are fun and interesting events awaiting us. However, I think I am the proudest of the fact that I made the decision to do a board year. It probably sounds very cliché, but this decision has given me such a new and interesting network, taught me things I had never thought of myself, but perhaps most important of all, it has brought me people I can call friends for life. You work so closely together that it really creates a bond. 

Would you recommend a board year, even during this period?

I definitely would! This period of time makes you think of other issues compared to a ‘normal’ board year. Furthermore, the ‘Corona’ board year does not affect your day-to-day schedule that severely. Meetings and fixed activities often remain the same, but now they are organized online instead of physical. I definitely recommend a board year, because there are so many new and fun experiences, skills, and friends waiting for you!

If you want to know more about my board year after this article, don’t hesitate to send me an email to vice-chairmain@asset-accountingfinance.nl or a message on LinkedIn! You can also use this link to find out more about the specific division of functions within the board.