Get to Know the Board: an Interview with Joyce and Joost!
By Anouk Bakker and Nikki Janssen
Do you have any questions regarding the board? Are you curious about the tasks? And are you interested in doing a board year? Then maybe this interview may help you make up your mind! For this interview we asked some questions to Joyce van der Voet and Joost Mulder who are in the board this year! First, they will give a little introduction about themselves and after that, they will answer several questions to help you understand what a board year looks like!
Can you please give a short introduction about yourself?
GET TO KNOW JOYCE VAN DER VOET:
“Hi, my name is Joyce and at the moment I am 21 years old! I am currently the EBF IT & Marketing Officer. I’ve studied and finished my bachelor in International Business. I’m from Zuidlaren and in my spare time I like to make music and chill with friends.”
What kind of music do you make?
“A little bit of everything, but I play saxophone and ukulele myself. My saxophone is in Zuidlaren, so I don’t play that often anymore. However, I have a ukulele in Groningen so I do still play on that whenever I can! Furthermore, I really enjoy going to festivals.”
Can you tell us a little bit about your work experience?
“I haven’t really worked in my student days, but I was active at the Marketing Committee of the EBF and I joined European Study Research to Barcelona!“
GET TO KNOW JOOST MULDER:
“My name is Joost Mulder and I am 22 years old. I am the Project and Internationalisation Officer of the EBF Board. Last year, I finished my bachelor in Business Administration.
“I play soccer in a team with my friends and I often go to the gym. I enjoy having people around me and try to spend as much time with my friends as possible.”
Do you have any work experience?
“For the last four years, I have been the company director of ‘de Stadtlander’, which is a restaurant in Groningen. I have been a faculty manager for Athena studies as well.”
Thank you, Joyce and Joost, for the wonderful introduction! Now we would like to ask you some questions regarding your board year!
Why did you want to be a member of the board?
JOYCE: “First of all, I really liked being active in the Marketing Committee at the EBF.
Secondly, I also liked the atmosphere that was all around the EBF. Next, I had no clue what else to do after finishing my IB Bachelor. I didn’t want to start working immediately and I liked EBF so much, I wanted to stick around a little bit longer. Now I can kind of combine working and still live as a student!”
JOOST: “I used to be the mainstream student. I never took the time to travel for a year or anything else out of the ordinary. Joining the board was not for me, at least, that was what I thought. I decided to do a board year because I wanted to develop myself in a professional way and do something that would look good on my CV, but mainly because I wanted to step out of my comfort zone, I decided that I should join the board. Now, I can honestly say that it was the best decision I ever made!”
When was it when you realised you wanted to be a member of the board?
JOYCE: “In my third year, I went on exchange during the first semester. However, in my second year, I already gave it some thoughts! During my exchange period, I missed the EBF a little bit. When I got back from Norway, I just thought ‘I’m going for it, let’s see how far I can get’.”
JOOST: “In my third year as well. I thought that EBF was a great faculty association, and it was recommended to me by previous board members.
Did you specifically apply for the IT & marketing officer / project & internationalisation officer?
JOYCE: “You can decide on your own for which function(s) you want to apply. IT & Marketing Officer was my first choice, and I realised in my second interview that this was the function I really wanted to do! As I did the marketing committee myself, I knew this function was going to guide the Marketing and Promotion committee. I knew a lot about this committee and I really liked it, which was a big reason to apply for this function! Also because I really wanted to learn to design promotion materials on programmes such as InDesign.”
You mentioned a second interview, how many interviews are there?
“To apply, you need to hand in a case and your CV etc. first. After that, you have a first interview and when you’re on to the next round, you have another interview. This is always with people from the current board year, and sometimes an external party.”
JOOST: “I applied for Project & Internationalisation Officer, as well as the position of Commercial Officer. After my first interview, I was asked if I would consider becoming the Chairman, so I focused on this position. Eventually, I did become the Project & Internationalisation Officer and I am very happy with this position!”
Can you tell us a bit about what do you do exactly, what are your tasks?
JOYCE: “There are so many things that I’m always doing! However, my most important tasks are: To guide the promotion committee; to guide and help all the PR’s from the other committees. Furthermore, I am responsible for all the general promotion of the EBF and board recruitment, active members recruitment, and the PR material concerning EBF (posters/flyers etc.). Additionally, I have contact with the faculty about promotion and the possibilities for promotion in the Duisenberg Building. I also coordinate promotion for the subs associations if they want to promote something at the FEB. The IT tasks I do, is for instance the maintenance of the EBF website and keeping up with the data such as analysing the data of the website etc. In short, there is always something going on! But the part I like the best is working with InDesign!’’
JOOST: “Obviously, my main task is to walk around and entertain everyone at the interim with my banter. However, I guide several big committees, and I am focusing on several new projects for internationalisation within the EBF and the faculty. For example, I am busy with setting up an inclusion survey for all students together with the FEB. My goal is that every student, including international students will feel more welcome and included within the EBF. On top of that, I am able to help my colleagues with their tasks when necessary.”
What is a typical day in the life for you now?
JOYCE: “Busy, but very fun! Between 9 and 10am we start here at the interim and on Mondays and Thursdays we have breakfast together. After breakfast, I try to work on my to do list that I made for that day! I have a lot of meetings in a day, for example, with PRs of committees, people from the sub associations, faculty employees or committee members of the Promotion Committee. There are always meetings! In between, I try to do other things, such as analysing the site or make promotion materials. We also always lunch with each other! After that, I try to finish my to do list. In the evening, if there is an activity, we also have dinner together or another activity! And when the party’s over, I’m going home, go to bed and see what the next day brings!”
JOOST: “I usually start at around 9 am. Like Joyce, I make a to do list, after which I try to finish every single task for that day. During the day, I have many meetings as well. At around 5 pm, I will go home. If there is no event, I will go to soccer practice or spend the evening with my housemates or my friends.
For the next question, we are very curious because we know some people who want to do a board-year but have never done a committee. Is it necessary to have done a committee first?
BOTH: “Definitely NOT! Everybody is welcome! I think it’s nice to have someone who has a fresh pair of eyes and sees things differently. If everyone has done a committee in the past, people generally try to repeat what has been done the years before them. So, it is good to have someone that will say ‘why do we do it like this? Why don’t we do it like that?’”
What are some traits you really need in order to become a board member?
JOYCE: “Someone who is really good in teamwork, who is open minded, enthusiastic, and stands behind their decision!”
JOOST: “I think you really have to enjoy being social and communicating with a lot of people. Being a board member is a great job, but you definitely also have to be at least somewhat stress resistant.”
What do you like most about being a board member?
JOYCE: “To work with so many people!! Furthermore, to meet a LOT of new people. I really like to see people grow and help all the PRs and committees. I get a lot of energy from the fact that I have really contributed something!
JOOST: “As I mentioned before, I love being in contact with so many amazing people on a daily basis. In addition, I have learned a lot this past half year. Among other things, I learned to implement more structure into my life and become more professional.”
Do you experience any downsides?
JOOST: “The only downside I can think of is that you have to accept that the EBF always comes first. Normally I saw my friends all the time, every day. That does hurt a little… But you meet so many new people, that it's absolutely worth it.”
You guys are with the board members 24/7! How do you experience working with a small group of the same people on a daily basis?
JOYCE: “It’s very Intense!! But you learn so much from it. This sounds very cliché, but you really learn how to cope and work together with different people. Everyone has a different ‘work method’ and you learn that nothing is wrong, because everyone is doing it in their own way. Another learning factor is that you learn how to communicate with each other.”
JOOST: “I agree, we learned to adjust to one another and value each other for who they are. We have become very close, like a family. When you first meet and only know each other a little bit there can be prejudices. However, after you get to know everyone, you start to realise how awesome everyone is and how wrong you may have been.”
Is becoming a board member as you had expected it to be?
JOYCE: “It is a little more intense than I expected it to be. I didn’t expect there was so much going on within the EBF! But that’s even better, cause I really got an insight of what is going on within a company! It’s also more educational than I had expected!”
JOOST: “Yes, I think so. I did not think that I would become such good friends with the other boards and that I would have this much fun. Sadly, sometimes everything can become a little too much for some people, and that can bring down the overall mood. Then I prefer to leave the room as quickly as possible and chat with others. Thankfully, in the last six months, the bad mood only lasted for about one week though!”
We’re almost at the end of our interview, don’t worry! Our second-to-last question is kind of important though. Do you have any recommendations for people who want to become a member of the board next year?
JOYCE: “Just GO FOR IT! Just really focus on what kind of position you want, what suits YOU best. Of course, there are more functions that attract you, but you really have to choose the one you like best, the one you get the most energy from. Ask around about what other people think suits you. However, in the end, you have to make that choice! As for preparation, try to think out of the box. Don’t be afraid to do things differently, just because it is always done in a certain way does not mean it is the best way.”
Joost: “I would start by reading a lot about EBF and the different positions available. Afterwards, I suggest going for a coffee or something with former board members. This way, you get a lot of information to help you decide if you are interested, and if you are, how you can increase your chances of being selected. Also, really think about which position suits you! Maybe your friends and family can help you realize what your strengths and weaknesses are.”
Then for our final question, it’s not ‘board related’ anymore but not less interesting of course. What do you want to do after the board year?
JOYCE: “I’m still doubting. I want to either travel to Australia and work there, or I want to do my master-degree in Marketing Analytics and Data Science!”
JOOST: “Same as Joyce! I am still deciding. I always thought that after my board year I would start my master. Right now, I have found a great structure for my life and I have learned to be more disciplined. I am planning on starting the masters Marketing Analytics and Data Science and Marketing Management, which is a double degree. And I am determined to graduate cum laude. During my bachelor, I did not focus that much on my studies and did a lot of other activities. For my master, I really intend on focusing on my studies and reaching my full potential. However, this is a pretty intense year so I have actually started considering travelling for a year as well, preferably to Australia. So right now, I don’t have a clue what next year is going to look like!
Thank you so much Joyce and Joost for answering our questions! We hope some people have learned some things about the board and how it is to be a board member!