Author: Emma Kuhne
Date: 24-02-2023

For about half a year now, I have been the Treasurer of Asset | Economics, which has been such a wonderful and educational experience. If you asked me a year ago, I never would have known how much I could learn in such a short period, let alone that I would be doing a board year that Summer. It has been quite a ride for me, but I am very happy with my decision and grateful for the wonderful experience that I have already had.

Let me first introduce myself. My name is Emma Kuhne, I’m 21 years old and originally from far ‘boven de Maas’: Alkmaar. I made a quick pit stop, studying in Utrecht for a year, but started my Bachelor in Economics and Business Economics at Tilburg University in 2020. So far, I really enjoy this study program and my life in Tilburg. I joined Asset | Economics in my first year to build my circle in this brand new town and develop myself in the best way possible. In this first year, I joined the Freshmen committee (together with Sophie) where I grasped the basics of committee work and organising events. My second year at the association, I organised the Study Tour to Malta; a task that was a lot bigger, with a lot more responsibility, which taught me a lot. This I did together with Bram. As you can see, I already got to know some of my fellow board members a bit before working with them 24/7. 

After getting to know the association, I quickly decided that it would be a great opportunity for me to do a board year here. I thought it would add to my resume, teach me a lot about collaboration, and bring me a lot of new friends. I had it in my head that I wanted to finish my Bachelor’s degree first, to have a diploma before I took other steps. However, after a lot of talks with former boardies, my closest friends and my parents, I decided to let go of this and dive in head first. People told me that it might be even better to start a board year early, that if I was ready to open myself up to personal growth, it could be very beneficial to the rest of my (academic) career. This has turned out to be 100% true, and it even caused me to develop in my personal life as well. I learned so much about collaborating with people like I expected, but I also learned a lot about responsibility, organisation and making connections. And next to all these formal benefits, doing a board year has also been even more fun than I expected. It allowed me to take a break from the constant academic pressure, have a lot of fun, and make friendships for the rest of my life. Not concluding my Bachelor also caused me to be able to hold off on deciding what I wanted my study path to look like and offered me a lot of flexibility. For example: in my Board Year, I decided that I really wanted to go on exchange after all, so I applied to go to the United States next year! 

Another one of my doubts about starting a board year lies in my personal life. Due to circumstances, I had to be able to go back to my parent’s house in a moment’s notice, spend long weekends there, and even work from home for an entire week if necessary. I thought this wouldn’t fit with a board year, I was under the impression that you had to be at the rooms all day, everyday and had plans every night, but I could not be more wrong. When the situation calls for it, everything can be so flexible. I could take half days off for appointments, whole days off if I needed it, work from home and even join board meetings via Zoom if I could not make it to the rooms. I could also skip evening plans with other boards or even some Asset activities if I was not able to come or really didn’t feel like it (although I often did not make use of this since I really enjoyed this part of the board year). This taught me to always talk about when I’m having doubts (for whatever reason). Everything can be discussed if you talk about it openly.

Enough about me, let me tell you about my function and some general board tasks. A Treasurer’s job may seem simple, but it entails a lot of smaller responsibilities as well. First and foremost, you are responsible for the association’s financial health and the entire bookkeeping (paying, booking and sending invoices, and putting everything in the accounting software). This sounds like quite a big responsibility at first but you grow in to it very quickly. These tasks taught me how to keep an organised administration and a good overview of restrictions and possibilities. As treasurer, you are also responsible for all legal affairs (not only the financial ones). This was very interesting to me and taught me quite a bit of fun legal facts and researching methods that are very useful for my future.

As Treasurer, I also take place in the weekly Asset General Treasurers Meeting (TM). In this meeting all treasurers of Asset Tilburg come together to discuss financial matters going on in the entire faculty association but this is also a place to help each other with our function, since being a Treasurer is quite complicated (especially in the beginning). In this organ, every Treasurer also has some tasks to work on for Asset General, to help the Asset Treasurer. Together with the Treasurers from Asset | Marketing and Asset | IB&M, I am responsible for the overall bookkeeping of Asset Tilburg, which helped me a lot in my own bookkeeping, but also has been very fun to do with board members from other departments.

Next to the functions, every board member is responsible for the overall continuation of the association in many aspects, often discussed in the weekly board meetings. We ask each other's opinions or advice on certain matters and talk about issues and bottlenecks in the association. This has also taught me a lot of valuable lessons and gave me hands-on experience in problem solving. There are also a lot of elective tasks that have to be divided over the board members. For instance: I coordinate three committees, am responsible for arranging the Frankfurt excursion this year, and I am head of ‘Study Support’ within our board. This last tasks makes me responsible for our entire guideline collection and has me investigating what other forms of Study Support we can offer our students. I also got appointed some other electives, so if you want to know more about that, or want to know the entire list of electives you can always talk to one of us!

All in all, this board year has already taught me so much about myself and my work, brought me so many new friends and connections and caused me to have the best half year of my life. And I have so much more to learn! I am very happy with my decision and would recommend it to every student seeking something more than only theoretical knowledge. Don’t be afraid to dive into the deep end, you will come out a much better and stronger person!

Hopefully this article has given you some insight in what it entails to be Treasurer of the board of Asset | Economics. If you have any questions or want to know more, do not hesitate to contact me by phone (06-16941674), or by mail: [email protected]

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