Chairman: Shaye Olij

Author: Shaye Olij
March 23, 2022

For the past 7 months, I have had the opportunity to be the chairman of study association Asset | Economics. In this blog, I will tell you more about this exciting experience and try to explain what this position is like. 

Before I tell you about why I wanted to be the chairman, I will first tell you something about myself. My name is Shaye Olij, 22 years old and I grew up in Nijmegen. When I started studying in Tilburg I started with the BSc. Economics but I switched to the BSc. Economics and Business Economics. Currently I am in between my second and third year. During my first year I became active at the Freshmen Committee, the next year I was a member of the Asset General Events Committee and last year I organised the Study Tour to Prague. In this article I will tell you why I chose to do a board year, especially the position as chairman. 

For the chairman, the tasks are not as clear as for the other positions. The first thing to explain would be that being the chairman of one of the Asset departments means that you are also part of the general board of Asset. This means that you will spend around half of your time on your Asset general function. I will explain later on what these tasks could consist of. But the beautiful thing about this is that you are a part of two boards which means twice the wonderful experiences. For these reasons I would like to take you with me in my experiences as chairman of Asset | Economics on one side, and a board member of Asset general on the other side.

First things first; As a chairman, the most important task is coordinating the board of Asset | Economics. A typical week starts with chairing the board meeting every Monday morning. In this meeting, we discuss current issues, we update each other about how the different committees are doing, we check the budget and our policy and we inform each other about any developments within Asset Tilburg. As Chairman, you need to form a conclusion from various discussions within the board, and you have to consider everything thoroughly. In doing so, you must take into account the long- and short-term consequences of decisions but also the consequences of your decision on other departments' views of your department. After the board meeting, the agenda for the coming week and the tasks of each board member are clear. Besides forming a general consensus in a discussion, it is important to ensure that the board keeps on acting like a united force. Finding a good balance between the formal and informal aspects of a board year is also important to me. A strong and united board is of critical importance to reach the targets set at the beginning of the year. Targets are the result of the policy writing process during the summer, a process I was in charge of as chairman. During the year, it is my responsibility to critically look after our policy and the progress we make. 

Apart from coordinating the board of Asset | Economics, it is also important to maintain a good relationship with all stakeholders. As representative of the association, I am the one who usually contacts other parties if something needs to be done and it is my task to keep in touch with them. In order to do this I have quite some meetings during the week with people from the faculty, Career Services, other external parties or also internally within Asset. During these meetings, you always have to consider the interest of Asset | Economics, both in the arrangements you make and in the way you represent yourself. As stated above, the policy of our association is written during the beginning of this academic year. This, together with our progress, is presented and approved at the Department Members Meetings, for which I am also responsible.

Besides these general tasks, I also have some projects and several committees to coordinate, just like all other board members. The Activities Committee for example is really exciting to coordinate. It is nice to keep contact with your active members and organize things together with them. It is nice as the chairman to be able to organise informal events for the most active members. I also coordinate the Symposium Committee and the Alumni Committee, both very different committees but my three make for a nice mix of all kinds of committees.  All in all, it is quite a varied set of tasks that I have done so far, not to mention the tasks I have to do for Asset General.

Asset general

As mentioned above, as chairman you also spend a significant amount of your time on Asset general. It is therefore important to know that Asset Economics is part of an overarching faculty association: Asset. In total Asset has more than 5700 members who are divided into seven departments. Each Asset department organises activities for specific groups of students with a particular field of study and interests. Since this overarching body also has to be guided, the chairman of each department also takes a seat in the General Board of Asset Tilburg. This board consists of different functions as well, which are divided into seven portfolios:

  • Finance Portfolio (Treasurer of the Board)

  • Administration Portfolio (Secretary of the Board)

  • Public Relations Portfolio (Public Relations Coordinator of the Board)

  • Acquisitions Portfolio (Acquisition Coordinator of the Board)

  • Events Portfolio (Events Coordinator of the Board)

  • Media Portfolio (Media Coordinator of the Board)

  • Project Portfolio (Project Coordinator of the Board)

During my board year, I chose the Public Relations Portfolio in which I guide the Vices of all the departments of Asset and make sure all the Asset general events are organised neatly. To give you an idea of my tasks, I lead the weekly meetings with all the vices of each department. During these meetings we discuss all the events Asset organise such as the COdE and the open parties, think of ways to promote Asset better and think of how we are going to present Asset during the TOP Week. This portfolio is a nice change in my other tasks as the chairman of Asset | Economics but I also learn other things since organising big events need a different set of skills than being a chairman. 

Besides the Public Relations Portfolio, I have also the Vice-Chairman elective. This is different from Tarn’s function, because I am the right-hand of the Chairman of Asset. This means that we prepare discussions for the general board meetings together, I join the chairman for meetings with the university and I take over in case of a free day of the chairman. I really like this function since it allows me to be present at meetings on the faculty level and I get to make strategic decisions for all 6000 members of Asset. 

All in all, I am really happy that I made the decision to apply for a board year. I can confidently say that this year has already brought me a lot and that is one of the key things I want you to take away from this article. I learned how to really work and function as a team, and in my position as chairman how to lead this team. Moreover, I have learned to think more strategically, with a clear vision of what we want to achieve in the long term. These experiences are really valuable to me, not talking about the professional network it has already given me. Last but not least, it is a year full of fun moments in which I have met so many amazing people and in which I have already made friends for life. I can say that it is truly wonderful experience to be part of the board of Asset | Economics and the board of Asset General. 

Hopefully this article has given you some insight in what it entails to be Chairman of the board of Asset | Economics. Do you want to read all the board articles? Click the button below! If you have any questions or want to know more, do not hesitate to contact me by phone (06-16786447), or by mail: [email protected]

Board articles

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