External Affairs Officer: Lisa meulblok

Author: Lisa Meulblok
March 18, 2022

As External Affairs Officer, you are responsible for all the company contact our association has. This is a pretty significant task as it entails the responsibility for most of the money that keeps the association financially on its feet. Next to that, you are also responsible for some committees, projects and activities. I have the pleasure to oversee almost all of our formal committees as well as the Master Committee.

The external tasks really vary throughout the year. During the summer, you start your board year with conversations with our partners. These conversations happen at offices of companies or via video call to talk about our cooperation the previous year and upcoming year, participation in our events and online exposure possibilities. This not only benefits the association but also gives you the opportunity to broaden your professional network. 

After these conversations, the first big career events come up pretty fast. Due to COVID-19, we were forced to host online events, hybrid events and physical events. Since every event had a different set up, it required a lot of creativity and flexibility. These events require a lot of effort to be well organised as you want both students and companies to be satisfied. Also, we like companies to participate again in the future, which makes it important to ensure that our career events are well organised. Then, while working towards the other events you will start up the acquisition. Every year we want new companies to cooperate with us to help our students orientate in the best possible way on their future career possibilities. 

In this function you work a lot together with the Secretary/External Affairs Officer, which in my case is Victor Westgeest. Together, we are doing acquisition for formal events, we maintain contact with existing partners and we recruit new partners. Working closely together is very helpful, since you can discuss important matters and make decisions together. But above all, it is also a lot of fun to work together and to achieve our shared goals.

Once you work through the year, you continue to organise career events, talk to companies and coordinate your committees. Towards the end of the year, you will once again start the acquisition for the upcoming year and try to come up with new ideas to make our association attractive to cooperate with. Also, you are free to do what you would like, for example invent new events or change the set-up of existing events. 

Next to these tasks that are specifically for our own association, we also work together with other departments. We are organising various joint (career)events, like inhouse days and the Business Data Challenge. This is also really fun to do since you can learn a lot from each other. Furthermore, each week Victor and I meet with all the externals of the other departments during the Acquisition Meeting (AM). In these meetings, we discuss policy matters, events that we organise together and common interests. You will also take on a portfolio for Asset General. In my case, I am concerned with the new Business Model and looking for new revenue streams.

The most fun part of being an External for me is how much you learn from it. By meeting a lot of different companies and people, you pick up very quickly good negotiation, presenters, and communication skills. It is also very rewarding to see that the things you organise have an actual impact and lead to students finding their job, traineeship, or internship. It is also very satisfying when an event is organised very well and all parties are satisfied

All in all, being the External Affairs Officer of Asset | Economics is a challenging role that teaches you a multitude of things. You acquire a lot of contacts and develop both professional and personal skills during the year, which will be very beneficial for the future. Organising career events and ensuring that all parties involved are satisfied also gives a sense of accomplishment. But most of all, doing a board year is also a year full of fun, meeting many great people, and having a lot of fun parties with members and fellow boardies!

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