chairman: Pieke heunen


Author: Pieke Heunen
March 5, 2021

For the past 8 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 go into the details, let me briefly introduce myself. My name is Pieke Heunen, I am 22 years old and was born and raised in Roermond. After my exchange in Quebec, I obtained my bachelor degree in Economics and business economics in 2019 and completed my master Finance in 2020. I got introduced to Asset | Economics in the second year of my bachelor, and decided to join a committee. I was always looking for opportunities to develop myself alongside my studies and since I had the most fantastic time here, I decided to apply for a board year. While reading this article, you hopefully get some more insight in what a board year, and especially the position as chairman, brings for me. 

The daily and standard tasks of a chairman are quite difficult to explain. This is mainly due to the fact that this function contains less specific tasks than other functions. I have to admit, before this year I did not have an exact idea of what it would be like either. But I will try my best to elaborate on all the sides of being chairman. First of all, it is good to know that the chairman of an Asset department approximately spends between 30 and 60 percent of the time on tasks related to the General Board. Being part of two boards at the same time can be complicated sometimes, but above all it gives various opportunities to excel and it is lots of fun!  For these reasons I would like to take you with me in my experiences as chairman of Asset | Economics at one side, and board member of Asset general at the other side.

Asset | Economics 
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. Apart from that, it is good to hear how everyone is doing and nice to hear what your fellow board members did during the weekend. 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. 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. I try to do this by creating an open atmosphere in which my fellow board members can always come up with discussion points they want to share. 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. Sometimes it gives you some extra work, but in general it is really fun to have this aspect in your portfolio. 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 6000 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 chairmen of each department also take 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 Media portfolio in which I guide the Webmasters of all the departments of Asset and am responsible for the tasks of this portfolio.

In short, this means that I am responsible for the Asset website, email system and back-end system. The website is becoming increasingly important for the association. Here you can find all the relevant information about committees and the possibility to subscribe for events. Therefore, it is important to have frequent contact with our website developer and web hosting. As stated above you have to look at different matters from multiple perspectives. This can be challenging at times, but above all it is very insightful. It gives you the opportunity to diversify the different tasks, and therefore to learn more.

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. And although this year's situation with COVID-19 is different than expected, it also has advantages. Last-minute decisions, setting priorities, and working from different scenarios are things you learn to deal with. 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.

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 board articles? Click the button below! If you have any questions or want to know more, do not hesitate to contact us by filling in the contact form, or by mail: info@asset-economics.nl

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