external affairs officer: Marije kok

Author: Marije Kok
February 26, 2021

Are you interested in what it will bring you to be the External Affairs Officer of Asset | Economics? In this article, I will tell you all about what it entails to be the External and I will give you insight into my life as part of the board.

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 Sports Committee and the Yearbook Committee. Besides, I am also involved in organizing training sessions for students and informal activities for master students.

The external tasks really vary throughout the year. During the summer, you start your board year with conversations with our partners. For these conversations, the External normally visits the companies at their offices to talk about our cooperation the previous year and upcoming year, participation in our events and online exposure possibilities. Although it was impossible to meet our partners physically this year, it was still very nice to both get in touch with and to get to know different companies. 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. This year, we were forced to host these events online for the first time, which was quite a challenge. Just like physical events, these events require a lot of effort to be well organized 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 organized. 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 Gijs. 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 organize 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. This year in particular, Covid-19 forced us to be really creative and let us organize events and think in a way that had never been done before.

Next to these tasks that are specifically for our own association, we also work together with other departments. We are organizing various joint (career)events, like e-house 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 Gijs and I meet with all the externals of the other departments during the (online) Acquisition Meeting (AM). In these meetings, we discuss policy matters, events that we organize together and common interests. You will also take on a portfolio for Asset General. In my case, I am concerned with the Asset Member Card (AMC) and Career Platform Tilburg (CPT). It is my task to make sure Asset has enough significant discount deals for our members since having those good deals is beneficial for these companies and for our members. Besides, together with three other externals, we look into opportunities to improve our Career Platform so that it becomes more attractive for companies and more user-friendly for students.

The most fun part of being an External for me is to see that the work of the Externals really pays off. It is nice to see that students really apply for internships or start working at companies that we cooperate with. This way, you help students find the next step in their career and you help companies find new employees.

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. Organizing 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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