Board Story: External Affairs Officer

Who am I?

Hello, I’m Maikel Dijkstra. I’m 23 years old, born and raised in the city of Edam, all the way in Noord-Holland. When I finished my HBO Bachelor: Business IT & Management in Amsterdam, I already knew that I wanted to pursue a Master degree in this field. After careful consideration, I ended up in the pre-master program of Information Management at Tilburg University. I immediately got in contact with Asset | SBIT during the (Pre-)Master activity in September 2018. In the same month, I started organizing the amazing trip to Panama with the Intercontinental Study Trip (IST) committee. I had a really great time at SBIT the following months and made many friends. At the same time, SBIT really helped me get into contact with companies which I had not met before. SBIT brought me a lot in such a short time.

I briefly thought about doing a board year. At first, I was reluctant because I only recently became an (active) member. Also, the MSc Information Management only lasts a year and I wasn’t sure whether the study delay would be worth it. After lots of thinking about where I wanted to do my internship and what I wanted to do afterwards, I concluded: there’s a lot more for me to learn about myself and the different opportunities within Information Management. I wrote my application letter, polished up my CV and kept it on my Dropbox for a while. I then had such a great time during the IST in Panama, it convinced me that a board year at SBIT is definitely the most fun way to develop myself further and explore all my opportunities. On the Tántalo rooftop bar in Panama, I sent in the board application I had prepared. Almost one year later, I’ve been the External Affairs Officer of Asset | SBIT for over half a year and can now confirm: you don’t have to be a member for 5 years before you can become a Board Member and it is definitely worth the study delay! Let me tell you more about my daily duties.

What does an External Affairs Officer of Asset | SBIT do?

In short: I’m responsible for almost everything related to companies and careers within Asset | SBIT. I spend most of my time calling, emailing or meeting up with our partner companies, but also with potential partner companies. Most often, I discuss our sponsoring options with these companies. The options include that they can participate in career events and/or buy exposure such as a social media post. This has two purposes, the first is of course helping our students with their career orientation and development. The second is providing our association with a source of income to cover other costs, such as guidelines but also social events. For me, this means I have three roles at the same time. I’m a salesperson for SBIT, a consultant for the companies and a representative for our students’ careers. While this can be challenging sometimes, it also offers a lot of opportunities to develop my communication skills. Furthermore, I organize almost all formal events. This means (amongst others), I look for a suitable location and draw up a planning to make sure the event runs smoothly, while remaining in contact with the companies. This combination of contacting companies and organizing events is something I really like about the role of External Affairs Officer.

What’s more in a board year?

Because I’m part of the board of Asset | SBIT, I also have some tasks which are not bound to my role as External Affairs Officer. These are divided in the beginning of the board year. For example, I chose to be a board representative for 4 committees and to take care of our website, our Study Support pillar, and quite some tasks within our Faculty Association Asset. To elaborate on my tasks within Asset, I take place in the Acquisition Meetings with the External Affairs Officers of all Asset departments. Here, we discuss Asset-wide career orientation efforts and all issues or decisions related to this, as well as Asset Member Card deals. I also take place in the Study Support and Webmaster organs of Asset. Here, I respectively discuss the study support policy of Asset and take care of all career-related content on the Asset website (such as Asset-wide career events).

What did I learn during my board year so far?

During the board year in general, I had the chance to develop my leadership skills and really got to know how to run an organization. As External Affairs Officer, I have greatly improved my communication skills. Especially the selling aspect was new for me, I had no experience in selling things at all. This role has taught me a lot on sales within only one year. What I also find really valuable in this role, is that I get the chance to work with so many companies throughout the year. This not only lets me experience all kinds of different companies, but also allows me to see how they work from the inside, whereas you normally only experience the outside. Because of this, I’ve also gained a lot of knowledge on recruitment already, which also helps me in my career orientation. Furthermore, I met so many new people! I got to know the board members of all Asset departments, but also all of our members, new and old, and quite some other association boards as well.

The past few months flew by before I realized, but I’m really happy that I chose to take on this challenge instead of finishing my Master program straight away. I look forward to giving someone else the opportunity to experience what I did and would highly recommend it!

Do you want to be my successor? Check out our board information page!

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