My experience as External Relations Officer

Board Blog: Tijmen de Groot

Hi there, dear reader! 

Whatever the reason you’re reading the Board Blog of TeMa’s External Relations may be, I am always happy to share my experiences with you. Please do not hesitate to schedule a coffee with me if you’re interested in or want to orientate on my position.

Last year, I had to make the same decision, still wondering what to do in the next year. As I was to finish my bachelor, starting with a master’s degree (and therefore bounded to a full-time job early), didn’t seem like the best deal for me yet. As I was active in TeMa’s Career Committee before applying, I already knew TeMa and the great atmosphere and members the association has. Working together with these great people, while maintaining a great social life, and acquiring new skills, were the main reasons for me to apply for a board year. 

It really is a leap of faith, too! As I can totally imagine, you might be interested, but don’t get a feeling of what it all consists of. Well, it’s hard to put in words. You have to experience it yourself, and you will be prepared for it as well. 

My biggest misunderstanding

I would say that the main part of it that I did not fully get when I applied, is the following: I thought a board year mainly consists of the period from September onwards.

This is not the case. From April (board announcement) onwards, a real fun period begins. When you are part of the Candidate Board, the focus is on getting to know your fellow board members, working on the association’s policy, and getting to know the former board well too. Even though this period does not take much of your free time, it is a great addition to your social life. This way, before your start as a board member, you are friends at a personal level. 

Now let’s talk External Relations & why I chose it

You’re still reading, which means you might be interested in becoming my successor. It's a great choice to become the new External Relations, and I will tell you why in a few bullets:

  • Work on your persuasiveness, adaptiveness & achieving a growth mindset 

  • Opportunities in growing your network tremendously

  • Increasing your social skills in all sorts of environments

  • Acquiring management skills by being the supervisor of our biggest, formal committees (Conference, Career, SEC, ISP)

You should be enthusiastic for acquiring some necessary skills, mainly in meeting with companies, successfully managing partnerships, and I would like my successor to get energy from these things. You do not need to have developed these skills already, as we will certainly work on them together (developing these skills was part of the reason I opted for External Relations)!

Let’s schedule a coffee date to talk about everything, or you can also come to our Board Info Meeting on February 8th, where I will happily share my experiences.

What my week looks like

I see that my fellow board members (also check out their blogs) have answered this question quite accurately already. That’s why I’m keeping this short. Main points for me were that I wanted to 

  • Still be able to work (even though we get some compensation for the board year)

  • Meet my friends regularly

  • Basically, did not want to make too many compromises in my day-to-day life

Happily, I can confirm that all these boxes have been ticked. There are of course events that you must attend, but everything plays from Monday till Thursday, leaving you with a lot of free time as well. Also, I am very happy about the 10:00 starting time;)

A nice perk that means a lot more than it seems at first, is our close connections with the befriended associations at the Interim (the part of Duisenberg we share with other associations). You get to know everyone on a personal level and go to events & socials together. This makes the week very fun as well. 

What my daily tasks are 

Great, now let’s get to the fun part! External Relations really is an amazing position to be in, which is due to my very diverse and (for me) compelling task portfolio. Of course, there are many tasks that are part of the entire board’s portfolio. These consist of meetings, organizing events, socializing at events,…

Then, there are specific tasks for the External Relations. Think about acquiring new companies for a collaboration, which you may have expected as the main thing. It’s not! Over the years, TeMa has acquired a big network of close partners, which is the fun part. You get to know your contact persons, go on some company visits during summertime (touring the Netherlands), and meet a lot to talk about events and partnerships. I enjoy these things, as it both leads to a great network, and I enjoy the (online) meetings a lot as well. 

Big part of the fun is in organizing all our Career Events where there’s no committee, like Company Dinners, Consultancy Days & Informal career events. These feel like your own events, which I enjoyed and saw as a great learning opportunity.

Where there’s even more fun, is supervising the Conference, Career, SEC and ISP committees. On a personal level, you get to know the committee, while also supporting them on a professional level. This leads to you working together quite often and doing everything you can to set up a great event. 

Also, being an External Relations comes with a few nice perks as well, as we for example go External – to a European city – with our befriended associations’ External Relations each year.

My experience so far

It just is really fun, great, it’s a learning opportunity, the perfect ‘extending your study’ experience, you get practical skills you can hardly learn elsewhere, 

I can tell you so much more, schedule a coffee with me now and let’s talk about it – also if you’re just curious and not sure yet!

You can always text me: +31 6 20 37 43 00

> Click here to read the Board Experience of Martijn - Chairman

> Click here to read the Board Experience of Joëlle - Secretary & Promotion Officer

> Click here to read the Board Experience of Tristan - Treasurer & Vice-Chairman

> Click here to read the Board Experience of Quirine - Interal Relations & Education Officer

> Visit our Board Info Meeting @ Foudcourt