An interview with... The 51st Board of FAECTOR!

A board year is a year full of organising and attending events, but also a lot of setting up systems and building the frames for the future of FAECTOR. A long and exhausting year full of memorable and fun moments. In this article the Estimator interviews the 51st Board of FAECTOR about their past board year and experiences, as well as asking them advice for their successors.

My main advice would be to enjoy your board year to the fullest!

Robert - President

After your board year has finished, which part of the year would you miss the most?

This will definitely be all the time that I have spent with my fellow board members. Being with all seven board members is a great feeling, whether it is in the FAECTOR room, on a FAECTOR event, during a drink or by having a fun activity together. During a board year, you are always together with your fellow board members at formal and informal occasions. When my board year has finished, this will be a big difference since we will all go on with our studies and get involved in other activities.

Which piece of advice would you give to a future board member?

My main advice would be to enjoy your board year to the fullest! Being a board member at FAECTOR provides you with a privileged position: although you are still a student, you have got the opportunity to spend all of your time and energy in a flourishing faculty association with over 1500 members, a fantastic pool of active members and a great portfolio of events. As a board member, you are the special one who is in charge, you are the one who makes sure that all econometricians in Rotterdam have a great student experience. Seeing enthusiastic econometricians participating in FAECTOR events and having fun provides each (future) board member with a unique feeling of satisfaction!

Econometrics does not focus too much on presentation or meeting skills. However, as president this is a very important aspect. Was it hard to master these skills?

Hard is not the right word for describing this process, although it definitely was challenging. Of course you have a lot to learn as the prospective president of FAECTOR, but your learning process is also a lot of fun. When you apply for becoming the new president of FAECTOR, you should already be interested in developing these skills or perhaps already having some experience with it. Once I had been chosen as the prospective president, I have received great support from Luc (the president of the 50th Board), where he has shared all his experiences and thoughts, such that I was fully prepared to do it on my own. And still I aim to improve my presentation and meeting skills at all times, since there is always something that can be learned.

During a board year of FAECTOR you build friendships that will last forever; cliché but true.

Jeroen - Secretary

Handling the many FAECTOR committees you do surely require a lot of patience and a calm mind. Would you say that you were already able to deal with various amounts of organisational tasks before joining the 51st Board or has the board year helped you to polish those skills up?

Improving my organisational skills was one of the most important reasons for me to apply for the 51st Board of FAECTOR. During my studies I always enjoyed doing a lot besides my studies. You have to make your time as a student as challenging and fun as possible. With this vision I applied for the position of Secretary, in my opinion the most diverse function there is. Within a few weeks you know how to handle all those different committees and after each event you are (hopefully) proud to say that you have been supervising it.

What was the first thing you did when you just became part of the 51st Board?

Finishing a bottle of Prosecco on my balcony, thinking about what the next year would look like, listening to ‘OneRepublic - Good Life’, closing my eyes and being extremely happy.

What is usually the biggest obstacle when you start organising an event?

The first obstacle is the fact that a committee exist of more than one person and ideas and opinions about new events will differ. Making sure that all noses point to the same direction is probably one of the hardest parts of organising a new event.

After your board year has finished, which part of the year would you miss the most?

During a board year of FAECTOR you build friendships that will last forever; cliché but true. The parts that I would miss the most are the laugh of Robert, the Limburg accent of Wouter, the Hermes pose of IJs, the tunnel vision of Rob, the bag of Romana and the Flugels of Teusz. Fortunately, you do not have to miss all of this since RECNET organises plenty of activities for alumni and the Secretary has the privilege to organise the yearly former board dinner!

Which piece of advice would you give a future board member?

Enjoy every little part of it; time flies when you are having fun!

Which part of the year I would miss the most? All active members and my Board.

Wouter - Treasurer

If your position in the Board was a historical figure, who would you be?

Well I am not sure if you call him a historical figure, but I would say “Dagobert Duck”( Scrooge McDuck). He makes sure every penny of his fortune is well spend. The exact same task as I try to do every day. Other board members prefer to spend all the money they can get their hands on and as a Treasurer you have to prevent that sometimes. Besides that, I “count” my money by bookkeeping and updating the budget regularly. Just so you know, I am not swimming in FAECTOR’s money.

After your board year has finished, which part of the year would you miss the most?

All Active Members and my Board! During the year all committees worked hard and became close friends through the Active Member activities. We created amazing memories during i.e. the Active Members Weekend. Some of them come by the office every day for some coffee or just to spend their study break. In the Board we have become close friends and created life lasting memories. These things I will miss every day I spent in HT instead of H10-05 next year.

As a Treasurer you, of all board members, need to make most decisions with the long term policy of FAECTOR in your mind. Is this always easy to do or does this sometimes also causes struggles?

Indeed, this is an important aspect in all decisions. Of course it causes struggles sometimes, but most of the time it is about remembering other people that the long term should be kept in mind too. As long as you can explain your decision and don’t be a dictator it will be fine.

What is the character trait that a Treasurer should have?

As a Treasurer you are responsible for the financial side of FAECTOR. So you need to be trustworthy, but that is the case for the all board members. You have to be organised and able to say no. Even though a committee or board members spend multiple hours preparing it, if the financials aren’t right, it can’t happen unfortunately.

The first thing I did when I just became part of the 51st Board? Celebrate and drink champagne!

IJsbrand - Career Officer

Do you have a routine you do every day?

I do not really have a daily routine. However, I start almost every day by checking my email. What I do like to do, is to check the upcoming week on a Sunday and make a list of tasks I have to do in the next week. This helps me with planning the upcoming week.

What was the first thing you did when you just became part of the 51st Board?

Celebrate and drink champagne!

What is the most challenging task you had or currently have?

The organisation of the Econometric Career Days and Quantitative Finance Tour.

Why did you apply specifically to the board position you currently have?

I really like the daily contact with companies and partners of FAECTOR. Besides this, I like to organise events for other students. This combination made Career Officer perfect for me. I especially liked the Quantitative Finance Tour as I am interested in banking myself.

Which piece of advice would you give a future board member?

Do not hesitate to ask you fellow board members for help whenever you need some!

When organizing large events like the Econometric Career Days, Orientation Days, Quantitative Finance Tour and Find Your Match, you must have a lot of responsibilities. Do you feel like you have to work under a lot of pressure, and, if so, how do you deal with it?

There is definitely some pressure on you as our partners expect well-organised events. The organisation can be especially stressful in the week prior to a big event. However, this is what I like a lot about the Career Officer position: you get a lot of responsibility very quickly!

When I started I immediately knew that I wanted to increase the revenue from acquisition even more than last year

Rob - Commercial Officer

Why did you apply specifically for the position of Commercial Officer?

For me it was important to have a goal going into my board year. I know from myself that this motivates me every day to give it my best and you can actually measure how well you are doing. As a Commercial Officer you set certain targets at the start of your year in specific areas that you want to focus on. At FAECTOR there are so many things that can be further developed or new things to be thought about that it is always possible to set new goals. For example think about expanding the number of companies that attend the Econometric Career Days, the amount of vacancies on econometrie.com or the revenue from acquisitions of FAECTOR. All challenging but realistic goals!

When I started I immediately knew that I wanted to increase the revenue from acquisition even more than last year. Every Commercial Officer should be confident enough to set this goal! Besides that I believed that there was so much more to get from econometrie.com. I decided I wanted to increase not only the number of vacancies and companies that advertise on our website, but also increase the number of visitors. Whether I've reached these goals is something you can check during the next general assembly meeting in September, haha.

What is the most difficult part in persuading companies to do something with FAECTOR?

The biggest share of companies that we work with, have been with us for a longer time. Therefore, it is really important to work with them in a professional way and give them a reason to cooperate with us next year. If companies feel like FAECTOR treats them well and always lives up to their promises chances are high that they will decide to sponsor us again next year!

However, it is also very important to acquire new companies to our portfolio. The biggest challenge in convincing them to work with us is convincing them that for really attracting econometricians, it is necessary to do more than just posting vacancies on econometrie.com. It is also very important to show your company during recruitment events such that students can talk to their employees. This does, however, require a bigger investment and therefore more risktaking for them.

Which piece of advice I would give a future board member? Enjoy every moment of it, it will only last one year!

Romana - Educational Officer

Why did you apply specifically to the board position you currently have?

I applied for the position of Educational Officer because it is one of the most divers positions in the Board. As Educational Officer you are responsible for the contact with the university, but you will also have a lot of contact with (international) students and companies. This way I got to develop myself in different directions. Next to that, organising events has always been something I like to do. As Educational Officer I get to organise many things like the Master Take-Off, the Best Econometric Thesis Award, the Excellence Programme and the study trip of the FAECTOR Research Project. And on top of that, the Educational Officer is the only position within the Board that will finish its board year with 3 weeks of travelling in another part of the world!

After your board year has finished, which part of the year would you miss the most?

When my board year is finished I think I will miss all the social activities most. During a board year you meet so many new people which you do a lot of fun things with. And with my Master coming up, I am afraid I won’t have as much time for these activities as in my board year.

Which piece of advice would you give a future board member?

Enjoy every moment of it, it will only last one year!

Can you explain the FAECTOR Research Project, and what part are you looking forward to the most? What is the most difficult part of arranging such a trip?

The FAECTOR Research Project is a project where third year students do an internship for two months. Then, the following summer we go on an amazing study trip to a destination outside of Europe. This year we will go to Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. I am mostly looking forward the part where we get to ride in Jeeps from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro. During this trip we get the chance to visit many local towns, beaches and see some parts of the jungle. The most difficult part of organising this study trip is that you have to take all 15 participants into account. As some people love to do extreme activities, others may not. You have to find the right balance and make the trip an unforgettable experience for everyone.

You do much more then only designing stuff. In fact, I think that the Marketing Committee spends more time designing than I do

Mateusz - IT & Marketing Officer

Did you need any prior knowledge of design programmes as a Marketing Officer?

No, not at all. Of course I get this question a lot, but every time the answer is the same. During your board year as a Marketing Officer, you do much more then only designing stuff in these design programmes. In fact, I think that the Marketing Committee spends more time designing and using these programmes than I do, haha.

As a Marketing Officer it is your job to manage the corporate identity of FAECTOR, plan all promotion and branding for FAECTOR and its events and activities, manage all (social) media channels and think about a (long term) promotional plan, to name a few things. For this it is of course important that you are creative, but also work efficient, are keen on planning and deadlines and know how to handle pressure and critisim. Of course, it helps if you know a thing or two about designing and using different programmes or software, but after a YouTube tutorial or two you also know the trick, so it is not a prerequisite. Nevertheless, I think the time I spent on designing things before I was an Active Member of FAECTOR and during my time as a member of the Marketing Committee last year helped a lot.

Which piece of advice would you give a future board member?

Don't fear to ask stuff from others if you don't have a lot of time on your hands! And also make sure that you are easy on yourself and don't try to say yes to everything or everyone. A board year, especially full-time, is a wonderful year but also a year full of commitment. You have to watch out that you don't overcommit yourself, because in the end, everything can of course always be improved. So enjoy your year to the fullest, because it can be over in the blink of an eye!

Oh, and for the future Marketing Officer I would say: Be nice to the Treasurer sometimes, he gives you a lot so you can give him something in return as well! ☺

After your board year has finished, which part of the year would you miss the most?

First of all I think definitely the time spent with the Active Members. This group of amazing people did a lot of work and helped us and the association enormously throughout the year. By spending our days in meetings, at the drinks or drinking coffee at the office and after all Active Member activities and the Active Members Weekend you can really say that we have become a group of close friends.

Next to this I of course will also miss the time spent with my fellow board members. Since the beginning of our board year, we took part in almost every activity together. From FAECTOR events and trips, to (constitution) drinks, weekends off and the occasional party here and there, we all had the best time with everyone. After our board year we will all continue with our masters or rounding up our studies, or maybe even take part in other activities, so we will not see each other that much as the past year.

Are you excited about a board year? Think you are up for a challenge? Then don't hesitate and apply now for the 52nd board of FAECTOR by clicking here! Note: The application deadline is today, Sunday the 23rd of April, so do not wait to long to apply.

About this article

Written by:
  • Estimator Committee
| Published on: Apr 23, 2017