Personal experience

Julie van Oldenborgh – Chairman 2022

I first came into contact with the VSAE in 2018. Godelieve, the 2019 Chairman, then gave a talk full of enthusiasm about the VSAE. This was the moment I knew for sure, I wanted to study Econometrics but most importantly I wanted to join the VSAE. From then on, my enthusiasm about the association has only grown.

My first VSAE event was the intreeweek drink. I felt right at home and knew then that this would definitely not be my last VSAE get-together (the free beer helped this of course). Shortly afterwards, I decided to join the winter sports committee. Here I learned what it is like to work with a nice group on a project for an association everyone is passionate about. Because VSAE offers so much diversity, I joined many other committees after that. 

However, during my time in various committees, I certainly did not have the idea of doing a board year one day. To my ears, this always sounded like something I really liked but was it really for me? Who would be crazy enough to sacrifice a whole year for an association? But then I kept coming into contact with former board members and started thinking. I came to the conclusion that my student days had already been the best time of my life until then and I was definitely not ready to give that up. A year of boards full of fun with a group of people as enthusiastic about the VSAE as I was and then also doing something useful and developing yourself. Who wouldn't want that? And yes, it is now 6 months later and I can already say with certainty that it has been one of the best choices of my life.

Every day for me as chairman is different, and that makes it so incredibly fun and extremely educational at the same time. You get something out of every position as chairman, and you have the freedom to fill your chairman role exactly as you envisage it. On top of that, you get the chance to work with a team to make your ideas a reality, the satisfaction this gives cannot be explained. As chairman, you are also ultimately responsible for everything, which of course brings with it some extra stress, but this does not outweigh the extra satisfaction you get from the moments when you and your team perform well. Furthermore, as chairman, you are also the face to all external parties. For instance, you have a lot of contact with the University, but also with several other student associations. It is great fun to justify the VSAE to the UvA because then you can proudly tell what you are going to do or have already done this year.

Besides all this, as Chairman you are of course present everywhere. There are really incredible trips, dinners, drinks and activities and you get to go everywhere for free. I would say what are you waiting for. Sign up as a board member because this is an opportunity you definitely don't want to miss!

Ira de Witte - Internal Affairs, Secretary & Vice-Chairman 2022

I first came into contact with the association at VSAE's Introduction Days. This is where I got to know VSAE as an incredibly sociable and festive study association. I got to know many people here and also made friends, with whom I am still friends to this day. During the camp, I immediately signed up for my first committee, the party committee. I found doing committees and the VSAE so enjoyable and fun that soon many other committees followed; the Short Foreign Trip, the VSAE weekend, Induction Days, chairman of party committee and the Econometric Game. 

Because of the many committees, I was in frequent contact with the VSAE board right from the start. By reading up on the website and talking to (former) board members, I became increasingly interested in a board year. I love organising and so had already done quite a few committees within the VSAE. It therefore seemed an increasingly logical step to look beyond committees.

A board year is the ultimate challenge to organise even bigger events and trips and to keep the association going with the five of us. Besides organising really fat things as a board, you get to enjoy plenty with the five of you and all the other VSAE'ers on all the trips, get-togethers and other fun events you organised together during the year!

The only thing that held me back at first is that it really does give you a full-time job, which includes getting up early and also takes up a lot of your other free time. However, now that I am on the board, I understand why this is necessary and I like it, because having so many hours to devote means you can really go for it. VSAE is really "your" company for a year together with the others. This brings with it some responsibility, but above all a lot of opportunities and freedom. In fact, there is always something that can be finished, improved or a whole new project to start up. So you are never bored.

However, you do have the freedom to follow subjects in addition to the administrative year if you want to. So I took and passed a third-year course! Apart from this subject, I didn't feel the need to take any other subjects but I could certainly have chosen to do so.

This is also what I like about a board year. There is room for all your ideas about the association and together with your fellow board members you experience so many cool things and without realising it you learn a lot of valuable things. Planning, working together and, for example, presenting seem like boring skills to get better at, but you will definitely be able to use them throughout your life. 

As internal affairs, I spend a lot of time getting to know the members and all the committee members we have come to me for an interview first. Talking to so many people greatly expands your network and you also get to know a lot of people. You can also learn a huge amount about yourself and each other from working closely with the five of us. Not to mention, of course, we have the greatest fun together.

Sjors den Boer - Treasurer 2022

When I applied for a board year at VSAE, I did hesitate for a while. Of course, I already knew some previous boards and I knew that they had had a great time during their board year. But what exactly such a board entailed was still rather unclear to me. After some small talk with previous board members, it soon became clear to me. I really wanted to do this. 

For me, the VSAE has always been a source of fun events and conviviality, I always liked going to the drinks parties and events. Now I thought it would be fun to take it a step further and start a board year. Previously, I had done quite a bit of committee work and always really enjoyed doing this. In my first year, I was on the winter sports committee, for instance, as well as the Experience committee and the

Analytics Academy. What I always liked about committee work was working together with others and putting on a great event. 

If you do a board year, you spend a year working hard for the association, but it pays off handsomely. As a board, you are present at all events. From drinks parties to trips like SFT and ISP. Occasionally, it can be a bit stressful when you are working towards an event, but when it succeeds and everyone has a good time, it is really great. 

I still didn't really know what to expect in a full-time board year. 'Do you really have so much to do then?' Well the answer to this became clear to me pretty quickly. Yes. From the constant stream of e-mails you have to answer, you also have a number of committees to lead. On average, there are one or two events every week. In addition, of course, you have the thank-you dinners. 

Fortunately, you don't do all this alone and you have 4 other amazing people with whom you form the board. This is also a very scary side of your board year. Besides making friends for life, you learn to work well together, have discussions and come up with solutions.

Randy Griekspoor - External Affairs 2022

I was probably the first of the current board who was 100% sure he wanted to do a board year. I had just finished my first committee as chairman of the year-end and on my way to Walibi heard from my predecessors what a board year entails. During the evening at Walibi, I asked a whole group of former board members about the board year. I became more and more enthusiastic. Before the summer holidays, I (and the rest of the VSAE too) already knew that I wanted to do a board year. 

Of course, it seems early to be thinking about possibly doing a board year in your first year. However, it seemed like the ideal time for me. By starting the administrative year halfway through my second year, I could nicely split that tedious bachelor of econometrics into two. It also gives me the opportunity to use everything I learn this year in the rest of my studies. 

After all, you learn a lot during a board year. You learn to take responsibility, take charge and work together in a very close-knit group. Besides all these useful skills, you also get to know yourself better. Because you often find yourself in situations you would otherwise avoid. A difficult phone call that you would otherwise skip, for example. You have to push through it anyway, because the rest of the board and the members are counting on you anyway. All these lessons make a board year immensely valuable.

But besides the learning experience that is the board year, it is also probably the most fun year of your student life. You are obliged (how awful) to attend every drink and activity and therefore get to know lots of very sociable and different people. Something I personally enjoy enormously. There are also super cool trips like the winter sports, the short trip abroad and the intercontinental study project. For me, this was a unique opportunity, because otherwise I would never go on a winter sports trip, for example.

I would definitely recommend doing a board year for all these reasons.

Anneke Schroeter - External Affairs & Marketing 2022

The VSAE helped me immensely in building a social life when I moved to Amsterdam three years ago for my studies. During the Introdagen and the Intreeweek, I gained friendships partly thanks to the VSAE that continue to this day. 

Since then, the VSAE has always been part of my life. This is of course because of the get-togethers but also all the other activities. Besides, from the beginning I have always been part of a committee. One of the things I like about the VSAE is the diversity of its committees. In my first year, I started with the ranking committee and also planned the year-end. After that, I thought it would be interesting and challenging to venture into a serious committee: the Actuarial Conference Committee. During this committee, I really noticed how much I enjoy working on a project together with a group alongside my studies. I also got some more insight into what the board is working on, which I secretly always thought was really cool. 

Besides these committees, I also served on the Almanac committee. What is really cool about that committee in my opinion is that you really learn a new skill by using design programmes. So it was during this committee that I started seriously considering a board year at VSAE. What finally convinced me to go for it was how enthusiastic all former board members were about their own board year. 

The great thing about a board year is that you get to know yourself better and develop yourself in many ways. On the one hand, you are job-specific, and on the other, there are always committees to be managed. The type of work is really incredibly varied. Personally, I find it most special that the five of you are ultimately responsible for the association for a whole year. As a board, you basically get to chart your own course entirely, so you have all the freedom to do things differently compared to other years. 

For my function(s), external affairs and marketing, on the one hand I am in contact with companies a lot about sponsorship contracts and other collaborations. Together with Randy, I have visited just about every relevant company in our field over the past few months. Firstly, this has given me a lot of insight into which companies appeal to me as an employer, but in addition, of course, it has also given me a super useful network. 

My marketing function mainly consists of overseeing the planning of the mailings, social media posts, and other messages we send out to our students. I have also experimented with some new ways of promotion over the past year. 

However, it should not sound like it is always just serious work. Besides all the daily work, there is a lot of room for fun things. For one thing, as a board, you'll experience almost all the fun activities and trips, and beyond that you'll also have plenty of freedom to plan your own days. 

In short: does a year like this appeal to you? Feel free to contact us or come and join us for a day, then I will be happy to show you what makes a year on the board so fun and valuable!