Board Series #6: Meet our Commissioner of Development Economics, Rita!

Are you going to be a master student in the next academic year, and do you want to complement your studies with an unforgettable experience? Are you interested in development economics and research? Then you should become the next Commissioner of Development Economics at AEclipse! Keep reading to find out more about the position and what a board year at AEclipse could look like for you!


AEclipse is opening its Board Recruitment for the next academic year 2022-2023. We have interviewed our Commissioner of Development Economics Rita, so that you can get to know her and her role at AEclipse a bit better:


What are you responsible for at AEclipse? What is your role in the organization?


My role at AEclipse consists of organizing a research project about developing countries. We work together with a company, organisation or research institution to find a research question and design a framework of the research. This year’s International Research Project focuses on Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Mozambique and the goal is to attract and stimulate environmentally innovative Dutch companies to invest in these African countries.


Organizing the IRP means coordinating around 15 people in the committee and being in constant contact with the research partner, making sure that the results and research that we are carrying out are aligned with their expectations. As part of the project, we have the opportunity to travel to the country in which the research is being conducted, which I also organize.


Lastly, the IRP committee also organizes a Symposium , in which invite speakers to talk about a specific topic related to development economics, usually in line with our research topic.


Why AEclipse?


What makes AEclipse so unique is that all the events and activities, as well as the research projects, are very related to my master's and other areas that I am interested in, like policy or sustainability. When we are planning something we really think about what the students will take from this, how useful it is, how fun and if they will enjoy it. This has built a very nice community of people that likes to share ideas that they’re passionate about. It is also a very international environment and a lot of fun.


For the research, AEclipse gives a unique opportunity of having a real-life project with a company, which is a very unusual experience. It gives you the chance to go to another country and understand another culture while carrying out research. As master’s students, we don’t get to see what happens in real life very often. However, this is very different to an assignment: you get to see if what you study and reality match by visiting the country and learning from it. Doing this for a company is very fascinating as well if you’re interested in what they do and believe in them because you will get a lot of guidance and learning from them.


What are the benefits of a Board year at AEclipse?


You learn A LOT. As you do stuff that you have never done before, you build so much confidence in yourself and your abilities. Personally, I hated speaking in public. But when you have to lead a group of 15 other students, you can only confront your weaknesses. After a couple of times, you’re able to do it with ease and confidence, which is very important for our future.


It can be challenging but the amount of skills you develop is totally worth it. Also, as we are in contact with companies and working people, we get to understand how the world works and an idea of what we might want to do in the future. At the same time, you are having fun and meeting new people while being productive with your time, which is a very nice balance.


How much time do you spend on your tasks?


In the first half of the year, the workload is around 10 hours as you are recruiting people for your committee and setting the first things for the research project. During the second half of the year, you’re fully hands-on with the research so it gets to around 15 hours a week.


Are there any requirements for someone that wants to apply for this position?


There are no specific requirements for this position! You just need to be passionate about research and development economics, and eager to find an interesting topic. It is a very long project so you have to be energetic and, as a leader, you have to make sure that the team keeps motivated and happy along the journey to yield the best results. Also, you have to be willing to commit to the workload of this position throughout the whole project. Lastly (but most importantly), you have to be willing to learn things that you have never done before!


If you still have questions about what a Board year as Commissioner of Development Economics at AEclipse looks like, you can book a chat with Rita via this webpage to have your questions answered before you formally apply! Do you see yourself as the next Commissioner of Development Economics after reading this interview? Then apply directly via our website and send us your CV via email. We look forward to meeting you!

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