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Board Series #5: Meet our Commissioner of External Affairs, Femme!

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 business relations & external stakeholder management? Then you should become the next Commissioner of External Affairs 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 External Affairs, Femme so that you can get to know her and her role at AEclipse a bit better:

What are your responsibilities as Commissioner of External Affairs?

As the Commissioner of External Affairs, I’m in charge of representing the association externally. Therefore, one of my main tasks is communicating with companies to set up collaborations for events, organize presentations about traineeships and internships or bring in money through sponsorships. With most of our events being career focused, I stay in close contact with external stakeholders to organize case studies with companies or have guest speakers present on a variety of interesting topics. Apart from that, I’m also the head of the External Committee.

Also, I’m in charge of organizing Economist Week, which is one of our flagship events at AEclipse. This is a week full of events that are centered around one theme. This year the theme was the economics of sustainability, for which we organized several events ranging from panel discussion and case studies to keynote lectures.

How much time do you spend on your tasks per week?

It is difficult to narrow down the exact time as it varies a lot depending on the time of the year. At the start of the academic year, there was a lot of work to be done. I had to reach out to a lot of companies to discuss the potential collaborations or sponsorship opportunities, as well as set up my committee for the year. After that, the workload decreased a bit. However, around halfway through the academic year is probably the busiest time of the year. Setting up Economist Week requires a lot of work and attention to detail, especially because the event lasts a whole week, with several sub-events every day. If I had to guess, I would say that I probably spend around 12 hours per week on my tasks, but as I said, it varies a lot depending on the time of the year.

Why did you choose to apply for a board position at AEclipse?

I was already part of the International Research Project (IRP) committee last year and had a great and insightful time with the project and the field research on Aruba. So I already got to know the association a bit last year and I could see first-hand all the great opportunities that AEclipse offers. A major reason for joining AEclipse is the focus on just three master studies, namely International Economics, Policy Economics and Economics of Markets and Organisations. This allows us to target events specifically for smaller groups of people, to make sure that everyone is passionate and interested in our events. Also, with AEclipse being a smaller association, you get to know everyone in the association on a personal level, which creates a great atmosphere and feeling of togetherness.

In how far have you benefitted from a board year at AEclipse?

I think I’ve grown a lot over the course of this year as a human being. There are many skills that I’ve been able to practice throughout this year. To just name some examples, having the responsibility of a board position including leading a committee has been a new experience to me, that I’m certain will prove very beneficial in the future. I’ve not only been able to work a lot on my leadership skills, but also on my soft skills. Overseeing a committee, I’ve learned how to organize events, delegate work and communicate efficiently to get the committee to work as well as possible. Also, the opportunity to network with companies and negotiate with them about sponsorships and collaborations and everything else that comes with external stakeholder management, has been very beneficial. Those are responsibilities I will most likely have later at some point in my career.

However, most importantly, I’ve had a great time being the Commissioner of External Affairs for AEclipse. Throughout this year I’ve been lucky to meet so many interesting people, it has been amazing. Particularly, working together with my fellow board members and my committee has been so much fun, despite requiring a lot of work from time to time.

What has been the highlight of your time as Commissioner of External Affairs at AEclipse?

It is difficult to point out a single highlight this year, as the whole year has been a highlight in and of itself. However, if I were to mention a specific highlight, it would have to be the Economist Week. It is just crazy to see how much you can achieve together with a good team if you are all heading in the same direction. We worked for several weeks to set up this event. It has been very time-consuming and frustrating from time to time, however when the event was finished, it more than paid off. It is just such a great feeling to see other people enjoy a series of events throughout this week, knowing that you’ve played a great part in organizing all of it. This made me proud of the work my committee put in! In addition to that, I have to point out that I’m extremely grateful for every single person that helped me set up this event, as I couldn’t have done it alone.

What can you say to potential applicants that are nervous about the requirements of a board position and are unsure if they are ready for it?

I can say that you will definitely learn everything along the way. I did not have much experience with the new responsibilities I was given in my position. At first, they can seem a bit overwhelming, but with time you learn very quickly. Also, there is such a supportive environment at AEclipse. You can always count on other people to help you if you have questions or if you want to discuss things. So I can assure everyone that is nervous about the responsibilities that come with a board position, as long as you put in the effort, you will definitely have a good time and be up for the tasks!

If you still have questions about how a Board year as Commissioner of External Affairs at AEclipse looks like, you can book a chat with Femme via this webpage to have your questions answered before you formally apply! Do you see yourself as the next Commissioner of External Affairs at AEclipse 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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