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Board Series #1: Meet our President, Tobias!

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

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 strategy alignment, stakeholder management, and a leadership position? Then you should become the next President 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 President Tobias, so that you can get to know him and his role at AEclipse a bit better:

What are your responsibilities as President of AEclipse? Take us through some of the work you do on a weekly basis.

My main responsibilities as president of AEclipse are leading the board and the association as a whole. This includes the coordination of the board, scheduling, and planning meetings with them, as well as representing AEclipse internally and to external stakeholders. In addition to that, I’m responsible for the development of a long-term strategy for AEclipse, defining our goals and objectives to be reached in the future. An important part of that are the so-called flagship events, like the “National Economics Olympiad” and the “Economist Week” that are planned at the beginning of the academic year and play a significant role in the long-term alignment of the association.

As far as board activities, my main responsibilities are to coordinate and oversee the board. This includes the committee recruitment, organizing and leading our board meetings as well as strategy alignment of our board members, which is very important in tying our strategy to the big picture. In addition to that, I am responsible for the organization of the Master Take-Off. This is our first event each year, where we offer new students the possibility of getting to know their fellow students, as well as the city of Rotterdam, and it’s culture - however, most importantly, it is about having fun!

How much time do you spend on your tasks on average?

I would say on average I spend around 10-15 hours a week on my tasks. I normally start off my week at AEclipse by scheduling and organizing all my tasks that need to be done for this week, so things like board meetings, or important meetings with outside stakeholders. Also, a lot of my work goes into the two committees that I’m leading, namely the AElumni committee and the City Trip committee. Overall, I would say that the workload is relatively constant, however, at the beginning of the academic year and the week(s) leading up to an event are connected with more work, as well as towards the end of the academic year, where we have to organize the recruiting for next year’s board. I can say, though, that you grow into your tasks and become more efficient with time.

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

I was already part of the Academic committee at AEclipse last year and could see for myself the impact that AEclipse has on students here at the university. In addition to that, I felt really comfortable at AEclipse and enjoyed the social environment that AEclipse offered. So, I decided that I wanted to take on more responsibility in a position where I can have a strong impact on the future of the association. The position of president at AEclipse provided me with a perfect chance to do exactly that and apply my expertise, as well as my ideas, to further impact students here at Erasmus. I also need to point out the alignment of AEclipse, specifically towards master students, as well as the general professionality of the association. AEclipse offers a great network of students, alumni, professors, and external partners that have been very beneficial to me.

You just touched on the subject of benefits, can you elaborate a bit more on that? What are the benefits of a board year?

It has been a great training for me in taking on a lot of responsibility. As president, I’m leading a team of more than 40 active members and despite the great and constant amount of help I get from everyone at AEclipse, it is still a huge responsibility leading such an organization. Adding to that, it was a great way to improve both my leadership and stakeholder management skills. Also, I’ve learned to make important decisions under pressure and to network with external stakeholders.

I would say that all of these skills are things future employers look for in their employees. However, I would also say that these skills and many others that I’ve been given the opportunity to improve over the past year, are important in the development of my character and have helped me grow as a human being immensely.

What has been your personal highlight as presidents of AEclipse this year?

I would not say that there has been one highlight that stood out, but rather it has been the whole experience and the success we’ve had with our events this year that just make me very proud. If I were to point out what I enjoyed most this year, I must say it has definitely been working alongside the other board members. It is crazy to see what you can achieve when you all are dedicated and passionate and work together towards a common goal. Even though it was pretty stressful from time to time, we managed to always keep a positive environment. Our friendship always came first, and I think that is one of the main reason for the success we had this year.

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?

Something I thought about a lot at the start, was having the responsibility for an entire organization of nearly 400 members. However, I realized quickly that I could count on the other board members to offer support at any time. Besides that, it is just about taking everything step by step. You grow with your tasks and get more and more used to your responsibilities. It is absolutely normal to feel some nervousness or even doubts at the start, but you quickly realize that it becomes easier with experience.

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