Interview: Treasurer Sander

Interview: Treasurer Sander

Who are you?
My name is Sander Zwijnenburg, I’m 26 years old (yes, 26 already) and I studied Economics and Business at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. After my bachelor, I stayed in Rotterdam, because of the high-quality education and because I started to like the city of Rotterdam more and more. I did a master in Financial Economics, but after that year I wasn't sure this was the field I wanted to pursue a career in. I decided to broaden my knowledge and dive into the Master Marketing at ESE. This is the year I also became active at the Marketing Association EUR, becoming the External Relations Coordinator of the Marketing Conference Committee. The committee and I organized an amazing event and overall I had a great year with the MAEUR family. Next to that, I was also able to finish all my courses with pretty good grades. While I still had to finish my thesis, I saw an opportunity to develop some of my marketing skills in practice during an internship at Omega Pharma NL, at the brand Davitamon. Having real working experience in my eyes is now more important than ever. I worked at Omega Pharma with great pleasure. After my internship, I managed to acquire the Assistant Brand Manager position for another half year at Omega Pharma. During this year I still visited quite some MAEUR events, keeping in touch with that year's actives and looking for possible jobs. However, I didn't end up finding a job, but a board year instead!

What is your function and what does it entail?
I’m the Treasurer of the board a.k.a. the moneyman. I’m in charge of all money coming in and going out. At the beginning of the year, I made the annual budget, planning all expenses and revenues for the coming year. My goal is to make sure it will actually turn accordingly. As the MAEUR is quite a big association this brings a lot of responsibility, but also a lot of diversity with respect to the work I do. Next to the budgeting and bookkeeping, I’m involved in all strategic decisions and my view can have quite a big impact. On a lot of decisions I am the one that constantly needs to ask the question; is this the most efficient way to use the association's funds? Will it make the desired impact? As a Treasurer you therefore need to be able to stand your ground and sometimes say no to your fellow board members or actives. Be aware, the Marketing Coordinator always knows exactly what to spent the funds on! This can be challenging, but mostly it means that you are really involved in every step of the process to make sure the MAEUR delivers the best quality for a specific budget. Next to expenses, I’m are also involved in all price negotiations related to revenues generated by partnerships and activities, together with the External Relations Coordinator. All together your tasks give you the feeling that everything happens under your watch. Personally, I think this makes the Treasurer an influential and amazing position to be in.

 

What made you choose to apply for the MAEUR board?
A year ago I had two options; finish my studies and go to work or finish my studies next to a board year. Asking former board members about their experience, they mostly describe the year as a once in a lifetime experience. Being seriously in doubt, I asked myself if I should be working within a year and living the (sort of) serious life. Or would going “back to uni” and also diving back into the student life be the right step for me? Then I thought; of course, who am I kidding?! This position was made for me! Improving relevant skills like bookkeeping, marketing strategy, organizational skills, project management, budgeting etc., combined with a lot of fun, drinks and other social activities. Yes, please!

Describe the day in the life of a Treasurer
At 9:00 a.m. I start my shift. Unfortunately, I’m a bit hungover since we had a ‘Constitution Drink’ yesterday from another association. Needless to say, we had to make an appearance here. I start the day by grabbing a coffee and also handing one to Chantal, the Marketing Coordinator. She looks like she also needs one! After this I’ll go through my e-mails, finding a couple of invoices that need to be paid and administrated. Next thing on my to-do list is preparing the first budget meeting with a committee Chairman which is scheduled at 11 a.m. During the meeting I go through their assigned budget and explain the Chairmen how much money we reserved for their event. In the afternoon I meet with our External Relations Coordinator, Rona, as we have an interesting company willing to participate in one of our events. We conclude that the company will be an addition to our event. The rest of the afternoon I'm preparing my Auditing Committee (KasCo) meeting that takes place at 19:00. Before the meeting, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., I do make sure to hit the gym with Tycho, our President. At 7 p.m., the KasCo meeting starts. The KasCo consist of former Treasurers with whom Tycho and I discuss important financial issues. Next to being a controlling council, the KasCo is usually very helpful. Once a month we discuss the general progress of our association’s activities, but also investments and struggles of the organization. Every month I send my financial reports to the KasCo, making sure the bookkeeping is done right and that the Treasurer doesn’t buy a Lamborghini from MAEUR funds.

What did you learn from this experience?
Next to all the skills I already described, I’d like to mention teamwork as well. Together with your fellow board members you basically run a small firm. Everybody adds their piece to the puzzle. While we all have different responsibilities and goals, we all work towards the same common goal: bringing this association to the next level. The lessons you learn working together for a year like this, cannot be taught in lectures. Therefore I see this as the most important experience. 

What did you enjoy most about this board year?
I feel like I might start repeating myself here, but it is hard to name one specific thing that I enjoyed the most, as a board year is extremely diverse. One of the things I enjoyed most this year is seeing what a team of seven can accomplish. Of course, it has been a bumpy road sometimes, but in general I’m very satisfied with how we’ve been doing so far. It all started with seven people isolating themselves for one weekend deciding on the strategy of MAEUR for this year. I believe that the thing I enjoy the most is seeing everything we’ve accomplished from that point until now!

What is your next destination?
Who knows…

Interested in becoming the next Treasurer of the Marketing Association EUR? Feel free to contact Sander (treasurer@maeur.nl) if you have any questions. For general information about the board and the available positions, you can read the brochure. Click here to apply for the 49th board! The deadline is the 14th of May