Interview with: Secretary Jessica Hoogendoorn
Who are you and what position in the board do you have?
My name is Jessica and I’m the secretary of the 32nd board of Cedo Nulli. When I’m not doing a board year (meaning last year, and the next) I study Psychology. I’m currently in my third year, or I will be when I continue to do my study after my board year.
Can you describe what this position does?
As a secretary you have a wide variety of tasks. Most of these tasks are a little more in the background, you take care of the administrative side of the association. Some of the things you do are for example: making a newsletter each month, information management, answering a lot of emails, manage the calendar of the board and making minutes of meetings and keeping the membership database up to date. You also have a lot of contact with other associations (within Rotterdam, and outside of Rotterdam) and you’ll manage the invitations you get from the different associations. Really, you can be seen as the backbone of the board and the association. Two of the key qualities of a secretary are definitely accuracy and reliability.
What is the best part of your position?
What I like most about my function/position is that you see and hear everything. A lot of the emails go through you, because you manage firstname.lastname@example.org. So you forward a lot of emails to your fellow board members, which means you’ll be in the know a lot of the time. Because you write the minutes of the board meetings and the General Assembly, you always know exactly what has been discussed. I don’t know, I just really like knowing things about the association.
How do you experience being a board supervisor of committees?
I think this is the part of my board year I enjoy the most. Before my board year I was in 2 committees, and this has always been very fulfilling. Being a board supervisor of 3 committees; Alumni Committee, Study Trip Committee and Dies Committee, is so much fun. You’ll have (almost) weekly meetings with your committees, so you’ll see them a lot. This way you get a lot of new friends and you’ll enjoy a lot of good times!
Is being on the board what you expected of it?
This is a really difficult question. I don’t think I can even remember what I expected of my board year. I just know that it’s a lot more than I expected, in a good way! You don’t really think about it when you start the journey, but you’ll really form a little tiny family with your board members. But these 5 people are not the only friends you’ll make, you’ll make friends with boards of other associations, your own committees, other committees and you’ll be at the university so often you’ll really get to know a lot more people you don’t expect.
Other than the social part you also learn a lot more from doing a board year than I thought, and since a board year is only 1 year; you also learn it in a relatively small period of time. At first it might seem a bit daunting to begin an experience such as this. But I can promise you; it’s definitely worth your while! If you have any questions what so ever about doing a board year or being secretary of our beautiful association, you can always come by our office (T15-03) or email me at email@example.com.