The Board Experience: Abe Scholten

Dear members of B&R Beurs, my name is Abe Scholten and I’m the Commissioner of Activities and Marketing of the 34th board. In the year 2014 I joined B&R Beurs because I wanted to learn more about investing and B&R Beurs seemed the place to be. When I became a member, it surprised me how diverse and dynamic this society is. In this interview, you can read more about what it is like to be the Commissioner of Activities and Marketing of this exciting society.

If you still have some more questions after reading this interview, feel free to contact me at activities@bnrbeurs.nl, +31634991795 or simply stop by our office (NT-09)!

Why did you choose to apply for a board year at B&R Beurs?
Over the last few years I have been a part of several committees at B&R Beurs; such as the Alumni, Introduction Period and Activities committee. After that, I still felt that I hadn’t accomplished everything I could accomplish within the society. B&R Beurs gave me a lot of knowledge about investing and gave me a big network of friends for which I’m very grateful. For example, I am also part of the Investment Group Rising Investments, where I was one of the founders and Chairmen.
So, the logical next step for me was to apply for a board year at B&R Beurs. Being part of a full-time board was, in my opinion, the best way to learn many things you won’t learn doing internships or courses at university. It gave me an exciting feeling to combine my knowledge and practical work at the society and this convinced me to apply for a board position. 

What are your main tasks as Commissioner of Activities & Marketing?
As Commissioner of Activities & Marketing, your biggest responsibility is maintaining and increasing the social cohesion of the society. You do this by organizing social events like beer tastings, golf clinics, Christmas dinners, themed drinks and many more. This wouldn’t be possible without the help of the Activities Committee. Next to the social activities, you are also responsible for the Introduction Period at the beginning of the year. This period starts in the summer and will continue until the Investment Competition starts. This was the most hectic, but also the most fun and educational period in my board year. Your responsibility is to make sure that not only first year students, but also Master students will learn what we do at B&R Beurs and that they will find their way and their place within the society.
I am also responsible for all the marketing within the society. This means that you will have to make sure that every member knows everything about our events and that they are well visited. Another responsibility I have this year is the ICT. This basically means that everything related to the hardware, software and website has to run as smoothly as possibly so that the other board members can function at their best. This wouldn’t be possible without the help of the ICT committee.

What skills should a good Commissioner of Activities & Marketing possess, in your opinion?
Next to being social, you also need to be resistant to stress and pressure. These two traits are tested the most during the Introduction Period. In this period, it is very important to keep your head cool and to not let the stress and pressure take the better of you. Throughout the whole year, you have to be quick on your feet and come up with creative solutions on the spot. Another important skill you need is the ability to see the bigger picture. You have to plan out all your activities for the whole year, but you also need to incorporate the marketing of other events together with your fellow board members. Decisions must be made about which activity or event has more priority and needs more exposure. The last and, in my opinion, most important skill is that you should give every member the feeling that they are welcome at B&R Beurs and that they have a great time here.

During a board year, you will have to face some challenges. Can you name a few and tell us how you coped with them?
A big challenge that comes with this board position is ensuring professionalism when it comes to the marketing. Besides that, you have to keep challenging yourself to invent new marketing strategies. One of the ideas I’ve had this year is to start using Instagram. We try to keep our followers updated on events that we’ve had. We don’t just post pictures of social events, but also of In-House days. It’s a nice way to connect with our members even more.
Another challenge that I’ve had to face this year is the member count, especially during the Introduction Period. It is at this time when it’s crucial that all of the marketing goes as smoothtly as possible, so that you get a nice amount of new members. At times, this could be something we worried about with the board. But in the end, with the help of the Introduction Period Committee, we quickly reached more than 1,000 members, which is something I can be proud of. 

What has been the most memorable experience for you so far?
For me it was the Introduction Period as a whole. It was quite busy period for the Introduction Period Committee and the board. I got to know a huge amount of new people and I ended the period with more new members than we expected.
Thinking of and creating marketing strategies for new partner events was something I really enjoyed this year. But the thing I enjoyed the most this year is the way we get along as a board. We all knew each other a little bit before the board year started, which made the whole year go by very fast. Besides the Introduction Period and working together, I’m really looking forward to the City Trip to Dublin and the Investment Week & Symposium.