What is it like to be President of B&R Beurs?

Allow me to shortly introduce myself. My name is Pim Somerwil and I am the President of the 35th board of B&R Beurs. I joined B&R Beurs 3 years ago because I was curious about investing and wanted to meet like-minded students. Needless to say, it was one of the best decisions of my life. In this interview, you can read more about what it is like to be the President of this wonderful society. If you still have some more questions after reading this interview, feel free to contact me at president@bnrbeurs.nl, +31(0)6 2053 2507 or simply stop by our office (P-1.074)!

Why did you choose to apply for a board year at B&R Beurs?
Last year, I was busy writing my master thesis. During this period, I did not feel like I was ready to end my student life. That is why I started considering other options like a second master or a part-time job. A board year at B&R Beurs had been in my mind for quite some time, so I decided to apply for it. You learn a lot during a board year, while being able to give back to the society as well. That was a perfect combination. The position of President appealed to me because you are essentially the head of the society and you need strong leadership skills. Developing such a skill set was something I wanted to do for myself, while also being involved in all aspects of the society.

What are your main tasks as President?
Besides the big events such as the LSE AIC in London, the Investment Week & Symposium and leading one committee, there are a lot of tasks that also require a lot of attention. These tasks range from small things to moving to another building on campus. Next to that, is your responsibility to ensure that the entire board operates smoothly and that you have a long-term vision for the society. As head of the society, you need to make sure that you lead and also represent B&R Beurs in the best way possible. Besides these general responsibilities, leading the Chairmen Meetings and (half yearly) General Assembly of Members is also something the president does. There is never a dull moment!

What skills should a good President possess, in your opinion?
Besides having a great sense of responsibility, it is important that you can manage multiple tasks at once. This can be hard sometimes and will require good time management, but it does keep a nice variety in your work, which I think is really nice. Being helpful and communicative are vital personality traits, the rest of the board should be able to rely on you to receive support with all sorts of tasks. Next to this, it is essential to be approachable. Getting to know your members is not only a lot of fun, at the end of the day you’re also here to make sure that your members enjoy their time at B&R Beurs.

During a board year, you will have to face some challenges. Can you name a few and tell us how you coped with them?
On an organizational level, and dealing with third parties, sometimes something can fall through at the last minute. Such situations can be stressful and can present a challenge, but you are never alone in such situations, and the entire board is there to come up with the best solution. You will need to get a little creative and think outside the box sometimes, but when you put your mind to it and you achieve the desired result you get to feel proud! On a personal level, things can get tricky sometime. Life doesn’t just stop during your board year. What really helped me was receiving support from my fellow board members. At the end of the day, one team is stronger than 6 individuals.

What has been the most memorable experience for you so far?
Even though the year is not finished (luckily), there are multiple awesome memories I have from this board year! There is not a single highlight, as they are all memorable in a different way. Going to the LSE Alternative Investment Conference was an amazing experience; you get to meet so many inspirational people and see great keynote speakers at the event. Next to that, visiting Canary Wharf and meeting alumni from B&R Beurs in London is a rewarding experience. Joining Interfaculty Rotterdam was also a great experience, with the Interfaculty Gala as the highlight. The entire Introduction Period was also something I will never forget, such a great time together with the entire board! It was a busy period, but it was also extremely rewarding to welcome all these new and enthusiastic members at B&R Beurs.